Many companies aspire to grow and maintain their brand loyalists—the customers who purchase their products time and time again. After all, this small segment of heavy users often accounts for the majority of a company’s sales. But within this group of loyalists, there’s an even smaller—and more powerful—segment of consumers that is often overlooked. This group, known as “Super Consumers,” might just hold the secret to success for your company.
The Harvard Business Review recently published an article from the Cambridge Group and Nielsen about the power of Super Consumers. We’ve broken down some of the main points and explained how you can use research to effectively retain and grow your Super Consumer segment.
Who are “Super Consumers?”
Although they both are known for their big spending habits, Super Consumers and traditional Heavy Users are not the same. Heavy Users are simply identified by how much they spend. Super Consumers, on the other hand, are a segment of Heavy Users that are highly engaged with a category and a brand beyond their high purchasing levels.1Super Consumers might have a special connection or association with a brand, or they may value certain aspects of a product’s usage more than other buyers. Whatever the reason is, it helps drive Super Consumers to purchase your product more often than the average Heavy User.
Why are they important?
Super Consumers represent a large portion of sales for most brands and products. And according to HBR's article, Super Consumers are usually willing to buy even more of a product than they already do if they can find uses for it, giving this group a high potential for sales growth.
Beyond that, the usage habits and brand associations that set Super Consumers apart from traditional Heavy Users provide valuable insight into what companies should and should not to do increase sales. While Super Consumers are more resilient than other customer segments and can withstand things like the occasional stale product or a slight price increase, it’s vital to protect the brand attributes that make these people true Super Consumers. Attempting to change essential qualities or brand attributes can drive these and other valuable customers away.
But, if you uncover these purchase drivers, you can find out how to increase sales to existing Super Consumers and convert more of your regular customers into future Super Consumers.
How can you pursue this strategy?
Identifying your Super Consumers is easy with consumer purchase data and shopper panels. Once you’ve identified this group, we recommend a two-step research process to uncover what drives them to purchase your product:
1. Use qualitative research to create a catalog of brand associations and usage that drive Super Consumers to purchase in high volumes
2. Conduct quantitative research to identify the most critical brand values for Super Consumers
With this data in hand, you can protect what Super Consumers consider to be your brand or product's most important attributes, use these insights to create new Super Consumers, and sell even more to your existing Super Consumers.
 Make Your Best Customers Even Better, Harvard Business Review, 2014