Consumers, customers, shoppers, tribes, personas, or just plain people; whatever you call them, as a marketeer or a brand owner, you need a good understanding of those who will potentially purchase your products.
If you understand what they like, you can get them to like you. If you understand why they choose one brand over another, maybe you can get them to choose you. Understand how they use social, and your brand could be ready for its Instagram close-up.
It all sounds so simple.
But the truth is, everyone is unique, meaning individual thoughts, desires and attitudes change all the time.
All too often, marketeers bucket their target audience under generic terms like Millennial or Gen Z, or they give their consumer a name - ‘meet Dave’. But these sweeping generalisations push your understanding to extremes or averages. As people are more nuanced than that, building a picture of who your brand is for involves getting to know them fully - contextually and personally - from a mindset and behaviour point of view.
So, with this in mind, we thought we’d share three interesting ‘tribes’ we’ve noticed in recent projects.
1. Untethered Luxurians
We know that the luxury consumer is always evolving. The newest cohort are rejecting ostentatious displays of wealth and materialistic lifestyles, replacing them with an untethered, free lifestyle.
A lifestyle where personal transformation, exploration and learning are experienced through adventurous travel, switching off and wellness.
Although this doesn’t apply to all luxury consumers, it is a general trend that is becoming more common; at least 77% of luxury consumers are making fewer, but more meaningful purchases (YouGov Affluent Perspective Survey).
This has partly been made possible through remote and flexible working - 53% of people work remotely for at least half the week, according to the International Workplace Group.
First coined by LSN Global, Unthethered Luxurians are a sign of an emerging luxury consumer. And here’s what you need to know…
They’re Switched Off
One of today’s biggest status symbols is being able to switch off from the constant digital world around us.
Whilst the rest of the world clambers for attention on social media this tribe chooses to opt-out of digital responsibility and be happy in themselves.
Technology is still common, but it’s used on their terms for building offline communities or establishing contacts in new areas they’d like to learn about.
After visiting all the major cities and having grown tired of luxury holidays, Untethered Luxurians crave a more meaningful adventure.
According to Ipsos, 65% of affluent Americans prefer destinations that are off the beaten track. This tribe travels for learning, self-realisation and fleeting moments of human connection.
They view opportunities to learn from everything the world has to offer as some of life’s greatest luxuries. They couple this with their abilities to help the world. Sustainability is a key factor in their decision making, so carbon offsetting flights, for example, is common.
Due to overcrowding, stressful lifestyles and pollution, more and more luxury consumers are quitting the city for a quieter life in more rural areas. Unthethered Luxurians want a simpler, stress-free life.
Karen Rosenkranz, author of ‘City Quitters’, told LS:N Global, ‘Most importantly, the desire to connect with nature has become even more urgent and precious. People are looking to live in more harmonious ways.’
New York, for example, reportedly lost £6.9bn ($8.4bn, €7.5bn) to other states in 2016 because wealthier residents have moved to cities such as Tampa and Nashville (source: New York Post).
One brand winning with this audience:
Rimowa, the luxury suitcase brand now owned by LVMH, understands this mindset. The brand cleverly taps into the learnings and experiences of travel.
Their latest campaign followed a group of famous like-minded travellers including Adoah Aboah, Roger Federer and Kim Jones.
These are people who have embarked on ambitious, lifelong journeys, and who happen to be authentic RIMOWA customers. Despite the differences between each of these personal stories, there’s a shared belief that mastery is a never-ending process, and that travel is a powerful vehicle to make a positive mark in the world.
2. Health Hackers
With the wellness market booming, health conscious consumers are increasingly taking health into their own hands through nutrition, supplements, exercise and mindfulness.
‘Health hackers’ take a holistic approach to wellness and aim to live as optimised a life as possible, both physically and mentally. And there’s an increasing number of brands catering to their specific, personalised needs.
Here’s what you need to know…
Health Hackers love Nootropics, dietary supplements intended to enhance cognitive ability and manage stress.
They want to optimise their brain for every situation, to enhance attention, mood, creativity and motivation. However, they expect brands to provide clarity and certification around efficacy claims; particularly where natural ingredients are used.
Memory-enhancing supplements are the most common. They will continue to drive sector demand in the years ahead.
The wearables trend is nothing new, everyone uses smart watches and AirPods for example. But, health hackers are increasingly using them to monitor their health.
They can track and be notified when they need more or less of something, whether it be exercise, nutrition or sleep.
They are also relaying this information back to doctors and insurers to enable them to feedback on performance and offer rewards.
Personalised Meals & Medicine
Personalisation has long been a surefire way to secure customer loyalty, and now we’re beginning to see it in the health food & drink industries.
Our health hackers want access to food & drinks that are personalised to their specific dietary requirements. 55% of consumers see their primary grocery store as an ally in their wellness efforts (Food Marketing Institute’s 2018 US Grocery Shopper Trends report).
They also want personalised medicine or ‘precision treatment’ to help relieve the negative side effects that some generic medicine can have.
One brand winning with this audience:
Kroger supermarkets in the US have developed an app that automatically synchronises with loyalty card data and makes recommendations based on products that users have bought previously.
These recommendations aim to help customers make healthier choices on a product-by-product basis.
3. Generation We
Get beyond the generic badging of the emerging youth that is Gen Z, and you identify some really interesting micro tribes.
One such tribe has a leader with a cause - sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg. A protagonist for social, political and environmental change, she epitomises a tribe of young people who care deeply about doing good.
Coined as Generation We by trend platform WGSN, this tribe are united by a togetherness, solidarity and responsibility to progress and solve some of the big issues that young people are facing head on.
Three things you need to know…
They care deeply about doing good and expect brands to do the same.
They are at the forefront of a conversation about righting humanity’s wrongs.
And so they do not trust the brand and institutions responsible for issues like the environment or wider social issues. This has a massive effect on their purchase decisions.
Self-expression comes very feeling-focussed. Caring is the new cool.
They accept themselves as who they are and are not afraid to expose their imperfections and vulnerabilities to the world.
It’s their way of empowering others – fighting stigmas together to bring about change. Compassion is in their DNA and caring is the new cool.
They’re pro-active and entrepreneurial.
They dream big but, more importantly, they get things done. They have an emphasis on carving out the right path and finding resourceful and entrepreneurial ways to support themselves.
One brand winning with this audience:
Fast fashion’s environmental impact is up there with oil and gas. But depop are fighting back with its clothing resale platform.
Very neatly tapping into its core audience’s entrepreneurial spirit and rising desire to reduce and reuse the clothes they wear, depop enables thousands of young people to sell second-hand goods.
SEEN. has been compiled by LOVE's Culture & Strategy team. Want to say hello, ask questions or question their cultural knowledge? Throw an email over to email@example.com. Or you can find LOVE in all the usual places: