DEEP DIVE: Tradition Seekers

Brush off your history books, bring your family pictures to the table, and pour yourself a glass of home-brewed iced tea, because we’ve landed in the land of the free, home of the brave, territory of the Tradition-Seekers. These familiarity-oriented folks may be more old-fashioned than any of the previous values types we’ve visited, but don’t mistake them for relics. A Tradition-Seeker is a classic, like glass of Whiskey and a country song\ on vinyl. Why bother with the fluctuating new fashions when you can stay fitted in something that never goes out of style? 

Curious if this could your values’ true calling? Well, look no further than your kitchen cupboard. Is there a cookbook? Or five? Are they filled with family recipes, especially those passed down from generations who were governed by a Roosevelt? That’s not just grandma’s chocolate chip cookies you’re smelling, it’s the recognizable sign of some good ole Tradition Seeking. There’s very little these individuals cherish more than customs that connect then to their heritage, and they work hard to cultivate a lifestyle that honors the past as much as it protects them for the future. 

The use of the word “protect” was no flippant choice. Tradition-Seekers are fastidiously risk-averse, and find comfort, stability, and safety in building out a path for themselves that requires as little unpredictability as possible. They like what they know, and they know what they like. However, it would be incorrect to conflate this simplicity with shallowness. In fact, Tradition-Seekers forge very deep relationships with the ideas, people, and products they choose to be in their life, because of the longevity of the relationship that inevitable ensues. These types of consumers are in it for the long haul, so they will be deliberate with their decisions. 

Brands that Tradition-Seekers are drawn to are staples like Levi’s, Ford, Coca-Cola, and Nascar. For the U.S. based consumers, it’s the companies that have a deep history in the culture of this country and almost seem synonymous with the concept of Americana. To be certain, of all of the values types, these folks are the likeliest to prioritize patriotism. They are proud of their heritage, and see the beauty and the honor in American ways, where other values types like Purpose-Seekers may see the room for improvement. However, Tradition-Seeking isn’t always swathed in stars and stripes — many international cultural communities model the same behaviors, acting as conduits for their ancestral customs to take root in current times. 

On social media, Tradition-Seekers are likely following all their friends on Yelp, and showing support for their favorite celebrities like Carrie Underwood and Clint Eastwood when applicable. Their feed probably looks a little something like this … 

Aesthetically speaking, it’s all about old-fashioned, not outdated. Retro is in again (or haven’t you heard?), and you really can’t go wrong with topics like family and food. If you weren’t sure by now, Tradition-Seekers are basically a Bruce Springsteen song. They’re apple pie, they’re basketball games in the summer, they’re a family big dinner at the holidays. They’re the ties that don’t bind us, but that tether us to something more deeply meaningful when our attention spans feel short-circuited, and life is confusing. These people always know their place, and that solidity is something rare. 

As a company attempting to appeal to this stalwart crew, it’s tricky if there’s not an existing level of brand awareness. Tradition-Seekers don’t trust new things easily, and aren’t often incentivized to try something different just for the sake of it. So the key is to make them feel like they’ve known you forever. Play up your company history, reflect traditional morals and mentalities, and, if possible, connect yourself with industries or individual companies that they have an existing relationship with. If you can get onto their radar, and then gain their respect, you will have tapped into a very strong and solid group of patrons. 

As this is being published in September, we’re approaching a Tradition-Seeker’s best time of year — the holidays. So why don’t you get prepare your meal plan, start sending out save the dates to the extended family, and dust off your inherited dinnerware. We’ll be back soon with the perfect follow up — a foray into Security Seeking.