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Grups and psychographics

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday July 15, 2006 )

No, I’m not experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs tonight. I’ve been reading up a little more on a group of people that marketers are labelling Grups. Grup is short for “grown up”, but they are adults who haven’t really grown up in the traditional sense of the term – and I don’t mean that in a condescending way.

Grups are in the 30 – 40+ age group and are people who are still very much into activities that are usually attributed to teens and 20-somethings; such as nightclubbing, backpacking, hitting the mosh pit at concerts, moutain biking etc.

Grups refuse to let age be a barrier to their activities. It’s not that they are trying to regain their youth; they’ve just never grown old in attitudes and interests and do not identify whatsoever with the current stereotypes that accompany their biological age. They also don’t consider their biological age as affecting their ability to engage in heavy physical activity – whether that be dancing until dawn or trekking through a foreign country by bike.

The current stereotypes of being in your mid-30’s and 40’s are predicted to fade, with increasing numbers of us refusing to “grow old”. Age is truly becoming a state of mind and the generation gap may cease to exist very soon according to some who are studying the Grup phenomenon.

My partner is very much like this; she and our girls regularly go out to concerts together, wear the same sorts of clothing and generally do things that I stopped doing once I felt I was getting too old for that kind of activity. At what point I made this decision and why, I’m really not too sure :).

I’m certainly no Grup; Old Grump is probably more my style. I grieve for my (misspent) youth quite regularly, but luckily I have Kathy to learn more about the Grup way of life from – perhaps there’s hope for me yet. It certainly seems like a lot of fun!

Grups, also known as yindies (yuppie-indies) dadsters, and sceniors squeeze the most enjoyment out of life that they can; but this doesn’t mean they are total hedonists. They often hold responsible jobs and are very successful in their business life. They will wear a suit if need be – but much prefer to dress down, even if dressing down does entail designer label jeans, t-shirts and runners. Their vacations are not spent entirely in deckchairs on the beach watching the world go by, but on adventures and physically active pursuits. Their music is not only the music of their youth, but also of today.

It’s often said that youth is wasted on the young – the Grups just extend their youth, but it’s seasoned with valuable life experience.

So where does this term “psychographics” come in? In marketing, we primarily deal with demographics; focusing on particular age groups, income, education, occupation and region. Psychographics focuses on behaviors and values; so in the case of Grups, it’s the more important approach.

Your products may primarily focus on Generation Y; but perhaps there’s many Grups within the Generation X and Baby boomer demographic that might take an interest in your goods and services as well. Are you leaving money on the table by not chasing the Grup dollar? It’s certainly a group with massive spending power and appears to be rapidly growing.

It’s quite a challenge marketing to a group of people that may span a couple of generations. When I’ve discussed this with other ecommerce merchants in the past in relation to site presentation, the ideas we’ve usually come up with is a 50/50 site (different channels) with a 50/50 home page – one side youth oriented, the other more on the culture of the product and the lifestyles it suits.

The concepts to focus on are vitality and recognizing that these people are “hip”, yet successful and discerning.

If you have youth-oriented product that may also be appealing to Grups, in many cases it might be best to have a separate site altogether. It’s not so much the “oldies” not identifying with the younger group, more the younger group not wanting to see that the older group is also really into your products too. After all, rebelling against your elders and the establishment is almost compulsory when you’re in your teens and early 20’s :).

I’ve just told my partner that she’s a Grup and she’s looking at me rather oddly; so I guess I better finish on this subject for now and explain the term to her a little more before I find myself sleeping in the office tonight.


Learn more about marketing to Generation X
The online life of Generation YMarketing to seniors


2 comments for Grups and psychographics
  1. I find your information most intriguing and right on the money. The baby boomers are not fooled by slick advertsising. The want real value and usability with the information they receive. They want to do it themselves. Just show them once and they get the ideas and run with it. Thanks for your insight about what works. It has given me new insight about things I need to do for our website. Your idea on optimizing the image was something I had not really given much thouhgt to even though I have seen this information before. Your clarity sent up a red flare for me to look at this issue of loading time since I am looking at using larger images on three of the pages I am now constructing. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Steven Senart — October 10, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  2. Thanks for your kind feedback Steven and welcome to the blog!

    Comment by Michael Bloch — October 11, 2007 @ 6:19 am

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