16 Apr Who is the Apex Consumer
In the 1975 classic Jaw’s, there is a scene where Roy Scheider’s character, Brody, has just witnessed the Apex Predator up close. Stunned, he say’s to Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Remarkably, the line was unscripted in the film, but it stuck nonetheless.
It’s also good advice for marketers looking to attract their Apex Consumer. So who are they? They’re the small and extremely powerful group of consumers at the top of the consumption food chain. The ones who will outspend your regular consumers five to one. Not because they’re obscenely wealthy (though some are), but because they chose to spend their money on brands that reflect their lives (as opposed to just products that meet a need). They’re the sharks of the consumerist world. So, if your brand aligns with their lifestyle and values… hold on tight!
For decades brands have employed the usual tricks of the trade to attract their Apex Consumer… Look at me advertising, premium event sponsorships, the hottest celebrity endorsements, the slickest packaging… However, more recently, luminaries of the marketing sciences will caution that it is folly to go chasing rainbows like Apex Consumers. Going after a tiny group of people who will radically change your brands fortunes is an oxymoron to the scientists. And because they’re scientists, it’s hard to not be swayed.
But should marketers walk away from Apex Consumers? Perhaps, by zoning in on this elusive group, you will succeed in creating a hyper-Pareto sales outcome. And if you don’t land the Apex Consumer, perhaps you will attract a mother lode of not-quite-apex-consumers-but-valuable-all-the-same’s. Think of the Remora fish that attach themselves to sharks… Depending on your brand, lots of Remora Consumers could result in powerful sales growth. And the only way to get them is to optimise everything you have to the Apex Consumer.
So, here’s what you need to ask yourself before going after the Apex Consumer… Who are they? How can you connect with them, firstly through your owned media, secondly through earned and then finally through paid? In attracting them will you also bring in the Remora Consumers? And crucially, if you land one, is your customer experience going to meet their (high) demands? Because if it doesn’t, you won’t get a second chance – so make sure your boat is big enough!