Who are they?
Affirmation are perhaps the most conscientious of the segments. They make really considered, measured choices. What sometimes marks Affirmation out from the other segments is that as adults, they’re likely to have made a conscious decision to embrace more culture. They have decidedly come to the belief that engagement with culture is going to make their lives better.
Culture is an important and worthwhile activity so, like going to the gym or meeting with friends, reading a book, going to a museum or going to a play is a commitment to personal well-being that should be prioritised over a night in front of the telly. They feel that culture is a commendable pastime and are keen that they do, and are seen to do, the right thing.
What role does culture play for them?
Affirmation welcome culture as away of enjoying quality time with others, as a means of doing something more worthwhile in their leisure time. Cultural visits are self-improving, build memories and add richness to life. Affirmation do care what others think of them and hope to be recognised as going to interesting things and places. Those with children take their children to cultural experiences if that is what good parents do. They will however be aware of other commitments that may also demand time, so don’t exclusively spend their leisure time in arts and cultural activities.
What do they get out of it?
Affirmation often have underlying social motivations as well as a big dose of self-development. They’re looking for wholesome learning that helps them grow as a person and feel good about themselves. They will be at home with a mainstream musical or well-known play but with encouragement can be convinced to expand their horizons. It doesn’t necessarily need to be intellectually challenging, wacky or provocative but should include context and information so they will really understand it and gain insight or knowledge.
They may have done cultural visits as children, but for a large proportion this won’t have been central to their family lives. So while they may well have been to the theatre, museums or historic sites, as adults there remains lots they are keen to explore. They are, on the one hand, adventurous in the sense that they want to try things; but they want to try safe things rather than biting off more than they can chew. This slight insecurity comes from the fear of getting things wrong and letting themselves down – but also because feeling out of place negates the positive well-being sought from attending.
What influences their choices?
Affirmation make very well researched decisions. Ultimately, they look for reinforcement they’re choosing the right thing. To do that they need full and comprehensive details.
All marketing says everything’s good so they need plenty of endorsement and supporting evidence. Word of mouth from a trusted friend would be the ultimate. But TripAdvisor, Mumsnet and the like – press reviews, star ratings – will all assure Affirmation that there’s no risk something’s going to be a dud.
Once they have decided, they then want to be sure to have the best experience: make smart choices about seats, arrive in plenty of time to check their coat, have a drink, know how to get to their seats and so on. So again, the devil is in the detail.
Building relationships with them
Like most of us, Affirmation want to feel confident and dignified. Museum interpretation for example should make them feel smarter, not reveal their ignorance. Signage, cloakroom facilities, clear seat reservations and great customer service should guarantee the trip a success, not make them feel like a fish out of water. Affirmation will return to organisations they trust to deliver, so a little thought about making people feel comfortable goes a long way.
Souvenirs, programmes and other take-aways provide a reminder to themselves of positive experiences and a feeling of having done a good thing, but do need to be worth the money.
If they don't attend?
This segment holds untapped market potential. Affirmation are constantly shortlisting what to do, with a rolling list of potential things that would be worthwhile. The reality is, there's a lot of stuff on the list so they won’t get around to all of it. The challenge is to make this the best choice. Is this the first jazz gig they should try? Is this the exhibition they should attend? Is this the classical music concert that's for them?
When reaching them the first time, risks need to be managed. Affirmation is the segment that does nothing by accident and makes carefully judged decisions. Marketing needs to present a place as welcoming, something they can identify with, and somewhere they can see themselves going.
However, once they are familiar with something, they add it to their repertoire, because it’s a known entity now and they know what they're going to get. They fancy themselves as becoming connoisseurs so will keep going back. This counts for arts venue and brands too, so while they may take some reassurance to reach them in the first place, the prize on offer is loyalty.
Which Culture Segment are you?
Downloadable description of the Affirmation Culture Segment and how to reach them.