While there has been a surge in interest in a demographic known as 'Aspiring Consumers', much of this attention has focused on political views rather than purchase preferences, according to research by data management firm Prospect Swetenhams and financial broker Horizon Finance, which has identified purchasing and marketing preferences for this growing consumer group.
Johanna Higgleton, data sales manager for Prospect Swetenhams, reported that the study revealed a growing group of consumers who, despite struggling to make ends meet, have strong family values and a real desire to give their families the best they can afford - even if it means shopping around for the best deals for necessities such as groceries, telecoms and even utilities.
Aspiring to the best
According to the survey, 'Aspirers' are heavily influenced by trends in the media and direct marketing, and are drawn to major established brands - especially those endorsed by celebrities.
Although they are more likely than other consumers to live in social housing and may have debts, they still aspire to the best, often using credit to fund the purchase of aspirational brands. They will look for value for money, but still prefer well known brands when doing their supermarket shopping.
Deal hunters, too
However, they are also likely to be great users of coupons and money off vouchers, and to be open to deals on such things as their household electricity supply, mobile phones, and home entertainments. Many also enjoy competitions and gambling.
According to Emma Laffey, marketing manager for Horizon Finance, "Although cost-restricted, this is a group of consumers who will spend money on things they view as being important - which is usually the latest 'must have'. Their aspirations are toward the celebrity endorsed world of glamour and media success, and they'll pay for that by being thrifty elsewhere in their lives."
A breed of loyal defectors?
This, Laffey concluded, means that Aspirers tend to be particularly open to offers related to general household expenditure, and are very likely to be 'switchers' when it comes to things they see as "boring" (for example, choice of utility provider).
But they also tend to be open to competitions, lotteries, and other prize-led marketing campaigns. At the same time, the family is extremely important and their children always come first, even if this means putting aside their own needs to ensure they get the best clothes and games.