Community Identity

Focus Trends: Community Identity

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Do You Know Your Community’s Identity?

by Charlene Capps, September 23, 2019

Every city tries to develop a sense of community that brings people together through common goals, interests, and attitudes. Community identities are not just for urban areas, they are used to characterize rural and suburban areas too. In order to truly understand the commonalities of a city’s residents, city leaders turn to data and consumer profiles.

For this article, we pulled consumer profile data from ESRI for more than 25 communities and analyzed the retailers located in these cities. We gathered some generalizations on which retail brands support certain consumer lifestyles.

For example, if you have a large population of older married couples who own a home with a median household income under $50,000, they are more likely to be concerned with cost than quality or brand loyalty. Furthermore, we found a strong retailer presence of Tractor Supply, Little Caesars, and Hardee’s in communities with a large representation of older married couples. These retailers are more aligned with products suited for their lifestyle.

community cost v loyalty

Many national retailers focus on local pride by selling local art, displaying the town’s history, and promoting team pride for local sports teams. It’s important to look at your current retail stores and ask, “Are they adding to the consumer experience the community wants?” The next step is to make sure that any future retail fits within the vision and shopping interests of your community.

Retail Strategies’ client communities represent a broad range of characteristics. From rural to suburban, high incomes to low incomes, these variables guide our team when recruiting retail.  We dive deep into ESRI’s consumer profiles, receive insight from the community, and understand how retailers adapt regionally and locally.

It is also important to understand how your residents spend their disposable income, how often they enjoy gathering with others, and what their needs are.  For example, the Soccer Mom (link) segment needs twice as many gyms than Traditional Living (link) segment in the Midwest, but these groups tend to have the same ratio of quick service and full service restaurants.

Do you truly have an understanding of your community’s identity and are your current retail and restaurant mix helping build your sense of community?

charlene capps
Charlene Capps, Director, Research & Analytics

Charlene Capps, Director, Research & Analytics

Contact us to learn how the Retail Strategies team can tap into ESRI data and help you understand the consumers in your community.

Focus Trends is an original informational series published by Retail Strategies highlighting trending retail topics.

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