EXCLUSIVE - Eager Beavers, Sheepish Shoppers, Brandicoots, Old-School Koalas

For Carat Australia’s final article in the series, the focus is on the different types of people who shop FMCG & Retail, leveraging the agency’s proprietary research panel, Consumer Connections System (CCS).

CCS is the world’s largest single source consumer survey, available in 65 countries including Australia. This custom database provides unique consumer insights and the ability to perform indepth consumer segmentation.

Using CCS, we have segmented FMCG & Retail shoppers into four cohorts, examining their demographic and psychographic differences and defining the rules of engaging with them.

They are – The Eager Beavers, an enthusiastic bunch who seek out the latest products, deals, and experiences. The Sheepish Shoppers, reluctant shoppers who try to make the process as fast and easy as possible, usually led by price. The Brandicoots, liberal spenders who prioritise quality and big-name brands. And the Old-School Koalas, savvy shoppers who prefer shopping in person and supporting local.

The four cohorts vary little by age – Eager Beavers are the youngest, an average 42 years old, and Old-School Koalas are oldest, an average 51 years old – and their media consumption is, generally speaking, very similar. But their approach to shopping is very different, so brands hoping to connect with them should consider unique ‘rules of engagement’ for each.

Eager Beavers

Eager Beavers are an enthusiastic bunch who enjoy keeping track of the latest products, and are more open to new experiences. They have a keener eye than other cohorts and will be most excited by new and different products, making them a great target for surprise and delight experiences.

They also love the feeling of getting a bargain, and will spend time shopping around for great value. But this cohort is about more than just a good deal – they prefer to buy well-known brands and are more likely to trust those endorsed by a professional. Seeing others using products will give them the confidence to buy, so marketers should aim to get their brands in the hands of trusted tastemakers, strive for strong reviews, and leverage positive word-of-mouth.

And as keen shoppers, Eager Beavers are familiar with lots of brands and have higher expectations of them. They will subconsciously compare the experience of a small brand with that of the online giants and big-box retailers, so brands should aim high and find ways to differentiate their own CX. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from other categories.

Sheepish Shoppers

Sheepish Shoppers are reluctant consumers who try to make the process as fast as possible, making them ideal targets for any capabilities that make shopping easier and more convenient, like simpler payment or delivery options. Brands can’t assume that this cohort will actively search out such capabilities, so they should shout out loud about their latest offerings.

This cohort are also less likely to choose big brands, so retailers should consider them the ripest target for cheaper alternatives and private label. Big brands should be conscious that this audience is tougher to win over – demonstrate the RTBs that make their product worth choosing, or be forced to compete on price. They also tend to stick to the products they know, often buying the same food each week, and are less interested in new experiences than others. Make it easy for them to find what they want – eCommerce technology can help them easily repurchase their favourite products.

Sheepish Shoppers are generally indifferent to buying local or green so limit lofty and environmental messaging – price usually wins out. They are more likely to be sceptical of such messaging than a typical shopper, and less likely to engage with it. Brands should instead focus on engaging other audiences, at least initially. This cohort will gradually follow them in the future as eco-consciousness becomes more pervasive.


Brandicoots are big spenders who prioritise well-known and quality brands. They’re the most educated segment, enjoying the highest household incomes and happy to pay a premium for what they want. Brands need to maintain quality credentials, positive word-of-mouth, and clear emotional benefits to justify a higher price.

This cohort are also more likely to favour brands with social, environmental, and other charitable commitments. Brands should therefore design their CSR comms with Brandicoots in mind, but be conscious that they will be more discerning – all talk must be underpinned by genuine action.

Finally, help them keep their finger on the pulse, as they are more likely to be interested in art and culture, from fashion and luxury goods to film and history. Feed their curiosity by showing them the latest trends and innovations from Australia and around the globe – they enjoy the feeling of discovery and will choose brands that help them stay ahead of the curve.

Old-School Koalas

Old-School Koalas are nostalgic for the shopping experience of days gone by. They are resistant to change, less technology literate than other cohorts, and much prefer shopping in-person. Brands should be careful not to shepherd them towards new ways of shopping that could frustrate them; instead, ensure the traditional in-store experience is welcoming, easy, and rewarding.

Shoppers in this segment are also savvy spenders who look for low prices and prefer to stick to their favourite brands. Ensure that comms and owned assets clearly signify where they can find the value they want. And despite their lower adoption of online shopping, penetration is growing so aim to personalise their experience with their trusted brands.

And lastly, this cohort are patriotic shoppers who prefer to buy Australian when they can. This attitude is born from a desire to support local communities, which has only intensified during the pressures of 2020. Brands should also aim to call out provenance where possible, hero local suppliers and ingredients, and show the impact of community action.

Originally published on AdNews here

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