The “value and style” (VALS) Framework is an important analysis tool used in marketing and communications. The system groups consumers into different categories, based on spending habits, which is useful for setting and meeting strategic marketing and communication goals. The framework divides consumers into eight core groups: innovators, thinkers, believers, achievers, strivers, experiencers, makers and survivors. Below we have listed each group, with a short summary statement.
The innovators have abundant resources, are always taking in information, are confident in taking risks, are skeptical about advertising, and are self-directed customers. To appeal to these kind of consumers, consider informational PSA-type advertisements, which would convince them to invest in a new idea or way of doing things.
The thinkers are financially established and are not influenced by what is hot in the current market. They are motivated by their own knowledge and are much more likely to plan or research an item they might buy before they make a purchase. Since this group is known to deeply research a product before they buy, it is important to make sure that your product matches expectations.
The believers find advertising a legitimate source of information. They also have a black-and-white mentality when it comes to right and wrong, and other truth statements. They are social in nature, which leads them to believe other consumers’ opinions on products. This group relies on word-of-mouth and what others around them have said about certain products and what they should and should not purchase.
The achievers are very goal oriented, hardworking, committed to their family and job, and believe money is the source of authority. This group is more likely to purchase a product that has been proven to show its success over time. Achievers are always looking for the next best thing, and if they see a new brand rising, they will quickly adopt it.
The strivers have revolving employment, are the center of low-status street culture, wear their wealth, and have a desire to better their lives but have difficulty in realizing their desires. This group is similar to achievers, but lack resources to achieve what they want, therefore they are a little more hesitant and skeptical when deciding to make a purchase.
The experiencers are caught up on the latest fashions, are spontaneous, have heightened sense of visual stimulation, and want to try new things all the time. This group is mostly made up of young adults who spend heavily on clothing, food and new items that are trending.
The makers believe in sharp gender roles, see themselves as straightforward, want to protect what they perceive to be theirs, and are distrustful of the government. This group is less focused on spending a higher amount of money and more focused on bettering themselves and their families as a form of expression. If a product has no true value of bettering a person’s life, Makers will not be bothered to make a purchase.
The survivors are the oldest consumers, they are thrifty, not concerned about appearing traditional or trendy, are loyal to brands and products, have the lowest resources and have no primary motivation. This class of consumers are not likely to change their course of action regularly and they live life through basic necessities.