In the midst of what is for most an extremely challenging consumer landscape, getting under the skin of your customer, their lifestyle, decision drivers, behaviours and what makes them tick is key to creating and maintaining a successful brand. Grouping consumers with shared characteristics is a crucial part of this process, as well as keeping tabs on how these groups inhabit your world and evolve over time. And after (shall we just say one hell of a year and leave it there?) it might not come as a surprise that the archetypal consumer categories have shifted since 2019.
But how exactly has COVID-19 has affected the consumer landscape?
We’ve got the lowdown from Euromonitor International’s annual report identifying the 11 consumer types you need to know, including what percentage they make up of the global population and insights around their path to purchase.
The new kids on the block: self-care aficionados 5%
The chaos of 2020 has brought a newcomer to the consumer scene and, unsurprisingly, health and wellbeing are their top priorities. They stay active, maintain a balanced diet, take vitamins and supplements and seek spirituality in the everyday. Not concerned with personal image, trends or material things, instead they spend their money on cultural experiences and products or services that improve physical and mental wellbeing.
Impulsive spenders 16%
Big on quality and low prices, these guys make up a sizeable chunk of the population. They value convenience and easy-to-use shopping experiences and are likely to be drawn in by a bargain, whether they’re buying from brands or own-label products. They favour convenience, clearly priced promotions and intuitive interfaces.
Minimalist seekers 13%
Simplicity, sustainability and local sourcing are what matters to these consumers. They want to do what’s right by the planet, their community and their wallets. They also take the time to research product quality and price which reduces their brand loyalty, meaning they have the potential to be ideal targets for new product innovations and brands.
Secure traditionalists 12%
A hard nut to crack, this consumer is usually older and not swayed by trends. While they rarely buy on impulse, making their in-store or user experience as simple and seamless as possible is likely to earn you brownie points.
Empowered activists 12%
Conscious about global issues and keen to use their purchasing power to affect change, this consumer backs brands that share their values. It’s a type that’s surged since last year. They particularly seek out brands with a powerful purpose and that have sustainability, welfare and charitable endeavours at their core. This consumer-type will see through hot air and unsubstantiated claims. They’ll be sure to check that brands practise what they preach by closely monitoring their actions and calling them out when they get it wrong.
Undaunted strivers 11%
This image-driven consumer isn’t fazed by splashing out to help them curate their perfect online image. They live for luxury products and are always on top of the latest trends. Undaunted strivers are digital savvy, integrating smart tech into their lives and increasingly placing value on social media, particularly in lieu of face-to-face interactions due to the pandemic.
Conservative homebodies 9%
As the name suggests, these are people who put their loved ones first and have little interest in material trends. Declining from 13% last year, brands may still be able to steal their attention away by creating memorable shopping experiences.
Digital enthusiasts 9%
On the rise by 6% from last year is the consumer type that takes tech seriously, whether it’s using online platforms for everyday tasks or staying hot on the tail of tech trends. Brands that create engaging digital experiences will stand the best chance of connecting with them.
Inspired adventurers 6%
Motivated to be the best version of themselves, inspired adventurers take their career, health, relationships and global issues seriously. They regularly invest in products they see as supporting physical and mental health, such as supplements and preventative healthcare interventions. Their actions and behaviours are strongly influenced by their life goals, but price and convenience are also powerful factors when purchasing.
Cautious planners 5%
Treading carefully by trawling through reviews or relying on tried-and-trusted past experiences, the cautious planner is conservative with money and saves for their future. To win them over, brands should consider publishing testimonials and independent reviews as well as creating unique shopping experiences.
Balanced optimists 3%
Striking the balance between enjoying their life in the here and now and planning for a bright future, this consumer is always in the pursuit of happiness for themselves and others. But they aren’t big spenders – it’s the little things that make them happy, like small treats and spending time with friends and family. Balanced optimists want quick and simple shopping experiences that give them more time to spend on what they love.
So how can you successfully harness these consumer types to ensure your 2021 brand strategy is a winning one?
The first step is identifying which of these types you should be speaking to in the first place. After all, the consumer insights that inform your brand are a huge part of your market positioning. It’s what sets the course for how your audience will perceive you in relation to your competitors, it’s what enables you to differentiate. At AgencyTK, we always seek to kick off branding projects with extensive customer research, using questionnaires, polls and interviews to understand the perceptions and drivers of both current and target customers. By grounding the brand strategy in real data rather than assumptions on the way in, we can be sure that the resulting creative not only looks good but gets results.
But after investing significant time and effort into your rebrand, we also believe in completing a final round of testing to ensure the strategy resonates with the intended consumer types. That’s why we created TestPilot, a final backstop that allows you to de-risk your investment before launch. From focus groups, to further questionnaires and interviews, user or A/B testing and mystery shopping, testing gives you the confidence your brand launch will be talked about for all the right reasons.
The beauty of testing is that it doesn’t have to be a blanket approach. You can use distinct methods to test different parts of your brand or campaign strategy with the different consumer types you’re looking to build long term relationships with. Not only do these consumer types interact with your brand in different places, the messages that connect with them will also be different, so it makes sense to segment your strategy and testing, as long as your overarching brand proposition and purpose is preserved.
Whether you’re starting from scratch, looking for evolution or revolution, or even just want to launch a new brand campaign, TestPilot is the smart way to ensure a smooth and successful liftoff.
To find out more about how you can harness consumer types or utilise testing to build a more successful brand strategy, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.