The Polarity Paradox: The Rise of the Extreme Consumer


The newest member of the A Little Bird team, Jemma our Social Media Manager investigates the rise of The Polarity Paradox.

In austerity ridden Britain moderation is dead and extreme living is in. The 5:2 is no longer just a diet, it’s a way of living. The ‘everything in moderation’ middle ground has been abandoned in favour of interchanging temporary extremes. By alternating periods of abstinence and indulgence, saving and splurging, bingeing and purging consumers are designing lifestyles that enable them to ‘have it all’ – some of the time!

LS:N Global called this The Polarity Paradox and as marketers we need to adapt our strategies to account for this increasingly extreme consumer mindset and here’s how:

Reach the austerity accepters

Consumers in this category are bored of scrimping, saving and pinching every penny. Brands that can alleviate this boredom and help them to indulge again will win in The Polarity Paradox. Online retail site Shop Hers is a luxury marketplace dedicated to pre-owned designer fashion. Members can save by purchasing pre-owned pieces and make money by selling underused items.

Enable all and nothing

With moderation a thing of the past and consumers alternating between all and nothing and supporting this behavior will be a key to success for brands. Netflix is one brand that have capitalised on this trend by creating direct to streaming TV shows that are released by the season rather than by the episode.

Enlist brand extremists

The extreme behavior resulting from The Polarity Paradox has spawned a new level of fandom. Forget super fans and brand evangelists, the extremist is your new prime target and leveraging their epic love for your brand will drive engagement and in-turn, sales. Think graphic designers and Apple or clubbers and Red Bull.

You can view this and other posts on the A Little Bird blog.

Lead digital and social media strategist at A Little Bird UK. I'm a smart, savvy digital native with six years experience helping brands across multiple sectors and markets connect with their audiences online. I’m an unusual mix of geeky digital native and passionate creative and these traits have helped me to deliver award-winning campaigns for clients includingYoung’s Seafood and Novartis. My experience is broad, spanning the consumer, healthcare and tech sectors and this has enabled me to develop global and UK social media strategies and execute campaigns for clients including Plymouth Gin, Bayer Diabetes Care, Novartis, Simple Skin Care, Unilever Beauty and Braun.

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