A new Swedish research study on car brand, gender and personality by Magnus Roos, Design Psychologist at Veryday, shows that both personality and gender have an effect on your choice of car.

We wanted to examine the relationship between the brand and the personality at a deeper level and used personality tests. The results of the study indicate that personality has a certain impact on people’s choice of car brand.

Magnus Roos, Researcher and Design Psychologist at Veryday

While previous studies have focused on exploring the brand’s personality, this study claims that things we surround ourselves with are a part of our identity and investigates whether the personality is relevant to the likelihood of owning a particular car brand.

It has been statistically proven that introverts are more likely to own a Volvo or an Opel, while extroverts tend to own a Peugeot. Agreeable individuals seem to prefer a Japanese brand, such as Toyota or Nissan, while people with more antagonistic orientation are more likely to own a Volvo or Ford. Further findings are that people who are more open tend to own a Hyundai, impulsive types are more likely to own an Opel, while the emotionally unstable more often own a Peugeot or Skoda.

Who drives what car? 4

The effects of personality on the choice of the brand often differ between men and women. For example, we have found that women who drive BMWs are more impulsive, but we are unable to find a similar connection in the case of men.

Magnus Roos

Car manufacturers have long used brand image in their quest to make brands more competitive and attractive. An image about the brand is formed on the basis of subjective perceptions of what consumers associate the brand with. For example, Volvo is associated with safety and Toyota is associated with reliability.
Who drives what car? 6

As consumers, we identify with a feeling, a lifestyle or values, but the question is whether or not the car industry takes it for granted that drivers are masculine, extrovert and emotionally stable. To analyze the things that surround us based on user personality is much more complex than analyzing a brand’s personality. Now evidence is mounting around the fact that deep knowledge of consumers’ personality is a powerful and untapped area for designers.

It is important for the design industry and everyone involved in the development and innovation work to include all relevant types of users in the design process. There are reasons to believe that the design industry in general has underestimated aspects demanded by more introverted and emotionally unstable individuals.

Thomas Nilsson, Head of Design Research at Veryday.

Magnus Roos presents the research on Personality bias in user centred design at Tokyo IASDR 2013 on August 26th – 30th.
He also speaks at the Seoul, ICED on August 19th – 22nd on how to use personality cards as a research tool to explore the user’s real self and ideal self.
Here you can access the complete report (in Swedish)