5 key archetypes marketers need to know

Urban list upfronts

Spend 30 seconds swiping through Instagram, and you’ll get a glimpse of just how disparate life in Australia is right now.

Queenslanders are heading out en masse, gearing up to host 30,000 people at the AFL Grand Final; while Victorians have hopes and dreams crushed, unable to leave their suburb. Meanwhile, Sydney is lapping up the good weather, hitting the beach in droves, and keeping the hospitality sector alive. WA is running their own race — COVID-free but still closed off to every other state.

And just as each location has its own set of rules and norms, a new set of psychographic segments has emerged — charting our population into one of five consumer archetypes that are changing the game for brands and marketers seeking to connect.

Click to enlarge: The key Australian consumer segments identified by Urban List


This research, recently released by Nature and The Lab, and showcased by Urban List in its recent Upfronts, demonstrates exactly how differently Australians are feeling and behaving right now; presenting opportunities and obstacles for the marketers looking to engage with them.

While Safety Seekers and Strugglers are extremely worried about the current climate and their future; other segments like Opportunists and Simplifiers are feeling far more optimistic about the life and world that’s beginning to emerge. The Australians in these latter groups have shown themselves to be more able to adapt to 2020’s upheaval and, having taken time to reflect and reevaluate, are now ready for new opportunities — ultimately, wanting to experience more out of life as a result of what’s gone down this year.

At a time where changes continue to roll, curveballs are still coming and the C-word still in daily use, it seems certain we aren’t on the other side of the crisis yet — far from it — and as such, as marketers, we need to find audiences who are willing to shift with us, with our sectors and with our brand.

By and large, Opportunists earn well and have been less financially impacted than most; which likely helps them to see the bright side of things. They think it was the reset we all needed, are able to adapt quickly to change, and are excited by what the future holds.

Simplifiers, on the other hand, have been financially impacted by the downturn in the economy. They have reevaluated what they want from life as a result, and rather than ditch their aspirations, are channeling their energy into finding new ways to achieve their goals. They are actively shunning toxic news, people, and general negativity; they’re getting handy making more things themselves.

The thing both groups have in spades is a continued desire to invest in experiences — it appears the experience economy is still alive and well, albeit with some virtual fatigue.

At its recent Upfronts, Urban List overlaid this segmentation on its own audience, highlighting an over-indexing group of Opportunists and Simplifiers

In a world where the impact on individuals has been so varied and unpredictable, this fresh segmentation offers a foundational platform for marketers to regroup — to focus on these Opportunists and Simplifiers as comparative lights at the end of the tunnel; people that can be relied upon to bounce back, roll with the punches and get excited by new ideas, products, experiences, and perspectives.

Here lies rich territory for the best brands and marketers to show they understand their redefined aspirations and goals; to speak to their reset values sets and empower them to achieve new dreams.

Within these groups, there’s an appetite to embrace the new. Their consideration sets have shifted and brands and sectors that may once have been on the outer (think: instant coffee, domestic travel) are now seen as a must — part of daily routines.

While consumer spending has contracted overall — they are likely to be more considered in brands and products they select — there has also been an upside, greater opportunity to establish true brand loyalty, if you communicate well and consistently — remaining present and loyal to these consumers’ needs as they forge their fresh new path. It’s all about offering products, opportunities, and connections that help them make the most of life in this climate, and ultimately, ensure they’re living their best new version of it.

From mental wellbeing to job satisfaction, this is what matters most to Australian consumers

So what does this new “best life” look like? According to Urban List, having analyzed 5000+ quantitative and qualitative survey responses, 2020 has driven some significant shifts in what their audience is prioritising.

Some contributors have retained their relative importance — travel, food, financial security, and having a job they love. Some have understandably rocketed up the ranks, like physical health and time in nature. The most surprising change, though, is seeing time with family and friends — something we have all craved through isolation — being edged out by mental health and wellness as the #1 contributor to living your best life.

It’s striking because, as seen above, in general, the Urban List audience doesn’t appear to be amongst the Australian population that is struggling. (Only 4% identified as Strugglers). There are some horrific, and sadly rising statistics about the toll COVID has taken on the mental health of Australians. But that doesn’t appear to explain the shift we’re looking at here…

For this audience — particularly the younger segments — this idea of mental health and wellness has become fundamental to their identity, with a level of proactivity and influence that extends far beyond meditation, or anti-depressants, or self-help.

Post-2020, mental wellbeing comes first for Australians.

Mental health is no longer just an internal barometer — a measure of relative self-worth, happiness, and satisfaction. Mental health has become synonymous with mindfulness — a more conscious way of being, thinking, and making decisions… and the younger they are, the more mindful they’re likely to be.

This new life, post-reset, is one they intend to be far more conscious and considered. And that mindset is carrying across all categories — making it the number one priority for them to keep their lives and goals in check.

For detailed insights and ideas as to how this new conscious, considered consumer is behaving and investing across categories including Finance, Travel, FMCG, Retail, and more, please connect with Urban List.

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