Who is being marketed to in your neighborhood or in the communities you are studying? Enter a zip code and the Prizm market segmentation system returns five socio-economic types (out of a total of 67 possible types). What’s really fun are reading about all the different categories that the marketers have dreamt up. Here’s a flash video that provides a glimpse into how the data were generated and organized.
Here’s some PRIZM segments from my life’s geographies–
Where I currently live, Newport News, VA:
- Blue Chip Blues — a comfortable lifestyle for ethnically-diverse, young, sprawling families with well-paying blue-collar jobs
- Domestic Duos — a middle-class mix of mainly over-65 singles and married couples living in older suburban homes
- New Beginnings — households tend to have the modest living standards typical of transient apartment dwellers
- Park Bench Seniors — With modest educations and incomes, these residents maintain low-key, sedentary lifestyles. Theirs is one of the top-ranked segments for TV viewing, especially daytime soaps and game shows.
- Suburban Sprawl — they hold decent jobs, own older homes and condos, and pursue conservative versions of the American Dream
The field site for my dissertation, Cherokee, NC:
- Back Country Folks — residents tend to be poor, over 55 years old, and living in older, modest-sized homes and manufactured housing
- Bedrock America — With modest educations, sprawling families, and service jobs, many of these residents struggle to make ends meet. One quarter live in mobile homes. One in three haven’t finished high school.
- Blue Highways — the standout for lower-middle-class residents who live in isolated towns and farmsteads. Here, Boomer men like to hunt and fish; the women enjoy sewing and crafts, and everyone looks forward to going out to a country music concert
- Crossroads Villagers — a classic rural lifestyle. Residents are high school-educated, with downscale incomes and modest housing; one-quarter live in mobile homes.
- Shotguns and Pickups — scores near the top of all lifestyles for owning hunting rifles and pickup trucks. These Americans tend to be young, working-class couples with large families
Where my parents live, in a swanky part of Austin, TX:
- American Dreams — In these multilingual neighborhoods–one in ten speaks a language other than English–middle-aged immigrants and their children live in upper-middle-class comfort.
- Bohemian Mix — ethnically diverse, progressive mix of young singles, couples, and families ranging from students to professionals. In their funky row houses and apartments, Bohemian Mixers are the early adopters who are quick to check out the latest movie, nightclub, laptop, and microbrew.
- Money & Brains — high incomes, advanced degrees, and sophisticated tastes to match their credentials. Many of these city dwellers are married couples with few children who live in fashionable homes on small, manicured lots.
- Urban Achievers — the first stop for up-and-coming immigrants from Asia, South America, and Europe. These young singles, couples, and families are typically college-educated and ethnically diverse
- Young Digerati — Affluent, highly educated, and ethnically mixed, Young Digerati communities are typically filled with trendy apartments and condos, fitness clubs and clothing boutiques, casual restaurants and all types of bars
I read about this first in the librarian blog/ webcomic, Shelf Check, a must read for anyone who harbors a secret crush on librarying. Posey writes that she saw it first in Lifehacker.