Eclectic mix of lower middle-class widowed and divorced individuals and couples who have settled in country and small town areas
The four segments in Pastoral Pride are concentrated in small, country towns and characterized by ethnically-mixed, modestly-educated middle-aged couples and divorced and widowed individuals. Few households have children still at home. Having settled in remote villages and towns far from the urban centers, they enjoy their homes, their sleepy country communities and their steady, blue-collar and service-sector jobs. In their communities where solitude and self- reliance are cherished, they’ve managed to fashion a simple, unpretentious lifestyle.
Pastoral Pride are scattered across America’s rural landscape, although most are found in isolated communities in the South and Midwest. Eight out of ten households own their homes, which tend to be modest ranch houses, farmhouses and mobile homes built during the last century. While their lots tend to be large, their properties are valued at only half the national average. Most have lived at the same address for over six years, and they show little desire to move on. With their low mortgages and limited expenses, many can devote more money to fancier trucks or muscle cars, typically bought used and retrofitted to handle the rugged roads.
Getting a college education is not a priority in Pastoral Pride. In high school, sports are bigger than academics. Most household heads earned a high school diploma, but only 10 percent have gone on to receive a college degree. That level of education is sufficient to land a blue-collar or service-sector job in construction, transportation, public administration or health care. Wages are below average and household incomes typically are less than $50,000; members of this group stretch their grocery budgets the old-fashioned way, by hunting, fishing and gardening.
With households located far away from malls and movie theaters, Pastoral Pride like to spend their leisure time enjoying the outdoors as well as getting together with friends at social clubs, church groups and union halls. Entertainment typically involves playing cards, attending a potluck dinner or watching a game on TV while warming a seat at a local bar. When they take a vacation, most travel by car or truck and stay within the U.S. It’s a big event when everyone heads to a state fair, country music concert or NASCAR race. For Sunday supper, families will go from church to a home-style restaurant or steakhouse like Cracker Barrel, Perkins or Sizzler.
Like other older, small-town consumers, Pastoral Pride are price-sensitive and brand-loyal. They tell researchers that discount department stores are just as good as upscale chains and they are perfectly happy shopping for clothes and household goods at Walmart, Kmart, Family Dollar and Dollar General. These consumers concede they’re typically late adopters, limiting most of their electronics purchases to TV technology: DVD players, Blu-ray consoles and DVR devices. Smartphones and MP3 players might as well be gadgets from Mars, especially for this crowd that prefers to buy American.
In their remote communities, Pastoral Pride are average media fans. Many subscribe to newspapers and pay particular attention to the front page, editorial and classified sections. They describe magazines as a main source of entertainment, reading a mix of entertainment, women’s and home-based titles that reflect their down-home lifestyle: Redbook, Country Living, Ebony, Family Circle, Woman’s World and Hot Rod. They listen to radio stations that offer news as well as traditional country, album-oriented rock, gospel and bluegrass music. On TV, they tune in cable networks like CMT, Hallmark, DIY, truTV and the Lifetime Movie Channel. They find most advertising annoying, but ads on billboards, in movie theaters and in emails are less so. While the Internet hasn’t changed their lives, they do recognize its potential for communicating with friends, family and strangers; some have discovered Websites like myspace.com and myyearbook.com.
With their low educations and old-fashioned ways, most Pastoral Pride have little interest in digital media. Many concede that computers confuse them. They don’t often use the Internet and are much more likely than average to use dial-up access from their home desktop computers. Those who do go online typically do so for business purposes, to bank, shop, participate in auctions and check out real estate classifieds. They also visit Websites about dating, families, pets, motorsports, wrestling and games. Many have also discovered the addictive quality of surfing the Internet: a high number expect to increase their Internet use over the next year.