Monday, October 20, 2008

A new lifestyle group - The middle-aged simplifier

This item appears on the Harvard Business Review forum web site. The author, Professor John Quelch, is a mighty distinguished academic. I think he is onto something with his contention that a result of the economic gloom will be a change in priorities (for some) from purchasing stuff to seeking and buying experiences.

Luxury household goods manufactures beware!

Quelch reckons that people displaying this lifestyle choice have four characteristics.

• They perceive that they have more stuff than they need.
• They want to collect experiences, not possessions.
• Stuff embarrasses them.
• Their wealth is so assured that it no longer requires conspicuous display.

Against a background of austerity for the masses it might be cool to have a decluttered lifestyle.

This is a quote from the article

These are the consumers who are now trading in their sport-utility vehicles. They include the empty-nester baby-boomers, less confident than before, who are tired of heating unused spaces in cavernous mansions, now preferring smaller houses with architectural character and intimate spaces, more charm and less maintenance.

Their families are scattered, unable to share conveniently the family holiday home and often unwilling to inherit the burden of something they will never use. The new economy has made it even easier for consumers to get rid of their stuff. The high-tech equivalents of the yard sale, electronic auction sites, bring Simplifiers together with those who are yet to catch the habit.

I know people like this. I hear these sorts of views from focus groups. I think they have always existed but are increasing in numbers.

How big the group is I don’t know but its existence is undeniable. Dick Stroud

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Fantastic that you have identified this as a new cohort. I fit the demographic, and it's the lifestyle we adopted about 4 years ago. We downsized to: one car, a smaller home in a beautiful community which enriches our souls, and got rid of several truckloads of "stuff" when we moved.

Glad to know there are others like us, who have come to this conclusion...