The Saver Market: Simple, Conservative Consumers MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. V, No. 12 October 2002

After more than two years of market decline and volatility, the ranks of consumers moving out of stocks and into low-risk savings products are swelling. We view this development as an opportunity to raise the visibility of a set of financial consumers who never joined the market euphoria of years past and thus are also not suffering from today's market hangover. Using SRI Consulting Business Intelligence's (now Strategic Business Insights') proprietary marketing tool VALS, this report profiles the consumer segment that VALS refers to as Believershardworking, traditional, conservative savers whose consumer psychology revolves around simplicity, security, and belief in established brands, solid institutions, and familiar products.

Financial institutions prefer to focus their attention on affluent, well-educated, financially sophisticated consumers. Receptive to new investment products, goal oriented, and generally willing to take risk, these consumers are the trophy customers whom most financial institutions want to attract and with whom they desire to establish deep financial relationships.

Believers are neither as affluent nor as technology savvy as these trophy customers. Nonetheless, they are solid, creditworthy financial customers who also deserve marketing attention. Believers are loyal customers who are not inclined to move their assets in response to offers of better rates or lower prices from other financial institutions. They trust in their own institution and go right on saving, slowly but surely. In these scandal-ridden times, financial institutions can take assurance from the trust and continued business of such loyal customers.

Why Believers Deserve Marketing Attention
  • Almost 21 million U.S. households are Believer households.
  • Believers are solid, creditworthy customers who favor established, familiar brands and institutions.
  • Believers are loyal customers, seldom changing financial institutions.
  • Believers are good prospects for cross-selling:

    Retirement products. Believers constitute almost 30% of the total Preretired household population.

    Savings products. Believers are conservative savers and like to keep their money in low-risk financial products.

    Insurance products. Believers seek safety and security.