Most of you have probably heard of the Follower, Leader and Loner analogy about personality types. According to the analogy, most people in the world can either be defined as a follower, a leader or a loner.
If you’re a follower, you tend to prefer to be led by others and just go about daily life without putting in too much thought about why you do what you do.
If you’re a leader you usually have a desire to lead, help and protect others, and are usually the go to leader in any group situation.
If you’re a loner, you tend to go about your life separate to that of the leader and follower. You tend to do what you want when you want, rather than prescribing to societal expectations.
These types of analogies apply to numerous real life concepts and situations. However, what I find most interesting is their applicability to how we consume.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with any of these types of consumers. In fact, modern economic systems rely on Follower and Leader consumers.
However, if you’re trying to save money, knowing what type of consumer you are can help you to make changes to your spending patterns.
The Follower Consumer
Follower Consumers are those that follow the trends and want what everyone else wants and has. Follower Consumers are the consumers that buy all the latest tech gadgets, follow the latest diets and need to buy the current trend products i.e. fidget spinners (remember those?).
These consumers are most likely to be seen lining up outside of Apple for the latest release of the iphone, or going to the “must do” cafes to try the latest gastronomic inventions.
The Leader Consumer
Leader Consumers are those that set the trends and always seem to be on top of what the next “must have” or “must do” thing is before everyone else.
Leader Consumers are those that were wearing Sony smart watches 10 years ago, were the first people wearing Herschel backpacks, and knew what fidget spinners were months before they became popular.
These consumers usually don’t line up for things or places, because they’re the ones who shop there before they become popular and have lines.
The Loner Consumer
Loner Consumers are those that couldn’t really give a crap about the trends or what everyone else wants.
Loner consumers are the consumers that don’t buy the latest gadgets, fashions or toys because they refuse to do what everyone else is doing, or, are simply clueless.
These consumers don’t understand why people line up for things and have no interest in wasting their time doing so.
What impact does this have on saving and spending?
Being a Follower, Leader or Loner impacts what and how we consume. Inevitably, this also impacts our expenditure and savings ratios.
One could expect, based on the analogy, that the Follower type consumer would find it the hardest to live a frugal life of consuming as minimally and cheaply as possible.
In contrast, one could expect that the Loner consumer would find it easiest to rebut the trends and rebel against mindless consumption.
Given this, I lay out this challenge for those of you that suspect you might be a Follower Consumer… Next time you have the overwhelming urge to buy the latest gadget, stop and think about it for a minute… Then ask yourself these questions:
- Do you really want whatever it is that you’re going to buy?
- Or, are you just trying to fit in by being like everyone else?
If you struggle to answer the first question with a definitive yes and the second question with a definitive no, then don’t buy it.
You’re Follower Consumer-ness is leading you to be a mindless sheep. However, you’re smarter than a mindless sheep and you deserve to have total control over your hard earned $!