In our first State of the Consumer 2023 blog, we showed you how going beyond demographics is the key to success this year. We explored how just looking at things like HHI and age can steer you wrong. In this post, we show you how to go beyond the basics and help you understand the largest segment of today’s consumer.
Despite what we often read in headlines, Americans have quite a bit in common. Take the second largest segment of consumers in 2023 – the Cautiously Optimistic – who we revealed when we went beyond surface-level data – gender, HHI, age, etc. – in our annual State of the Consumer report. This group is so large that it includes three distinct subsegments.
Meet the Cautiously Optimistic Consumer
At a high level, the Cautiously Optimistic US consumer is in a state of constant moderate worry, or, as we prefer to call it, a state of “semi-optimism.” They are tepid about most things and are riding the waves of change as best as they can (probably sounds familiar, since most of us have been riding those waves of change alongside them).
If your brand or agency relies on 1st-party data or demographics alone, you wouldn’t see the real consumer in this segment. But, by diving into continuously updated data that includes thousands of insights into the who, what, where, when and how behind consumer decisions, you see them in full color.
To find the Cautiously Optimistic Consumer, which we highlighted in our State of the Consumer (SOTC) 2023 report, we leveraged our proprietary, cutting-edge data to segment today’s consumer base into unique audiences according to their level of sustained financial and health-related concerns. We combined core attributes, like demographics and psychographics, with the values that drive them to choose, support or protest to reveal the motivations that inspire their loyalty or abandonment of a brand.
Importantly, it’s these personal values that help determine what informs a person’s innermost decisions because they are cross-culturally stable, won’t change over time and have been proven to be consistent with purchase outcomes. These values are the why that develops unbreakable consumer relationships and sparks true love of brand.
Uncover the Human Element in Your Data
When you look at the consumer from this viewpoint – as a whole human – you can drive better, more personalized marketing that accelerates growth. So, let’s get to know 2023’s Cautiously Optimistic Consumer While they share a set of common personal values and motivations behind their decisions to buy, choose, support or abandon a brand or cause, a deeper look shows that this “Moderate Middle” has important differences that will inform how you attract, engage and persuade them.
Let’s start with what they have in common. We already know that they are tepid about things. That may lead to their reliance on their previous experience for purchases. This group also is more likely to buy products that are familiar to them. What does this mean for you? If you know you have some of these consumers in your audience (hint: you do), you have the opportunity to build loyalty and upsell them.
These folks also need a bit of a self-esteem boost, so they seek out products that are good-looking, as well as products that are healthy and grow their well-being. On the other hand, they aren’t as worried about the purchase being one-of-a-kind or energy efficient.
There’s More to Reveal in the State of the Consumer 2023
But, as we mentioned, these overarching similarities are only on the surface. In our next three posts, we will take an even deeper dive into the Cautiously Optimistic Consumer to see who they are and what they value.
We will meet Exciting Eric who – you guessed it – values living an exciting life; Optimistic Olivia, who values the freedom to determine her own actions; and Trustworthy Thomas, who values being reliable and obeying the law.
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