The 4 Consumer Types You Must Know Before You Write Copy

February 2, 2019 | Sean Foo

 

What if I told you every customer for every single business can be filtered down to a select few consumer types.

According to Young & Rubicam’s Cross-Cultural Consumer Characterization, every single shopper (including you) fits nicely into seven categories relating to their unique needs.

But as business owners and entrepreneurs looking to change the world, what types of customers will we be marketing to on a daily basis?

From that yummy one dollar Snickers bar to a shiny Rolex watch with a $10,000 price tag, knowing their motivations is important in ensuring your marketing efforts targets them with killer effect and get those conversions you desire!

Just imagine seeing an advertisement of five teenagers giggling in the corner playing around with a Rolex watch…

or

A Snickers bar on a dashboard of a high-performance sports car as it zooms past the highway towards the sunset.

Sounds ridiculous right?

The same thing applies to copywriting. If you fully understand these 4 consumer types, you will start crafting high converting copy like a wizard because:

You understand their inner values and what motivates them in life.

You understand how to effectively communicate with them in a manner that will get their full attention and interest.

You will know how to create and structure the content to make sure every line convinces them both emotionally and logically.

This post will guide you through fully the 4 consumer types out there in this big wide world. Unless you are selling a product to Martians, this is one post to bookmark!

 

Type 1: Mainstreamers – They seek security

The majority of people in this world are mainstreamers, in fact, more than half of the people I know in life belong to this category.

Mainstreamers seek to blend in with the rest of the crowd. They are conventional people and are largely conformist in society.

If you have a friend who constantly obeys rules, avoids confrontation and lives a rather habitual and routine life while being happy and contented, chances are they are mainstreamers.

Now, every one of us has a little of the mainstream in our blood. From being price conscious to avoiding debt and saving money for our children’s future, knowing how to target these values gives a marketer great power to persuade and sway our opinions.

How To Communicate With Mainstreamers

When you are crafting your copy (that includes images and videos), here are 4 points you can use to communicate with them more effectively.

1. Utilize emotion in your copy. Draw connections between family, friends, and relationships. If you are using pictures or videos, don’t show people alone. Focus on easy-going groups having fun.

2. Use more impressions and images with a focus on being bright, cheerful, neat and tidy.

3. Zoom in on safe and simple ideas layered with a good sense of humor. Do not complex things.

4. Your copy and images should give them a sense of familiarity and reassure them of the stability in life they crave. Definitely be up to date, but not too innovative.
 

Your Sales Copy Should Reflect:

Trust and reliance on the product and show the service is value for money.

A lot of social proof (from celebrities to ordinary customers).

Family and kids while playing on heartstring-tugging themes.
 

If I were marketing an investment product targeting mainstreamers, how would I angle the copy?

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Let’s have another example, this time a commercial ad halfway around the world

Take a look at this Coca-cola ad in Bangladesh.

Coca-cola uses the theme of family gatherings and happiness to really push the marketing of their ads.

Oh and if you didn’t notice it by now, these 7 consumer types transcends borders and cultures.

This is key when it comes to online marketing, creating a successful marketing campaign that works in the USA will likely work in Britain or India or Singapore.

Strong copy that targets the right consumer type works universally.

 

Type 2: Aspirers – They are chasing status

Have you ever wondered why so many entrepreneurship courses either feature an ad filled with fast cars and beautiful girls or an entrepreneur on an island resort lying down on a hammock working on this laptop?

Because it just works. They are targeting the ‘aspirer’ type of consumers.

These are people that are more materialistic with the deep desire for people to perceive them well. They desire the next acquisition to keep up with their peers.

Everything they own or do have a value in defining the image they want to project and that includes the items they own, the experience they seek and the places they went.

If you know someone who comes back from a holiday and brags about their trip to Europe while flaunting a new luxury watch, chances are your friend belongs to the aspirer consumer type.

Keywords to describe this type of consumers include Successful, Rich, Popular, Attractive.

How To Communicate With Aspirers

When seeking to communicate with aspirers it is good to keep these 3 points at hand:

1. Showcase of visual gloss or ‘bling’ that include wealth, money, cars, beautiful women, holidays at exotic locations.

2. Seek to transport them to a fantasy world of status and the benefits of such status (recognition, fame, and adoration)

3. Understand that underneath their surface is a sense of unsureness. Lead them in their search with formulas and frameworks.
 

Your Sales Copy Should:

Contain sparkle, shine, and charisma. Aspirers seek to be impressed so using social proof and testimonials to create a sense of jealousy that triggers them to act.

Become a reference point in helping them define a person image. (You can easily do that with create an avatar and walking them a before-and-after story of the person they look up to.)

Most importantly show them a better version of themselves if they take action.
 

Now the Facebook ad below is a perfect example of a business that targets aspirers looking to build their own business to join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs.

 

This ad works on many levels.

From the picture that shows a beautiful lady entrepreneur working on a hammock on a backdrop of island resort – I don’t think anyone could take a better shot that speaks to aspirers!

The headline ‘You Deserve To Create A Life and Business You Love’ appeals to the pursuit of an image and lifestyle that means the world to an aspirer.

And finally, the ad leads them to a framework, a video series that guides them to the promised land: success and freedom.

 

Type 3: The Succeeder – They value control, they are captains of their own destiny 

If you observe the personalities of CEOs, business owners, successful real estate agents and people in sales, you realize they all share a string of values.

A need for control tied together with a firm understanding of the value of time. These are the type of people who feel right at home in the boardroom and the world of competition is just a walk in the park for them.

These are your achievers that are self-motivated to meet any challenge and turn it into an achievement. Self-confidence is a strong part of their personality and they place emphasis on logic as much as emotions.

A succeeder identifies with self-reward, self-affirmation, and concepts that endure (A watch with a 100-year-old heritage will appeal more to them than an Apple Watch.)

Think of luxury brands from high-end watches (Philippe Patek to IWC) to Email productivity SaaS products that target business owners & entrepreneurs.

While it seems they are selling vastly different products, the way they communicate is rather similar.

How To Communicate With Succeeders

While it isn’t always easy to reach this group of people, it is good to note that these consumer class takes action and buys quickly once convinced.

To convince them, having the following pointers below will help tip the scales in your favor:

Visual Style: While your content might be complex, the presentation has to be tidy and ordered.

Succeeders love to see diagrams of how the product or service works. They want to see your process.

Showcase scenarios of your product or service in use. Succeeders are keen to understand the possibilities of ways forward.

Do you have testimonials & social proof? This group of consumers wants evidence of claims and will study them thoroughly.

If you are selling a business solution, they prefer useful and practical solutions with tangible results.

Not the easiest group to communicate with eh?

So how should you tailor your message and sales copy?

 

Your Sales Copy Should Showcase:

A sense of progress. Succeeders derive pleasure not just from the end goal, but the process as well.

Power elements including leadership and performance and freedom.

Elements of endurance and stability. (For example; long matured spirits, authentic craftsmanship, lessons from a master of his craft)
 

Luxury watches are a great example of a product and industry that is heavily fine-tuned to target the succeeders in society.

Take for example the website of the luxury watch brand Breitling.

“Trained in the tough school of aviation, a domain where safety is of vital importance, Breitling displays the same obsession with quality in all its 100% Swiss made ‘instruments for professionals”.

Notice the copy linked the performance and quality of Breitling watches to the tough world of aviators and flying. It perfectly ties the quality of their product to elements of endurance and stability, something all succeeders look for when buying a product for themselves.

It is a mark of prestige and a concept of sheer detail and quality that puts the product (and by extension, themselves) above the masses.

Now if you are selling a Saas product (software as a service) and you are targeting business owners and successful entrepreneurs, how would you communicate with them in the copy?

Let’s take a great example of a product most online marketers will know and see how to angle their marketing towards business owners.

Apart from the strong copy, MailChimp decided to show an interactive example and diagram of how their service works.

 

This is key when trying to market to succeeders such as entrepreneurs. Your reader will want to know how your product works, so give them a quick preview!

 

Type 4: The Explorer – They seek experiences, risks and discovery

Ever known someone who loves to try something new and out of their comfort zone?

From a new sport to traveling the world to new musical styles, these people seem to value having new experiences to be valuable compared to accomplishment or staying safe and secure.

Welcome to the explorer consumer type.

These mavericks have a spirit of disregarding the rules and codes and respond more to the spur of the moment while actively seeking the new, unusual and the unconventional.

If there is a simple term to describe them it’s YOLO! (You only live once)

How To Communicate With Explorers?

In the product adoption curve, these are your early adopters. These are your consumers that will willingly buy your new gaming console even though there might be some bugs.

Techies that rush to buy the first virtual reality headset also belongs to this group.

To reach out to them, remember that:

1. Do not advertise in a conventional & stereotyped ways

2. A crazy logic and surreal presentation will appeal more to them

3. They are tribal, they identify with other fellow explorers. So consider marketing that involves groups.
 

Your Sales Copy Should:

Have your own voice and opinion. Time to drop the political correctness.

Be daring, have attitudes that don’t compromise.

– Showcase innovation and intelligence.

Now, what would be a near perfect sales copy that would spur an explorer to take action?

Let’s take a page directly out of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

It’s big, it’s bold and it’s badass.

Harley-Davidson stays true to their brand spirit and their target market: Explorers & Risk-takers.

The copy here is meant only for their target reader, a risk taker, an adrenaline seeker looking for the next adventure.

While it is important to showcase the benefits of your solution or your product, going the extra mile and getting into your customers’ minds is key to consistent marketing success.

Know these 4 consumer type and you get to angle your sales copy in the right direction to maximize conversions.

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