Jul 28, 2013
Ever Wondered What Your Car Says About You?
Personality type is an essential part of the decision-making process; by understanding personality and how it works, companies can help consumers make better, more satisfying decisions. Ford has worked with CPP, publisher of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, to explore the intersection of personality and Ford vehicles.
The exercise, the first of its kind, kicked off in June at Go Further with Ford, the automaker’s annual trend conference, where consumer and lifestyle media came together to explore the intersection of car choice and personality type.
“What Ford and CPP have done by considering Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality preferences as part of the car-buying decision will help people find the vehicle they are most satisfied with, not just when they drive it off the dealer lot, but in the long term,” said Michael Segovia, expert certification trainer, CPP. “If people buy a car more aware of their personality type needs, their decision may ultimately be much more satisfying.”
How it all came together
The idea was born out of pure curiosity when Ford asked CPP how personality type relates to its target customers.
There are 16 possible Myers-Briggs personality types which are separated into four dichotomies. The dichotomies are opposites, and each personality type relates to one side more than the other. The personality traits of each group are extraversion (E) or introversion (I), sensing (s) or intuition (n), thinking (T) or feeling (F) and judging (J) or perception (P).
Ford and CPP profiled seven target customer personas and identified the Myers-Briggs personality type that linked to each. Then they developed general purchasing tips designed around these seven personality types. While personality type doesn’t predict which specific vehicle a customer will ultimately buy, it does influence every stage of the thought process leading up to the exact Ford model a customer drives off the dealer lot.
For example, Ford and CPP found that the target customer for the Ford Escape, “Carrie,” is personality type ESFP – meaning Carrie’s car-buying process involves attributes of extroversion, sensing, feeling and perceiving. When buying a car, Carrie should think about whether the purchase will meet her future needs, and take the time to research all of the details of the purchase, not just the useful and practical points.
“It was not only fun, but meaningful, to take a deep dive into some of Ford’s target customer data to see how the characters of the seven personas match up to the personality indicator tools,” said Segovia.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument is the world’s most popular and trusted personality assessment.
Seven target customers – who they are and what they drive
“Cal,” ISTJ – Ford F-250 Super Duty
- Introversion: Independent and self-reliant; the powerful and efficient 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 T urbo Diesel engine in Super Duty makes Cal feel unstoppable
- Sensing: Enjoys helping friends with home construction projects; owns a lot of tools, but Ford Super Duty is his best and most versatile tool
- Thinking: Gets the job done; works hard and stays on task. Cal knows Built Ford Tough® isn’t marketing speak – it means “tested and proven”
- Judging: Cal is the go-to guy who knows how to accomplish things. Super Duty’s best-in-class payload and towing capabilities help him to be as reliable and dependable as his truck
Buying tips for Cal
Cal should brainstorm ideas with a few close friends. He should ask about new models and innovations, and postpone deciding until he has explored several options.
“Donna,” INFP – Ford C-MAX Hybrid
- Introversion: A quiet advocate; Donna likes how her Ford C-MAX Hybrid quietly captures braking energy to charge its own batteries
- Intuition: Has her own style; appreciates the Vista Roof® for its style, plus the panoramic view allows her to see the big picture
- Feeling: Thinks about how her lifestyle and purchases affect the environment; SmartGauge® with EcoGuide helps her drive more efficiently
- Perceiving: Needs a vehicle with space and flexibility for hobbies, work and daily life. C-MAX Hybrid’s 52.6 cubic feet of cargo volume holds everything she throws at it
Buying tips for Donna
Donna should weigh the logical aspects of the purchase. Just because she likes something – and/or the person selling it – doesn’t necessarily make it the right choice for her.
“Carrie,” ESFP – Ford Escape
- Extraversion: Outgoing and social; enjoys spacious seating for five
- Sensing: Lives in the moment, travels to experience life. Her Escape’s powerful EcoBoost® engine delivers the fuel efficiency she needs to feed her curiosity
- Feeling: Carrie stays true to her values, beliefs and ideals. Intelligent 4WD helps her Escape stay grounded
- Perceiving: Knows marriage and family are in her future; craves change. Escape’s class-exclusive hands-free liftgate is perfect for Carrie’s evolving lifestyle
Buying tips for Carrie
Carrie should think about whether the purchase will meet her future needs and take time to research all the details, not just the useful and practical points.
“Drew,” ESTP – Ford Mustang
- Extraversion: Drew feels energized by driving, stays poised to carve corners in his Ford Mustang’s RECARO® racing seats
- Sensing: Needs acceleration and top-end speed; Mustang’s 420 horsepower and a tarmac-shredding 390 lb.-ft. of torque more than deliver
- Thinking: Thinks his car is the center of his world; chose Mustang, the industry’s most customizable car, so he can get the best features and value
- Perceiving: Wants to have as much fun as he possibly can. Mustang’s Track Apps™ measures his fun in terms of acceleration times, G-forces and more
Buying tips for Drew
Drew should reflect on what he wants and analyze all the features, not just the novel ones. He should set a reasonable purchase deadline and stick to it.
“Jennifer,” ENTP – Ford Fusion
- Extraversion: Staying connected to family and friends is a must for Jennifer. Ford Fusion’s standard SYNC® allows her to keep in touch while on the road
- Intuition: Is excited for the future and what lies ahead; Jennifer’s delighted Fusion’s sleek design will live well in the future
- Thinking: Wants people to know she made the right choice. With more engine options than any midsize sedan, Jennifer made the ideal choice with Fusion
- Perceiving: She’s not there yet, but she’s getting close; with turn-by-turn directions, Fusion’s MyFord Touch® system shows her what’s ahead
Buying tips for Jennifer
Jennifer should take time to reflect on what she wants, then set a reasonable purchase deadline and stick to it.
“Kurt,” ESTJ – Ford Taurus
- Extraversion: Enjoys spending time with clients, family and friends. Kurt and his crew travel in comfort thanks to dual-zone automatic temperature control
- Sensing: Only buys trustworthy products; relies active park assist to steer him into parallel parking spots perfectly every time
- Thinking: Kurt is a confident professional. His confident side loves the 365 horsepower of the EcoBoost-powered Taurus SHO; his professional side appreciates the efficient 25 mpg highway the car returns
- Judging: Kurt is in control of his life and his surroundings. The tension-reducing multicontour seats with Active Motion® technology keep him comfortable in the Taurus driver’s seat
Buying tips for Kurt
Kurt should ask himself if the people in his life who are important to him will appreciate his decision. He should postpone deciding until he has explored several options.
“Thomas,” ENTJ – Ford Explorer Sport
- Extraversion: His house is the neighborhood epicenter for weekend fun; enjoys hosting barbecues and pool parties. Wants room for seven people and the high-performance fun of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine
- Intuition: Aspires to own a vehicle with better fuel economy; always looking for something new. When “what’s new” is your passion, Ford Explorer delivers. Explorer Limited has 10-way power, leather-trimmed seats
- Thinking: Shops around for the best product to meet his needs. Thomas knows that with three rows of seating and 365 horsepower, Explorer Sport is a value leader among crossover vehicles
- Judging: Loves to take the lead in planning get-togethers. His Explorer’s Terrain Management System™ gives him the capability to make it anywhere right on time
Buying tips for Thomas
Thomas should take the time to reflect on what he wants. He should ask himself if others who are important to him will appreciate his decision.