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Super consumers lead the way

A NEW breed of big spending, influential super consumer has been identified, a breed representing 22 per cent of all Australians – and the Internet seems to be the easiest way to get to them.

Branded Super C or super constant consumers by the KPMG Centre for Consumer Behaviour, they invest more, watch more pay-TV, read more books, take more risks and spend more on luxuries – and 80 per cent of them are connected to the Internet.

Super C consumers may be male or female; income is not a determining factor and neither is age.

What sets them apart is their quest for quality experiences and products that meet their lifestyle aspirations.

It appears a company that meets this need and puts its message in the right place will draw a flood of these consumers. The Internet is a good place to start.

KPMG Centre for Consumer Behaviour research director Brent Taylor said the group researched products on the Internet more than other consumer groups but still bought the products in physical stores.

“This strongly indicates the Internet has a place supporting

physical retail – that retail and

consumer businesses need to develop Internet plans that are customised for Super C consumers.”

The Brand Agency managing director Ken James said while the Internet was being used for research, that would soon change.

“Soon more people will start to buy online but it will be a slow grind,” Mr James said.

He said this meant advertisers would have to change the way they spoke to the consumer.

“We’ll still be using mainstream media but the Internet is growing in importance,” Mr James said.

KPMG Centre for Consumer Behaviour director Ross Honeywill said, while electronic commerce was going to be important, it was not going to be an overwhelming occurrence for Super Cs.

“They will get their information in the virtual world but still want to touch, feel and talk in the actual,” Mr Honeywill said.

“Cars are a good example. They will narrow their choices online but still go and test drive their choice.”

Mr Honeywill said Super Cs were early adopters of technology but only because it made their lives easier.

“They’ve found the Internet a profoundly useful place to be. They do all of their banking, share trading and information gathering on it,” he said.

“They are looking for mobile phones, personal computers and organisers – anything that streamlines their lives.”

Mr Honeywill said the Super C consumer was well-represented across the income and age ranges.

“They love lists and reviews and they like taking risks,” he said.

“They are not this type of consumer because they are on the Internet. They are on the Internet because they are this type of consumer.”

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