The rise of the Super Consumer

16 Dec

Female superhero flying

If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you’ll have noticed that your passive, trusting, free-spending customer has been replaced by a demanding, attention-deficient control-freak.

The new Super Consumer is also just as likely to be a woman as a man. The stay-at-home mom is as connected to the marketplace as the career-gal, and the old stereotypes are long out the window.

She wants you to play ball according to her rules and if you don’t, you can expect to hear about it before she vocally moves on to your competition.

What does she want from you?

She wants you to win her over. You will have to offer her value on two fronts: price and authority. By authority, I mean that you are the go-to product or service in your market or category. She is willing to pay more to have a better experience, but she still wants you to duke it out with your rivals over price. Think iPhone.

She wants a long-term relationship. She wants to know that after you’ve wooed her, you are going to repeatedly make her feel that she made a good choice. Or else she’ll say goodbye. Say hello to Customer Relationship Management.

She wants you to play nice. By that I mean she wants to know you are a forward thinking and ecological company. Increasingly, she will look for evidence of it. Given a parity in price and product, she will turn to values to make up her mind. What shape are your business values in?

She wants you to listen. The new Super Consumer is connected in a way that was simply unimaginable 5 years ago. She will talk about you and expects you to pay attention. She will make purchase decisions based on what she hears about you in online social spaces, and she will not be shy in sharing her own views about your performance. Or lack of it.

She wants to be in control. Your customer has had it with your one-way advertising messages and chest-thumping. She’s in charge here and tunes you out when you fail to recognize that. The ways she sees it, she is creating her own experience with your brand through a blending of technology, information and opportunity. And you had better keep up, bucko.

(Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo)


5 Responses to “The rise of the Super Consumer”

  1. Asmaa Methqal (@AsmaaMethqal) December 16, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Great post Doug! It summarizes “me” beautifully. My experience of this week proves it! I was looking for a new mattress and I can assure you that I was looking for a merchant who know their products inside and out, offer great prices and warranties, ready to create a long-term relationship and is active and give back to the community. After meeting with 3 merchants, I was very pleased with my experience with Sleep Country and especially “Les” and here I am bragging about it on social media! Bang on!

  2. Doug Brown December 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Maybe I was staring over my laptop at you when I wrote it? Actually I know a number of people, men and women, who fit the mold. Glad to hear you were a champion for Sleep Country’s good service online. Too often we just see just the crabby part of social media power.

  3. SMG June 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Point taken re how we often see the crabby part of social media power. I try to be positive on social media, preferring to find the good in businesses, and am happy to talk about the positive interactions and impressions. Yet sometimes, unfortunately, a customer has a negative interaction or experience. Do you have any tips for us super consumers, on the best way to voice our displeasure, without coming across as crabby?

    • Doug Brown June 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      SMG, I realize the job of handling crabby customers is not a fun one, so I remind myself of that. I know from talking to people in complaints departments (airlines by example) that they will bend over backwards to help a respectful customer, but will clamp down pretty quickly when the customer turns into a jerk. I still have never taken a personal gripe to social media platforms. I would have to be pretty much out of ideas before I would do that! Thanks for the comment.


  1. Will ad agencies be able to weather the mother of all storms? « Dougbrowncreative's Blog - June 24, 2012

    […] know the landscape has completely changed in the past 5 years and they are scrambling to adapt to a super-powered consumer. They could well turn around and build their own internal research departments, but they are […]

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