Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows 40% of consumers can be classified as either spendthrifts or tightwads, leaving 60% without strong tendencies in either area.

This fascinating paper highlights some individuals feel so much buying pain that they avoid spending money, even in situations where many would find the expense to be justified and good value.

These people are known as ‘tightwads’.

Spendthrifts, however, seem to feel little buying pain and spend money even in situations where most people wouldn’t.

The survey (13,000 individuals) showed the following breakdown

  • Tightwads  24%
  • Unconflicted 60%
  • Spendthrifts 15%

By understanding certain proportions of the world’s population are wired to respond to marketing messages in a different way, you can start to think about marketing campaigns and pricing structures.

24% of people are wired to be tightwads, so you don’t want to market to them. It’s too much hard work.

The spendthrifts can be an attractive audience, but are there enough of them?

Which leaves the unconflicted, the average spenders. But then who wants to run an average firm?

The choice is yours, but you do have to choose.