18 Feb How Freedom-Seekers Shop (The fun way!)
Freedom seekers may pride themselves on the belief that their decision-making is spontaneous, and subject to constant and instantaneous inspiration, thus defying prediction or falling prey to corporate strategies … but the fact is at the end of the day they are still just consumers. While the ideologies that govern them may not be traditional, even unconventional behavior can be analyzed. This is not a cynical take, and in no way lessens the powerful innovative energy that these individuals possess and bring to the market (nor how much better we all are for it). In understanding what is, at surface level, logic-defying, and in gleaning deeper meaning out of what may seem like a free-spirited whim, we can unlock the motivations behind a group of consumers that have for a long time been more of a moving target than a subject of study.
Much like the Pleasure-Seekers we studied in the previous post of this series, Freedom-Seekers can fall into a stereotype of being removed from the banalities of life (and the practical type of purchasing that comes along with them.) But the reality is that no matter how many tropical vacation, skydiving, or campervan lifestyle images may adorn their walls and their Instagram feed, these thrill-seekers have to find a way to see the thrill in grocery shopping, too. But can the canned veggies aisle ever appeal to them the same way Cannes … can? To quote a very Freedom-Seeking ethos, “Why not?”
Even in the most routine of errands, these individualists are looking for ways to break out of a routine. They’ll want to try a new brand, or a new product presented by a familiar brand name, and they may even pepper in a few impulse purchases to spice up a shopping basket filled with bread and milk. We are not suggesting a constant stream of new inventory, since for many companies, that is not a logical or sustainable business model … but a refresh in package design, a limited-time special edition, or a novelty release may cause Freedom-Seekers to switch from seeing something neutrally to seeing it as something new.
And don’t forget about the trends. Unlike Pleasure-Seekers who adhere loyally to the “must have” of the moment, your free-spirited clientele are a little more ahead of the curve. If an item offers a new solution or way of approaching a common situation, well then, color them intrigued. In this way, you can start to see the throughlines between Freedom-Seeking shopping experiences. Though the strategy may significantly alter depending on the category, price point, and longevity of the potential purchase, the emotional beat that it needs to hit stays the same — They’re looking for new, they’re looking for different, they’re looking for little avenues that may lead to unknown destinations. Since life is not for settling, but for experiencing, what “first” can be forged today? What can they find that will add a flavor to their life that’s been yet untasted?
It is easy to see how this logic is applied to the splurgy purchases Freedom-Seekers are associated with. What fascination doesn’t a vacation to Spain hold? What new world can’t the latest Samsung phone flip open in the palm of your hand? But it is also there in the aisles of a Barnes and Noble, or in an order at the Coffee Bean. Perhaps if everyone shopped like these imaginative people did, the exercise would be more fun. Wouldn’t you like to focus less on the price, and more on the potential for a life-enriching experience? What if you weren’t just buying a thing, but a ticket to a slightly newer, different, and opportunity-driven world?