The Profiler

Label Me

In which categories do your customers fall?

Based on the findings from its recent MONITOR MindBase study, which lasted from 1997 to 2000, Yankelovich Partners Inc. has compiled an extensive database of American consumer categories designed to help entrepreneurs analyze how their customers think and why they buy. Broken down into eight Core Value Groups and 32 subgroups, the study offers new insight into the diversity of today's American consumers. Following is a complete list of the categories:

Up & Comers (16 percent): Ambitious, upbeat Gen X nonparents who tend to be self-focused and interested in fun and adventure. They're trendy and fashion-conscious, extremely active, concerned about health and staying in shape, and are extremely enthusiastic about technology. They describe themselves as creative, intelligent, self-confident and funny.

Go Getters-Tend to be a little older and more established than younger households.
New Visionaries-Focused on getting ahead. They're innovative, daring and competitive.
Nouveau Nesters-Live for today and don't worry about the future.
Wired Ones-Mostly young, active single males with an affinity for technology.

Young Materialists (8 percent): Aggressive, confident Gen X nonparents striving for material success. They're not concerned about living within their financial means but find more value in money and success. However, they feel success is obtained by "beating the system" rather than by hard work. Style is important as a status symbol and a measure of their success, but they're unconcerned with personal health. They describe themselves as funny, adventurous and attractive.

Fast Forward-Students aspiring for the good life. Obsessed with style and status.
Rhythm and Youth-Just trying to make ends meet. They're stressed and overloaded with information. Not planning for the future.
Unplugged-Mostly males who want the better things in life, but haven't planned how to achieve them yet.

Stressed by Life (12 percent): Young, single moms who are family-oriented, but who need an escape from their overloaded lives. They describe themselves as worrywarts and have a strong need to focus on their own spiritual and personal health. They believe in the power of technology but are cynical about what progress it may bring.

Mixed in Reality-Just getting by, these single moms try to do the best they can for their families. They live in ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
Pragmatic Idealists-While balancing child care and personal needs, they still look for fun and excitement.
Rainbow Seekers-Despite limited resources, they feel optimistic and strive to improve themselves and build a better life.

New Traditionalists (14 percent): Conservative, upscale, married boomer parents concerned about self-development, maintaining health, managing time and creating a positive environment for their children. They're open-minded, well-educated and ambitious, but not interested in acquiring material possessions. Success, to them, comes from a good marriage and pride in their children. They're very involved in their financial management and would like to reduce some debt and live within their means.

Overbooked Moms-Juggle many tasks and activities. Despite planning, often have to improvise.
Players-Active and involved, they accomplish a lot with relatively little stress.
All-Americans-In control of their lives, these slightly older families are successfully accomplishing their active family goals.
Balanced Breadwinners-Family-focused, but sacrifice some personal opportunities for the rest of the family.
Band Leaders-Value-focused young families with many activities out of the home.

Family Limited (14 percent): Ethnically diverse, blue-collar boomer parents exclusively focused on family. They're not involved in their communities and aren't socially concerned or open to new ideas. They aren't interested in self-exploration or social relationships with friends and are very concerned about their financial well-being, although they don't enjoy managing their money. They have little need for new technology and are unconcerned about personal health.

Fledgling Families-Younger families that put family first. Somewhat overextended financially.
Mainstreamers-So focused on the family that they have no real interest in or connection to the outside world.
Ships in the Harbor-Generally happy and content with their families, but cautious in their world views.
Homebodies-They hide behind the family, using them as a retreat from the harsh world.

Detached Introverts (9 percent): Single (many divorced) boomers who isolate themselves either by choice or technology. They spend most of their time at work and a lot of time surfing the Net. They do not consider themselves family- or community-oriented and have little interest in those around them. Unconcerned about their personal health, they experience little stress and don't feel the need for more pleasure in their lives.

Hermits-Although well-educated, they appear somewhat aimless and drift along passively.
Live Wires-Unsociable and success-driven with few outside interests.
Internet Introverts-Inactive, middle-aged men with low self-images despite higher incomes.
Loners-Wish for the finer things in life, yet are averse to technology. Suspicious and have constrained resources. Preservationists-Focused on financial success and money management. Conservative planners.

Renaissance Elders (11 percent): Family- and community-oriented older individuals with a generally positive outlook on life. Most are empty nesters concerned about future health, managing their money and planning for the future. They're financially comfortable, as many have started their own businesses and had good incomes. They try to live within their means and view themselves as practical and responsible.

Satisfied Seniors-Continue to be vital and involved in their communities, but home and family come first.
Prime Timers-Reaping the benefits of a well-managed life. Highly successful, older households.
Self-discovering Nesters-Still involved in adventurous activities and personal growth.

Retired from Life (16 percent): Older adults, many empty nesters, who are relatively removed from modern life. They see themselves as old-fashioned and neighborly and have little need for novelty, adventure, style or material goods.

Calm Retireds-Well-educated, active, involved households capable of managing their retirement well.
Carefree Traditionals-Spiritual and conservative. Home- and family-focused to the exclusion of all else. Distrustful of the outside world.
Comfortable Twilighters-Comfortable and secure empty nesters that stay connected with the world. Upholders of traditional values.
Complacent Seniors-Skeptical of modern innovations and overwhelmed by information. Overburdened by the world.
Rooted-Conservative and home-focused. Stay connected to the world by reading the news.


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Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the January 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Profiler.

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