The Consumer Profiler: Get Your Corporate-Goggles On!

Welcome to our Consumer Profiler, a new game on Marketplace.org that lets you identify your consumer lifestyle category!

Companies use categories like these to figure out who to market their products to. It's how they see us... sort of like looking at the world through corporate beer goggles. Some of us look really good for what they are selling... some of us, not so good.

They categorize us by household, taking into account our age, how much we earn, where we live and the make-up of our household (married/single, kids/no kids). They also use our credit information and some of our larger purchases (mortgages, car loans etc).

I first came upon these consumer lifestyle categories when I got my data mined for a story. One company that has created a set of so-called "clusters" slotted me as a Savvy Single. For our application, we used data provided by a mapping and data mining company called Esri. In Esri's data, I am an Enterprising Professional:

"So, the real question: Are you a Miranda, a Carrie, a Samantha or a Charlotte? You are fabulous, single and all about the city! When not checking out the new tequila bar, perusing sample sales or perfecting your tree pose, you are traversing the urban jungle with the greatest of ease. You're well educated and have a solid job. You spend a lot of time eating out at the Cheesecake Factory and Chili's (do they have good Cosmos?)"

Ug. I was actually AT a new tequila bar a few weeks ago...though I avoid the Cheesecake Factory because the lines are too long (which probably makes me a Miranda?) The categories aren't entirely accurate (it's like a rough chop of who you are)... but they might help you understand some of the junk mail you receive.

I think my Enterprising status might explain why I get endless mailings for "High Roller Vegas Vacations" and every home decor and fancy cookware catalog you can imagine... I feel like my mail should be going to the love child of Martha Stewart and Andrew Dice Clay...but that's just me.

I hope you have some fun with the Consumer Profiler--it was fun to make. Many thanks to the people from Esri who lent us their know-how. You should also check out their very cool App that helps you identify categories by zip code.

Let us know what you think about ours! We'd love to hear from you. How do you look through corporate goggles?

Stacey (aka the Enterprising Professional)

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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