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Archetypes

Understanding emotional needs 

Functional performance is just the beginning: products that stand out in the marketplace and succeed on a lasting basis fulfill emotional needs as well. And this is especially true in the personal care market. This means that along with products that deliver the desired performance, a manufacturer must have an understanding of the consumer’s psychological makeup. Only then can it fine-tune its formulations and marketing to offer the performance profile and emotional characteristics that attract a certain consumer typology.

The concept of archetypes applied by BASF is the NeedScope system used by the global market research group TNS. It is a valuable tool to understand the typologies of target groups and develop concepts accordingly. The methodology, which clusters pop­ulation segments according to their intrinsic motivations rather than external factors, is based on the work of the psychologist C. G. Jung. It goes beyond description to provide an understanding and visualization of emotional needs in a scientifically valid form (see figure 1).

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The archetypes are defined in terms of levels of passivity or ­assertiveness (see figure 2, horizontal axis) and introversion or extroversion (see figure 2, vertical axis). This enables to place different personalities within a pattern. And it also relates to products and brands – some brands give us a feeling of belonging, others help us stand apart from the crowd and assert our individuality.

The NeedScope method groups personalities into six archetypes following the same pattern: the more extroverted are at the top of the model and the introverted at the bottom; the more individualistic are on the right and the affiliative on the left.

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The six archetypes are termed as follows

Energetic, Perfect, Professional, Protected, Authentic, Creative.

Using sophisticated surveys, the percentage of people corresponding to each archetype within a given market can be defined (see figure 3).

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The names given to the individual archetypes are intended to sum up an array of attributes and emotional needs (see figure 4).

The approach becomes especially fascinating when you start to align a product’s performance attributes with the emotional needs of an archetype. Here, a picture emerges of which performance profiles hold the greatest potential within a given target group. These archetypes are just a starting point. But they can be the beginning of a fascinating journey of discovery and inspiration that leads you to new and highly successful product concepts. We look forward to working with you of the way.

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