Value oriented design of vehicles along emotional personality structures and character traits of customers

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Sebastian StegmüllerAntonio ArdilioFranziska Braun

Abstract: Buying a vehicle is a highly emotional decision process. In addition to functional requirements, elements that reflect emotional and personal values are crucial for the buying decision. Due to constantly upcoming technological inventions, trends and the increasing smartification of products, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to identify a specific target user group and transfer their requirements successful into a vehicle design. The containment of the target group usually based on demographic data like age, income, place of residence etc. But the psychographic characterization is often only based on subjective assessment of the user information. For example, a lot of product developer define emotional characteristics of the target group in the form of personas or mood boards based on experiential knowledge. This leads to a bias in the soft factors of a target group conditioned by the individual perception of each product developer and is therefore prone to error. Currently there is a lack of methodical procedures for translating customer values into vehicle elements. Therefore, the questions arise, how the value profile of target groups can be defined on a data basis and how vehicle characteristics can be derived from it.MethodologyTo determine the values and character traits of a target group, the emotion-cluster "Limbic Types" invented by the psychologist Hans Georg Häusel are combined with demographic information. Limbic Types are a condensation of the complex emotional personality structures and consist out of four different types: Dominance, Harmony, Stimulance and Balance. Parallel to this, the “Elements of Value Pyramid” as described by from Bain & Company – which consists of four levels: “Functional”, “Emotional,” “Life Changing” and “Social Impact” – is being transferred to vehicle features. Applied to automotive products, this results in functional values such as "Driver Assistance Systems”, emotional values like “stress reducing elements”, personal values like “Motivation” and social added values like “sharing the vehicle”. Correlations between the limbic types and the vehicles values provide insights on which vehicle characteristics are related to which personal character traits. To further specify the target groups, information about personalization preferences, sustainability requirements, technology affinity and trends sensitivity were also considered. ApplicationTo avoid neglecting cultural differences, a quantitative online survey is conducted with more than 5.000 respondents five intercontinentally distributed countries (Germany, Italy, America, China and South Korea). The individual Limbic type of each participant was determined by using a Limbic Quick Test at the beginning of the survey, consisting of eight questions tied into a story. The entire questionnaire consists out of 30 questions and takes an average of 12 minutes to complete. In order to receive only representative answers, incomplete questionnaires or questionnaires of participants who were 70% faster or 150% slower than scheduled were sorted out. Results and DiscussionPreliminary results already show significant differences between countries and between Limbic types. Within the countries, general trends have been identified. For example, all Limbic types in Germany prefer significantly more often functionalities to reduce costs. Compared to that, all Chinese Limbic types tend to choose functions that reflect the quality of the product. Examining only the differences between the Limbic types, it becomes apparent that 62.7% of the German Dominance types prefer stress-reducing elements in the vehicle. In turn, Italian Dominance types chose with a frequency of 45.6% most often trend-oriented elements. From the data it can also be concluded, which combinations of elements are chosen significantly often. For example, Italian Harmony types who choose elements to reduce risks are also very likely to choose stress-reducing elements. Whereas Chinese Harmony types will most likely choose elements that reflect quality in combination with fun and entertainment features. Furthermore, correlations were made for the different Limbic types and culture-specific-preferences In addition, “personalization”, “importance of sustainability” and “attitudes toward new technologies” will be surveyed.

Keywords: Design, ValueorientedDesign, Automotive, Mobility, Methodology, Limbictypes, Emotion, Innovation, Automotivedesign

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003303

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