What is self image?
Self image refers to the way a person perceives them self or as articulated by (Sicinski, A, 2009) is “the idea, conception or mental image one has of them self”. Researchers have suggested that consumers will choose products whose images are in harmony with their own (Sirgy, M. J 1982). Self image is often influenced by certain factors such as appearance, performance, relations with other people, products and so on. Factors like these have a great influence on one’s self concept. There are four types of self images and these being; actual self, ideal self, socio actual self and socio ideal self, which will be further discussed below.
This is considered as the “first self” because it refers to the idea that we have or portray about ourselves. The actual self image is induced by the self-consistency motive, which concerns a consumer’s tendency to behave in ways that are consistent with his/her present self-image in order to protect his/her personal identity (Sirgy, Grewal & Mangleburg, 2000). This is one`s basic depiction of themself in terms of beauty, intelligence and other physical aspects. For instance an overweight person may think or believe that he is actually slim, this is how they view himself.
This refers to how we would like to be or the person we would like to become. The ideal self is influenced by the environment we live in, culture or the products we use or come across. Products as articulated by (WordPress.com, 2012) “can be seen as an instrument of becoming something more”. This can be extracted from the advertisements of superheroes seen on television becoming something more than they were in order to perform better in life or to become a better and improved version of the person they are.
Socio Self Image
This image depicts what the society expects of us. It is often driven by the people in our circle for instance, how our parents expect us to be and how our friends expect us to be. The two are usually contradictory of one another. We are more likely to keep the image that other people think of us especially if that image is a socially and morally acceptable image. For instance if the society portrays one to be selfless, one would always feel the need to uphold that image so as to not let the society down. The socio self image may differ depending who the reference is.
Ideal Socio Self Image
This is the idea consumers would like other people to have about them. It is sometimes referred to as “desired social self” and denotes that it is an image that one would like others to have about him/her as articulated by (Hughes and Guerrero, 1971). This is done through influencing the people to see what you want them to see, for instance portraying the image of a rich person while in all truth you’re struggling financially.
Hughes GD, Guerrero JL (1971) Automobile Self- Congruity Models Reexamined. J Mark Res 8: 125-127.
Sicinski, A (2009). What Exactly is a Self-Image? Here’s What You Need to Know. online IQ Matrix Blog. Available at: https://blog.iqmatrix.com/self-image Accessed 05/09/18
Sirgy, M. J. (1982). Self-Concept in Consumer Behavior: A Critical Review. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(3), 287-300.
Sirgy, M. J., Grewal, D. & Mangleburg, T. (2000). Retail environment, self-congruity, and retail patronage: An integrative model and a research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 49, 127–138
The Self, Attitudes and Values (2012) The self in consumer behaviour online Available at: https://theseflattitudesvalues.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/the-self-in-consumer-behaviour-2/