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'Luminaries' shun categorisation

News, 24 November 2016

LONDON: They don't want to be put in a box but that is one of several traits that new research has identified among 35-54 year olds in the UK, a group it has dubbed the "Luminaries".

Bauer Media, the cross-platform media group, used a combination of qualitative research techniques, including in-home suppers with consumers and WhatsApp discussion groups, and a quantitative study, to understand how this generation differed from its predecessors.

It reported that Luminaries – a 10m-strong group – are confident, grounded and enjoying their lives in a way their parents didn't. "In contrast to established assumptions about this audience, they are entrepreneurial, are open to new experiences, music and seek to engage with bold, positive brand messages."

So brands need to get away from simplistic age-related marketing and focus more on behaviours.

Consumers are not necessarily growing out of things, merely adapting what they do – as one 42-year-old respondent observed: "I'm a bit old for V these days but I want to get to the Isle of Wight Festival this year".

Music continues to play an important role in the lives of Luminaries and many are not content to stick with what they listened to in their youth. Eight in ten declared themselves passionate about music, with seven in ten listening to the radio whenever possible and a third doing so in order to discover new music.

The desire for the new has likewise found expression in a concern about media filtering, particularly through digital algorithms, as Luminaries don't want their exposure to news and culture to be narrowed.

Technology has also changed behaviour in some unexpected ways. More than a third (36%) of Luminaries are in bed by 10pm on a weekday, the study reported – often driven by a desire to stream entertainment content, do online shopping or engage with social media.

"In media and advertising we must remember to continuously re-evaluate what we think we already know, otherwise we risk losing out on valuable audiences – especially with this group of individuals," noted Abby Carvosso, group managing director, advertising, at Bauer Media.

Data sourced from Bauer Media, Campaign; additional content by Warc staff