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Book Review: Superconsumers

February 19, 2019

A comprehensive analysis of over 100,000 U.S. households confirms that there are consumers whose brand loyalty can provide valuable insight to creators, providers, and manufacturers of products and services. These “superconsumers,” which make up approximately 10% of all consumers, are responsible for up to 70% of a particular brand’s products. In his book Superconsumers, marketing consultant Eddie Yoon discusses the value of these consumers and explains how brands can capitalize on their strong following.

Yoon suggests that brands are “hired” for a specific purpose. For example, American Girl products can be hired by a child to be a toy (the American Girl doll) or by a teacher to help teach historical events. Superconsumers often hire multiple products to serve the same purpose, so understanding that purpose is key.

Identifying Superconsumers

Brands can identify superconsumers—those customers who both care and buy a lot—by examining a number of factors:

> Variety of products purchased. Customers who purchase a variety of products, rather than simply a large amount of products, within a particular brand often fall under the “superconsumer” heading.

> Number of orders. Customers who routinely return to your brand to make another purchase are clearly loyal to your brand and products.

> Level of communication. Customers who routinely have conversations with your staff, call in to your customer service, or leave positive reviews on your products have the potential to be superconsumers.

Benefiting from the Hype

Once you’ve identified your superconsumers, what can you do with them?

> Learn from them. The majority of brands view their superconsumers as an enigma, a small percentage of consumers whose dedication is unwavering and, therefore, not worth the focus of marketing managers. But rather than focusing marketing research efforts on the other, noncommittal 90% of consumers, Yoon suggests that there is much to learn from superconsumers, including the things your company does best and where you need to improve.

> Sell to them. Superconsumers may be a big fan of your products, but they are very different from bulk purchasers, who simply buy a lot of your product. Rather, superconsumers are “emotional buyers who base their purchase decisions on their life aspirations.” Brand loyalty plays a major role here—superconsumers find extreme value in both your product and your brand—and are thus likely willing to expand their product purchasing within the existing brand. 

> Utilize them. Your super-consumers are some of your biggest advocates—provided with the opportunity to share the love, they’re sure to lead other consumers to your products. Provide the chance and encourage superconsumers to leave product reviews and share their purchases online.