Examining Risk Takers: Segments, Stats, Brands, Facts

in Branding Strategy & Trends | by Ethan Lyon

What does Shaun White, Sergey Brin and Anthony Bourdain have in common (besides stacks of cash)? Each represents a generation of Risk Takers. Shaun White is Gen Y’s Adrenaline Junkie, Sergey Brin is Gen X’s New Venturers and Anthony Bourdain is Boomer’s Travelista. Each segment thrives on exploration, whether it’s a landing a double cork, launching a dream venture or tasting the local flavor of Vietnam.

Defining Characteristics

Adrenaline Junkies
Shaun White solidified his legendary status when he became the first snowboarder to land a double cork. He is the Adrenaline Junkie archetype. White lands impossible tricks before anyone else in snowboarding. He follows on the Adrenaline Junkie heals of legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk. This elite athletic group dates back to Amelia Erhart and the Wright Brothers — some of the first extreme Adrenaline Junkies. Now, the Tony Hawks’ and Shaun Whites’ are jumping out of aircrafts to push the boundaries even further.

Key Facts:

Brand Profile: Olympics, X-Games

New Venturers
New Venturers are typically Gen Xers who have left the corporate world (either willingly or unwillingly) to start their dream venture. They are confident in their experience and dedication to make their small business succeed. Gen Xers are often New Venturers — as Boomers want to de-risk their lives for retirement and launching a startup isn’t a wise idea, and most Gen Yers do not have the industry experience under their belt to undertake a small business.

Key Facts:

  • Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, founded the company at 25 years of age
  • 30 percent of today’s workforce (about 42 million people) are either freelancers, independent contractors, part-time or temp workers, according to Money Magazine

Brand Profile: Google, Entrepreneur.com, VentureBeat, TechCrunch

Travelistas are addicted to exploring foreign lands. When they are not booking a flight to a distant paradise, they are hooked to Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmer as they hop around the world — tasting the local flavors and exploring foreign cultures. While Gen Y are the new Adrenaline Junkies, Gen X are New Venturers, Boomers are Travelistas, looking for a little adventure.

Key Facts:

Brand Profile: Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, Trip Wolf

Macro Trend

Freedom: New Way of Creativity — The Freedom trend is about letting your creative spirit soar. Whether it’s posting the coolest design on Tumblr or landing impossible snowboarding tricks. For Risk Takers, life is about exploration and creativity — think new half-pipe tricks, developing a new social shopping startup or sampling Korean kimchi.

Read all of our psychographic trends:

2010 Psychographic Trend Report

View more presentations from David Capece.
Image by Gary Cowles from Stock.Xchng