Young and Rubicam's 4 Cs Model

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The Aspirer:

These people are:

  • highly materialistic
  • acquisitive

They are driven by others’ perceptions of them (rather than their personal values). Thus they respond effectively to what other view as superficial; image, appearance, fashion (charisma and lastly persona). Attractive things and being attractive on the outside is as important if not more important to them than it’s contents.

Core need: Status. 

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The Reformer:

These people are:

  • Highly independent in their judgement
  • rarely wish to be told what to do or what to say

They are the least materialistic and often perceived as intellectual. Often socially aware and embrace tolerance. Reformers seek out the authentic, harmonious recourses and often are on the leading edge of society. They will not only buy things that are new (unlike explorers).

Core need: Enlightenment.

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The Explorer:

They are:

  • driven by a need for discovery, challenges and new frontiers
  • young in nature (however not necessarily young in reality) 
  • often the first to try out new experiences and ideas.

They respond well to brands and advertisements (and other media texts) which offer new sensations, indulgence and instant effects- therefore they seek difference.

Core need: Discovery.

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The Succeeder:

These types of individuas tend to: 

  • often possess self-confidence
  • have strong goal orientations
  • usually are very organised, thus occupying positions of responsibility in society.

Their investment in the status quo means they openly support it. They seek out reward and prestige (often seeking out the best) when it comes to brands as it is what they feel they deserve. They also seem to seek out caring and protective brands and relax occasionally as a result of their aggressive attitude towards life.

Core need: Control.

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The Resigned:

They are:

  • predominantly older individuals with constant, unchanging values (been built up over time)

The past (for them) is bathed in a warm nostalgic glow thus enjoy acting in traditional roles and respect institutions. Their brand choices and responses are driven by a need for safety and economy, they choose what is familiar.

Core need: Survival.

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The Struggler:

These people:

live for today

make few plans for the next day

are heavy consumers of alcohol and junk food

Others often see them as victims, losers and wasters, those who are disorganised and aimless with very few recourses apart from their physical skills. If they get on in life, it will massively depend more upon winning a lottery ticket than anything they do themselves. Visual impact and physical sensation are important elements in their brand choices and whether or not they respond.

Core need: Escape.

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The Mainstream:

These people:

  • live in the world of the domestic and the everyday.

A routine (daily) is essential/fundamental to the way they live their lives. Their life choices often consist of ‘we’ rather than ‘me’. They are the mainstream of society and thus are the largest group of people within the model and they respond to big established brands (family brands and offers f value for money).

Core need: Security.

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