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Consumerology: How "Runners, Walkers & Spectators" Shape a Nation
Economic Trends | May 08, 2012

Consumerology: How "Runners, Walkers & Spectators" Shape a Nation

Economic confidence hinges on one variable: housing. This is one of the many insights shared by speakers Jack Bensimon and David Herle—the duo behind Consumerology, a leading consumer research report—in their visit to Lavin’s Toronto offices this month. Most interesting was their discussion of how extensive research led them to classify the Canadian population into three demographic groups: Runners, Walkers, and Spectators.

Runners, the Consumerology guys tell us, are the ones who care what badge they're wearing—the ones who know a generic product is similar but will still buy the branded version. The economic confidence of this country rests with this group. They're the ones who think this generation will have it better than the last. The next group, Walkers, are the “repositories of traditional Canadian values and thinking,” Herle said. They were hit hard by the last recession and have since embraced a culture of thrift while eschewing brands. The third group—Spectators, who represent one in five Canadians—is a disturbing one, because it appears to lack even modest ambitions. Spectators don't socialize. They don't know their neighbours. They don't describe themselves as happy. Fundamentally, they feel that they have no control over their lives.

In their highly customizable keynotes, the Consumerology team offers a privileged look at the economic and consumer trends that will drive spending, habits, and industries in the critical years to come. Applicable to virtually any industry, the Consumerology keynotes take us on a tour of what makes us, as Canadians, tick, what makes us shop, and where we'll be—economically and socially—in the coming years.
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