You can take the consumer out of the country, but can you take the country out of the consumer? Not out of one-third or so American consumers, according to a Yankelovich survey commissioned by Cowles Magazines to promote the launch of its Western Styles title. Among the findings: 31% of Americans identify themselves as ‘Western Enthusiasts,’ which can mean anything from an interest in frontier history to a penchant for Western music, rodeos and fancy boots. You might suppose this phenomenon to be a boy thing – a holdover from youthful zest for cowboy movies. In fact, the survey found the Western Enthusiast market to be 67% female, 33% male. Comparing the attitudes of WE’s with those of the general population (as tracked by Yankelovich Monitor polling), the study found WE’s more likely to wish they’d ‘lived in an earlier age of romance, adventure & mystery’ (52% vs. 33% of adults in general) and far less likely to agree that ‘studying literature and history is a waste of time’ (9% versus 32%!). They’re also somewhat more apt than non-WE’s to spend their money on experiences (vacations, restaurant meals, theater, etc.) than on possessions. The survey breaks the WE market into five subgroups: Hoe-Downers (23% of WE’s), defined by interest in Western music and dancing; Historians (22%), a male-skewing group most keen on Wild West lore; New Pioneers (18%), skewing female and attracted to contemporary Western lifestyle and fashions; Art and Design Buffs (15%), whose interest is described as more aesthetic than historical or cultural; and City Slickers (22%), the least enthusiastic of the enthusiasts.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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