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The age of the NEO is upon us

THOSE of us looking for a new pigeonhole to fit into, or even those with Matrix fantasies, may find the behaviour of the ‘NEOs’ fits the bill. NEOs make up a newly identified consumer group that’s being described as a conventional marketer’s worst nightmare. They represent 24 per cent of the population yet drive a massive 54 per cent of all discretionary spending. A NEO will happily spend in any economic climate, as long as the purchase aligns with their lifestyle aims and values. Consumer behaviourist Ross Honeywill and social scientist Verity Blyth spent six years surveying 50,000 consumers, analysing their psychology and spending patterns to identify this new consumer profile. In their new book, Neo Power: how the new economic order is changing the way we live, work and play, Honeywill and Blyth provide insight on the profile and behaviours of two main consumer groups – the NEOs, and their price driven, bargain-loving counterparts the Traditionals – and offer the business world a new way of identifying and reaching this new consumer force. Gone are the days when marketers could predict spending patterns by demographic indicators – where people live, their age or income. Traditional labels like Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomer and AB are outmoded, according to the authors, when it comes to modern marketers attracting and unlocking customer dollars. The book will be released in October by Scribe Publications.

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