10 Consumer Types (With Tips On How To Connect With Them)

Updated 3 September 2023

Businesses can appeal to different types of consumers to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. Brands may consider factors like a consumer's preferences, budget, needs and emotions when trying to sell their products or services. Understanding the different types of consumers can help you optimise marketing efforts and appeal to individuals who are likely to complete purchases. In this article, we define 10 consumer types and provide tips on how to connect with different consumers.

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10 Consumer Types

A consumer is a customer who buys services or products that they use for personal reasons, and there are many consumer types. Here are 10 types of consumers that a brand may encounter as it tries to sell its products and services:

1. Commercial consumers

Commercial consumers are most often wholesalers or distributors. Once they purchase products in large quantities, they sell them individually to other types of consumers. It may be challenging to acquire commercial consumers as many of them tend to purchase from large and well-established brands. If a company can convince commercial consumers of the value of its products, it can be highly valuable for the organisation. A company can generate significant profits and sell many products without needing to dedicate a lot of resources to conducting marketing efforts when they sell to this type of consumer.

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2. Conscientious consumers

Conscientious consumers are highly aware of the purchases they make and how they impact the society in which they live. They may not worry about a product or service's price if they can see that it is beneficial to them and the people around them. For example, a company that produces environmentally friendly lawn fertiliser may be able to market its offerings to a conscientious consumer. This type of consumer may be willing to pay a higher price for the environmentally friendly version of the fertiliser because it contains ingredients that are less damaging to natural habitats and water sources.

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3. Discretionary spending consumers

Discretionary spending consumers have extra money to spend on products that they do not necessarily need. They make a lot of their purchase decisions based on their wants and preferences. They may decide to make a purchase depending on what their peers are doing and to remain current with social trends. These consumers tend to earn high incomes. They may also be younger individuals who receive financial support from their parents or families. Companies that sell electronic devices and designer clothing often experience success when appealing to discretionary spending consumers.

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4. Discount consumers

Discount consumers are customers who are often searching for discounts. They may be more likely to purchase products and services when they are on sale. A company can gain a discount consumer by offering a special promotion to new customers. A brand can retain this kind of consumer by offering regular coupons or hosting brand-wide sales, like a 10% off sale on the first day of each month. Direct email marketing and social media management are effective ways to communicate these sales and promotions to discount consumers.

As a brand representative, it is important to not sacrifice quality when offering discounts to consumers. If a brand chooses to appeal to consumers by offering lower overall prices than its competitors, the brand can take measures to uphold the product's quality. For instance, it may find ways to purchase the products in bulk and acquire them at lower prices so that it can easily charge consumers less per item.

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5. Spontaneous consumers

Spontaneous consumers, who brands may also refer to as impulsive consumers, make purchases without forethought. They make their purchase decisions mainly because of emotions that they experience in the moment rather than because of careful thought. A brand can appeal to spontaneous consumers by investing in powerful marketing materials that evoke emotions like happiness, amusement and pride. It may also attempt to appeal to more negative emotions, like guilt or fear, so that spontaneous consumers can feel an overwhelming motivation to purchase a product or solution to resolve these intense emotions.

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6. Loyal consumers

Loyal consumers commit to one brand for a specific product or service. They become loyal consumers because of a satisfactory first interaction with a brand. Loyal consumers are valuable to a business, as they facilitate repeat purchases. They may also recommend the brand to their families, friends and peers. This means that they market on the brand's behalf without the brand spending a lot of money on advertising. Large corporations and small businesses alike can acquire loyal consumers who contribute to their long-term operating success.

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7. Need-based consumers

Need-based consumers make purchase decisions to satisfy their needs. The needs that these consumers seek fulfilment for may include legal, practical or financial needs. A consumer may choose to spend a lot of money or a little money to fulfil their need, but it depends on the consumer's preferences and unique circumstances.

For example, a consumer may choose to spend more money on a one-year-long meal kit subscription service so that they can prepare meals for their family without much preparation each weeknight. Another consumer may choose to only purchase a one-month-long subscription to the same service so that their family can make meals during a particularly busy time of year. The consumer who spends less money on the one-month-long subscription chooses to fulfil a more immediate need, while the consumer who spends more money on the longer subscription seeks a long-term solution.

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8. Open consumers

Open consumers often search for innovative products that improve their everyday routines. They tend to appreciate creativity and originality, so brands that offer unique products are successful in marketing to these consumers. A brand may choose to complete highly focused research to find a suitable target audience, as not all consumers are open to new ideas. Open consumers contrast with closed consumers who prefer to purchase products with which they are familiar.

9. Seasonal consumers

Seasonal consumers purchase certain kinds of products during specific times of the year. For example, seasonal consumers may purchase swimwear during warmer months. They may also purchase holiday decor while the relevant holidays are occurring. Brands that cater to seasonal consumers typically plan for an influx of purchases during high-volume periods, and they can benefit from changing their offerings as different periods occur so that they do not have slow periods of reduced revenue.

10. Extroverted consumers

Extroverted consumers are social individuals who enjoy a lot of human interaction when they are deciding what purchases to make. They require more personalisation than the average customer, so it can be beneficial to employ floor sales representatives to talk with extroverted consumers about their needs and preferences. A brand may also benefit from organising product demonstrations so that extroverted consumers can learn more about an offering in an interactive manner.

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Tips For Connecting With Different Types Of Consumers

Here are some tips to implement as you try to connect with different types of consumers:

  • Understand that there is not a single universal marketing approach. All consumers are different, and it is likely that each individual consumer does not belong to just one category. For instance, a need-based consumer may also be a discount consumer who attempts to search for the best deal.

  • Use marketing automation to increase engagement. A brand can implement marketing automation software to send personalised messages to customers and produce targeted advertisements to increase engagement.

  • Address consumer concerns promptly. A brand can offer good customer service by implementing ways to address consumers' concerns efficiently. It can employ more people in its call centre and train its customer service agents to act with empathy and participate in active listening.

Related: Classification Of Consumer Products: A Definitive Guide

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