From Trend to Lifestyle

From Trend to Lifestyle: How attitudes influence consumer behavior 

Consumer trends and lifestyles are becoming increasingly relevant in business practice in order to better understand and address target groups and to tailor product and service development to their needs. While some unconventional consumer behaviors go unnoticed, others develop into consumer movements with a large following. Since such movements have a significant influence on consumer behavior, it is worthwhile for companies to pay early attention to these lifestyles. 

The research project “From Trend to Lifestyle” examines unconventional lifestyles for the first time and shows the consequences for companies. Based on the basic consumer motives, the project demonstrates the central aspects of the following lifestyles: cocooning, neo-nomadism, minimalism, slow living, freecycling, and precycling. The aim of the research project is to provide application-oriented insights into unconventional lifestyles that are scientifically founded and supported by best practice examples. 

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the still insufficiently researched lifestyles, a qualitative research approach in the form of deep psychological interviews is used in conjunction with grounded theory.  

  • In a first phase, a literature review will show the relevance of lifestyles in changing consumer behavior and the role played by the six unconventional lifestyles cocooning, neo-nomadism, minimalism, slow living, precycling and freecycling. 
  • In a second phase, each of the six lifestyles will be analyzed in more detail by describing the development process from a niche trend to a lifestyle and showing basic behavioral motives based on an application-oriented consideration of the initial situation. Finally, the effects of lifestyle on companies will be demonstrated and options for action will be given in the form of concrete example strategies and measures. The overriding concern of the research project is to analyze and document the central elements of lifestyles in a (scientifically) sound and application-oriented way. 
  • In a third phase, the lifestyles considered are brought together and connecting or separating elements between the lifestyles are identified. From this superordinate perspective, it is possible to see what attitude to life the lifestyles are based on and what future developments (can) result from them. 

Project responsibility: Prof. Dr. Katharina Klug