If you are confused about our country's social and cultural division, this will be a good read. If you are responsible for selling something to somebody, this will be critical to your future.
According to demographer Paul Ray, there are three basic kinds of buyers in America today. Your advertising copy and sales approach must be tailored to one of these prototypes or you will be throwing your company's money into the wind.
Heartlanders are traditionalists who wished life were more like the fifties when Dwight Eisenhower was our president. Everyone had a job and a nice little house. Everyone was mostly the same. Nobody thought out of the box. God, family and predictability were all that really mattered. Groups were close knit. Heartlanders remain this way...distrustful, guarded and rural. Many people in the Upper Midwest and the South are like this. Otherness is not a virtue. "Return to what you really understand" is a popular message. The focus is putting in a good day's work and thinking about the good old days. Never trust big business or any large, nameless organization that could be pulling all the strings. Buy lots of insurance.
Modernists are prominent in our society. They are go-getters focused on financial success. They like to work in office buildings of glass and steel with minimalist design. They are the backbone of business growth and rely on their five senses to tell them if life is going well. Think engineers-plus-salespeople-plus-acquisitions-and-mergers. They do not get involved with charities or volunteerism. Bigger and better is the main idea. They see life as "I-win-you-lose." They have a fear of being left behind. The tireless entrepreneurial individual (think Richard Branson or Elon Musk) is the ideal. Globalism, the future and the technology that will 'get us there' is everything. Progress matters most, no matter what gets sacrificed along the way.
UrbaNaturals™ used to be called 'Trans-Moderns' or Cultural Creatives. They comprise 38% of all people in the US (50 million). UrbaNaturals cobble together elements from both the Heartlander and Modernist worldviews to create a completely unique perspective and lifestyle built around meaning, relationships, mindfulness, identity, feminism, creativity and self actualization, even including spiritual psychology and esoteric mysteries. They have careers, but are not obsessed about money or even success in the conventional sense. "Becoming the best person they can be" is a prominent lifestyle theme. They prefer eclectic, personal design in their homes and offices, often mixing and matching synthetic with organic materials. Furnishings often blend industrial metal and primal wood. High contrast is the design key. But UrbaNaturals' passion is revitalizing communities and using environmentally correct ways to live. UrbaNaturals disdain violence and believe we - including Mother Nature - are all connected. Think of the Beatles' song from the sixties: "Come together...right now..." The whole idea is happiness and fulfilling one's destiny through others. As Emerson said, "Live and work consciously, not mechanically." Don't react....respond.
All marketers (and employee recruiters) must understand these three types of workers and customers. A conscious decision is required as to whether your employee culture or your customer development tactics are emphasizing the 'right' values and the right benefits. If you choose a higher purpose around which to rebuild your organization, it has to fit the mentality of most of your customers and employees.
From advertising to selling to recruiting and training, you'll be surprised at how important these classifications and lifestyle descriptions really are.
For more information about UrbaNatural™ people, places and things, contact the author, Lynn Hinderaker. 402-208-5519 / firstname.lastname@example.org. Seminars and keynotes are available.