Life is Beautiful Releases 2016 Lineup & Tickets are on Sale!

By Sabra Morris, Content Director, RUHM Luxury Marketing

Let’s just get something out in the open right away: This is going to be another article about Millennials.

That’s because Millennials make up 25 percent of the U.S. population and represent $200 Billion in annual buying power.

But this article is going to be about Boomers, too, because they’re still buying things. AND, it’s about the group sandwiched in-between, the Gen-Xers. Because contrary to what Ethan Hawke’s most famous Gen-X character Troy Dyer might have conveyed in Reality Bites, Gen-Xers do buy shampoo. And lots of other things.

So actually, this article is really about all of the major consumer groups (even grandmas, grandpas, kids and teens)! But let’s get to shakin’ before we start sounding too much an Old Navy ad.

The New Consumer

There’s a growing theory out there that does away with generational classifications in order to divide the world’s discretionary spenders into two main groups: Neo consumers and Traditionals. This theory, developed by academic researcher Dr. Ross Honeywill, posits that most Americans (and some Canadians) with money to burn make purchasing decisions based on two sets of distinct behavior and thought patterns.

Here’s a brilliant little video explaining the new consumer.: click here.

The Rise of the “Neo”

According to Honeywill, Neo consumers are motivated to buy when they are offered the extraordinary: A novel experience few others are offered or an object with a story behind it — a sense of provenance (think: artisan bread from a small bakery, a microbrewed beer or locally-grown tomatoes from the farmer’s market).

Remember that Portlandia skit where Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are belaboring the life history, thoughts and feelings of the chicken they’re about to order for dinner? They might not have identified the skit as such, but they were definitely spoofing Neos.

Turns out, though, the buying power of the Neo consumer is no laughing matter: It’s actually serious business. According to Honeywill, 93 percent of Neo consumers are “Big Spenders”: Individuals identified to be in the top third of discretionary spenders in the economy. Neos and “Evolvers” (those set to become Neos) also make up a quarter of the North American population and are responsible for 77 percent of consumer spending and most of the profits businesses make.

Continue reading the article here.