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Chandni Chowk and Consumer Personality

ET Cases, 6 pages
AUTHOR(S) : kumar Gambhiraopet and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Chandni Chowk and Consumer Personality


Expected Learning Outcomes

• The relevance of Freudian, Neo-Freudian, and Trait Theories for understanding consumer behavior. How personality traits influence consumers' responses to product and marketing messages. How marketers seek to create brand personalities-like traits?
• How consumers would create their own identities reflecting a particular set of personality traits and its influence on their buying behavior?
• The reasons behind the presence of old marketplaces across the centuries. Their historical and familial connect with the consumers from all walks of life. What drives consumers to frequent the oldest marketplaces? What kind of personality traits do straddling consumers exhibit?



I. Consumer Personality and Behavior Analysis: The Marketing Connotations

1. What do you understand by the Freudian theory of psychoanalysis, id, ego and super ego? Do these interacting systems (instincts) reflect the consumer personality? How do they influence consumers to buy a specific product or buy from a specific market?

2. According to Neo-Freudian philosophy the main element which defines personality is social relationships – Compliant (C), Aggressive (A) and Detached (D). What kind of personality type (C, A or D), do you think would the frequent customer at the oldest marketplaces exhibit?

3. What can describe the retailing consumers’ (consumers shopping at the old marketplaces, conventional brick-and-mortar stores, high-street shops and high-end shopping malls) behavior from the stand point of view of:

  • a. Consumer Innovativeness
  • b. Their Social Character
  • c. Their Optimum Stimulation Level
  • d. Variety & Novelty Seeking

4. .........................

II. Legacy, Traditional and Common-street Shopping Destinations: The Consumer Connect

1. Can you name few oldest marketplaces? Can you identify a few marketplaces which are very famous across India that have historical connotations and also resonate high with customers for their product price performance?

2. Have you shopped at one of the oldest marketplaces like Chandni Chowk in Delhi, T Nagar in Chennai, Sultan Bazaar in Hyderabad or any other similar old marketplaces? If yes, can you describe your shopping experience?

3. .................

III. Consumer Behavior at Common-street, Traditional Brick-and-mortar Shopping Destinations

1. What according to you are the similarities and dissimilarities between old marketplaces, common-street shopping centre and a high-street shop or a high-end shopping mall?

2. Do you think customers ‘straddle’ between common street marketplaces and high street stores or high-end shopping malls? If yes, what traits do such customers exhibit?

3. Were there any situations when you had to shop at an old market but you skipped it and went to one of the high-end shopping malls? List the factors which drove you to skip conventional marketplaces and reach out for high-end shopping malls. Is there any covert significance of Consumer Ethnocentrism? Or behavioral traits like Compliant, Aggressive and Detached?

4. ............


Exhibit I: Factors which Influence to Visit the Old Marketplaces

Teaching Note Preview

Chandni Chowk and Consumer Personality



This Case Flyer enables a meaningful discussion as well as an understanding of the context of how a geographical marketplace evolves into a Brand Personality and influence Consumer Personality. In India, almost every city has its own legacy marketplaces which cater to consumers from all walks of life. Despite the spurt in the development of e-commerce and high-end retailing these legacy marketplaces stood the test of time and stayed relevant across the generations. Are the behavioral traits exhibited by the consumers who frequent these old marketplaces the same across the shopping destinations like conventional brick and mortar stores and high-end shopping malls? Do these behavioral traits influence their buying behavior? By analysing the consumer personalities as well as behavioral traits, can marketers segment their marketing and selling strategies?

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding and Before the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

The participants were asked to read the topics given as mandatory readings at the end of the Case Flyer for them to participate effectively and to enrich the learning outcomes.

Positioning and Setting

This Case Flyer can be used for ‘Consumer Behavior’ course to illustrate the concept of ‘Consumer Personality’ and exemplify different theories of personality and how it influences consumer buying motives and by analysing the same, how can marketers come up with tailor-made products and services.

Suggested Orchestration

During the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

The discussion on the Case Flyer was conducted under three broad topics [Exhibit (TN)-I].The classroom analysis of the Case Flyer was carried out by discussing each of the questions of the case flyer. However, for each of the three sections, the discussion centered on an ‘anchor point of discussion’........

Preamble to Case Analysis

The phenomenon of continued retailing exuberance at some of the oldest marketplaces is quite intriguing and interesting. Intriguing because, they seem to thrive even in the age of modern retailing age. Interesting because, nearly all the consumers who visit these oldest marketplaces also visit the high-street shops and high-end malls. Largely wearable and the accompanying accessories (clothes, ear rings, chains, pendants, etc.) and utilities (electronics/household articles) are sold in these oldest marketplaces. Over the decades, they are able to sustain their position due to their unique products and compelling product price performance offerings.........

Case Analysis

I. Consumer Personality and Behavior Analysis: The Marketing Connotations

The primary objective of the first section is to sensitize the participants to the theoretical constructs of personality-related concepts and their relevance to the understanding of consumer behavior. While the participants might have studied some of these concepts in other courses (especially in organizational behavior and introductory marketing), the class should be directed towards the applications of these behavioral/personality traits. It should also be highlighted that companies try to understand their consumers’ behavior through sophisticated analytical tools platforms

• The class engaged in an animated debate over the Freudian theory of psychoanalysis and how would the marketers benefit from the facts of these analysis. Most of them opined that marketers should focus on the below given two factors in analysing the consumer personalities

• Purchasing Power
• The Power of Social Connect

• They stated that these factors balance the instincts like id, ego and super ego and eventually shape the consumer personality. Further, they voiced their thoughts saying; purchasing power of the consumers is the determinant factor whether to shop at specific shopping destinations like the discount stores, shopping malls, old marketplaces or the common street shops or specific products they want to buy

• They also highlighted the facts of the power of social connect. Consumers do get influenced by their peers, friends, colleagues, relatives, etc. This connect also influences their id, ego and super ego and this behavior defines their personality. A consumer may be a spendthrift when s/he is not in a committed relationship (marriage and familial responsibilities) the participants observed. The marketers should capture these facts and devise products/services which would attract the spendthrift in a consumer appealing to his social connections

• The discussion was carried out with the help of the following [Exhibit (TN)-II].......................



Exhibit (TN)-I: Discussion Dashboard

Exhibit (TN)-II: Freudian Theory and Consumer Connect

Exhibit (TN)-III: Neo-Freudian Personality Groups – Old Marketplaces’ Consumers

Exhibit (TN)-IV: Consumers’ Traits with Respect to Different Shopping Destinations

Exhibit (TN)-V: Consumer Personality vs Brand Personality

Exhibit (TN)-VI: Marketplace Connect vs Product Price Performance Appeal

Exhibit (TN)-VII: Participants’ Experience at the Old Marketplaces

Exhibit (TN)-VIII: Factors which Influence to Visit the Old Marketplaces

Exhibit (TN)-IX: Similarities and Dissimilarities @ Shopping Destinations

Exhibit (TN)-X: Personality Traits and Consumer Behavioral Aspects

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This Case Flyer and the base article1 can be used to relate the underlying theoretical constructs of personality and self-conceptare to consumer behavior at some of India's oldest retail and wholesale marketplaces. Touted as poor man's shopping destinations existing over centuries, these shopping destinations continue to attract consumers from the entire economic and social milieus. Despite the growing popularity of high-street shops, high-end shopping malls, ubiquitous presence of e-commerce companies attracting consumers in groups, etc., the traditional shopping destinations continue to draw crowds especially during festive seasons. Are the theories of personality (Freudian, Neo-Freudian and Trait theories) related in some manner with the consumer behavior at the traditional brick-andmortar and legacy shopping destinations? This case flyer also enables to identify the kind of traits these customers exhibit, to gain an understanding of which might help the marketers to attract appropriate customers?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To have an overview of the efficacy of personality theories (including Trait theory) to understand the relationship between personality and consumer behavior in the light of consumers at some of India's oldest marketplaces
  • To discuss and debate on the factors contributing to the continuing success of some of India's oldest wholesale marketplaces, brick-and-mortar marketplaces vis-à-vis the emergent high-end shopping malls and high-street shops
  • To discuss and debate on the relationship between consumer personality and Brand personality

Positioning and Setting

This Case Flyer is positioned to discuss a few central and core concepts of personality and Consumer Personality chapter in the Consumer Behavior course. Specifically this Case Flyer can be used to understand the pragmatic applications of the following concepts, with reference to consumer personality:

  • Theories of personality (Freudian, Neo-Freudian and Trait Theories)
  • Personality and understanding consumer behavior (Consumer Innovativeness, Dogmatism, Social Character, Need for Uniqueness, Optimum Stimulation Level, Sensation Seeking, Variety Novelty Seeking)
  • Personality and Brand Personality

1 Ishani Duttagupta, 'Chandni Chowk: Delhi's Mughal era heritage bazaar a favourite for festive shopping', magazines/panache/chandni-chowk-delhis-mughal-era-heritage-bazaar-a-favourite-for-festive-shopping/articleshow/44870863.cms, October 19th 2014, (accessed date: October 25th 2014)

This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Flyer
- Analysis

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