Aspirationals: Who are they and why they matter to marketers

Move over millennials, Aspirationals are fast becoming marketers’ new target group. Aspirationals are represented across every age, culture, geography and income. They comprise approximately 39% of the global adult population.

Who are they?

Globally, they are most likely to be Millennials, the largest presence in emerging markets and increasingly parents with children under age 18.

Undefined by age group, Aspirationals are classified as consumers who are optimistic about the future and see brands and free market capitalism as a force for positive change, according to a new global study by BBMG and GlobeScan.

Aspirationals’ propensity for brand love and loyalty comes with new expectations for corporate purpose, responsibility and behavior. They expect brands to lead with their values and meet higher standards for health, safety, fairness and social impact in ways that drive progress for people and positive impact for the world.

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What do they believe?

According to the survey, Aspirationals are also more likely than any other consumer segment to “believe the world is going in the right direction” - with 49% of Aspirationals holding this view compared to 40% of the global public surveyed. Approximately, 56% of Aspirationals believe that the future generations will have a higher quality of life than the current generation. This is compared to 48% of the global public agreeing with this statement.

This sense of optimism includes a belief in their power to influence corporate behavior, with nearly eight in 10 Aspirationals saying that as a consumer, they can make a difference in how a company behaves.

Similarly, Aspirationals match the general public's belief that companies should be responsible for creating positive impact by ensuring products are safe and healthy (74%), providing fair wages to all employees (72%),not harming the environment (70%), ensuring a responsible supply chain (69%) and treating employees fairly (66%).

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Why do they matter to marketers?

Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan, said the group that represents more than one third of the global adult population. This group is fast connecting the right thing to do with the cool thing to do and this opens up a wealth of possibilities for brands, business and society when it comes to connecting with their consumers.

Brand leaders now have an opportunity to leverage sustainability and social purpose to drive relevance, relationships, loyalty and business growth if they are to attract this group.

The study also finds that Aspirationals are more likely than the global public in their expectation that companies should support charities and community projects (60% Aspirationals to 57% Global Public), reduce human rights abuses (56% to 54%), help reduce the rich-poor gap (55% to 52%) and solve social problems (53% to 49%).

The report also finds that more than twice as many Aspirational consumers want to improve free market capitalism rather than replace it.  More than half of Aspirationals say that “free market capitalism has some problems, but these can be addressed through regulation and reform”, compared to 22% of the global public who believe that “free market capitalism is fatally flawed, and a different economic system is needed”.

The insights were gathered from a 2015 report “Five Human Aspirations and the Future of Brands,” based on telephone interviews with 22,000 consumers across 22 countries.

(Photo courtesy: Shutterstock)