Middle-class couples and families living in more remote rural communities
Stockcars and State Parks contain mostly middle-class families and empty-nesters living in remote rural communities. The adults have turned high school diplomas and some college education into decent wages from a mix of service-sector, farm and blue-collar jobs. Their kids are mostly grown and out of the house, although a quarter of the households still have adult children at home. The houses, situated on substantial lots, are large enough to be a bargain at a less-than-average $185,000. Far from urban centers, the neighborhoods where this segment lives are safe enough; no one worries about crime or violence.
Stockcars and State Parks engage in a traditional small-town lifestyle. Individuals in this segment are fresh air-lovers who like to hunt, fish and camp. In their homes, they enjoy gathering with friends and extended family for potluck dinners and card games. These households have enough disposable income - thanks to multiple breadwinners - to frequently dine out at restaurant chains that feature steak and comfort food. Additionally, every summer, these people look forward to the arrival of a state fair or country music festival.
If Stockcars and State Parks have any consumer obsession, it’s with the large SUVs, vans and full-sized pickups that they typically buy to handle their rough country roads and off-road excursions to fishing and hunting spots. They’re not much on traveling abroad, but they do like piling into an RV for summer vacations to nearby state parks.
Financially conservative - they think that it’s risky to invest on Wall Street - Stockcars and State Parks are price-sensitive shoppers. They like to buy classic clothes at discount retailers or order apparel and do-it-yourself merchandise from catalogs. They acquire most consumer electronics at average rates, but they love filling their garages with all kinds of sporting goods.
With their modest educations, these households tend to have old-fashioned media tastes. They like reading newspapers, listening to country radio and watching classic TV shows. They’re big fans of motor sports and can’t get enough of NASCAR and other auto races, watching them at more than twice the national average on cable channels like ESPN and Speed. They have only a middling interest in magazines, but they do subscribe to titles like The Family Handyman and Guns & Ammo that reflect their rough and tough interests. Only minor fans of the Internet, many still use dial-up connections to visit auctions sites and online retailers that offer items they can’t find at their local stores.
In this segment, people are more concerned about family than the larger community. They’re traditionalists on social values, typically going to church on Sunday and maintaining strict gender roles in the family. Most vote Republican on Election Day and describe themselves as conservative. They have a relatively low level of civic engagement and, if they belong to any organized group, it’s their local church.
Stockcars and State Parks is a segment of established, families and couples with blue-collar jobs and middle-class lifestyles. A majority of adults are between the ages of 35 and 64. Their children tend to be older, and more than a quarter of households have adult kids still living at home. With middling educations - a mix of high school graduates and some college coursework - they earn above-average incomes thanks to multiple breadwinners. Their paychecks typically come from jobs in farming, the service sector, construction, manufacturing, health care and the military.
Stockcars and State Parks are scattered across the country, but mostly in small towns and exurban suburbs in Midwestern states like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. With their mid-scale incomes, they can afford a decent spread, typically a recently-built house on a large lot with carefully tended gardens, though the value is less than $185,000. These are stable areas where a majority has lived at their residence more than a decade and some are starting to pay off their mortgages. These households have sunk roots in their communities and show no sign of leaving any time soon.
The lifestyle of Stockcars and State Parks looks the same as it has for decades. People spend their free time fishing, hunting, camping and boating. They gather with friends to play cards, listen to music, watch sports and have potluck dinners. A big date is going to a state fair or attending a country music concert. To feed their big families, they’ll head for red meat or all-you- can-eat buffets at a Longhorn Steakhouse, Old Country Buffet or Sizzler.
Cars are important in these isolated areas, and Stockcars and State Parks are willing to splurge on their cars, typically getting the biggest engine they can afford. They buy full-sized pickup trucks, large SUVs and full-sized vans - sometimes new, often with four-wheel drive, but nearly always made in America. They rarely travel abroad but they like to take driving trips and are twice as likely as the general population to take vacations in recreational vehicles. These folks are good with their hands and tend to work on their cars. In this segment, you’ve got two kinds of people: Ford owners and Chevy owners - just like their parents.
Stockcars and State Parks are conservative, price-sensitive shoppers. They like to buy utilitarian clothes and classic styles. They watch their pennies - and their coupons - at discount retailers like Dollar General, Kmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Because many stores are a substantial drive from their small towns, they shop by catalog, especially for DIY and women’s merchandise. When they shop, they always look for their favorite brands first and often they try to keep up with new fashions every season. These households admit that they sometimes spend more on products than they can afford. At stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, they buy virtually every kind of sporting equipment.
Stockcars and State Parks have traditional media tastes. They have average interest in reading newspapers and watching TV. Not surprisingly, given their rural locations, consumers in this segment often have a satellite dish. They like to watch classic TV shows like “M*A*S*H” and “Little House on the Prairie” as well as DIY programs, conservative Fox commentators and game shows. They’re more than twice as likely as average Americans to watch auto racing - no matter the race, no matter the TV station. They qualify as radio fans, tuning in to college sports, classic rock and country music, though families are sometimes starkly divided into two camps: traditional country devotees and pop country aficionados.
Stockcars and State Parks view the world through old-fashioned wire-rims. They believe in the primacy of the family and like spending time at home. They are traditionalists on gender roles, church-goers on Sunday and upstanding citizens who typically turn out to vote. That means supporting Republican candidates and conservative family values.
When it comes to their attitudes, Stockcars and State Parks are somewhat parochial. They don’t care about being well-informed and show little interest in international events. Disinterested in civic affairs, they belong to few groups other than their local church. They admit that they’re not workaholics and have no interest in pushing themselves to advance at work or seek out new experiences on their own.
They are happy with their lives and like to spoil their children. They value their security and try to have control over their physically demanding jobs. They concede that their home life is somewhat disorganized at times. They say that they usually lack the time to make home-cooked meals and sometimes resort to eating fast food or frozen meals, which are sometimes not the healthiest of choices.
A classic country lifestyle, Stockcars and State Parks are a strong credit market. They have high rates for taking out loans for cars, home improvement and education. They carry only a handful of credit cards, but they pay them off in full every month. With household incomes of $80,000 a year, they are able to support their mid-scale lifestyles, but they don’t have a lot of income- producing assets. These conservative households state that investing in the stock market is too risky, so they tend to limit their investments to savings bonds and CDs. More than a quarter say that they prefer to pay cash rather than use plastic for routine expenses. However, despite all their risk-averse behavior, fewer than ten percent say that they feel financially secure.
For Stockcars and State Parks, the Internet is a source of information and commerce. Consumers in this segment like to go online to visit auction and car-buying sites when they want to buy a truck or sell a sofa. They routinely visit blogs and chat forums, as well as lifestyle sites devoted to pets, animals, food and beverages. Because they live in towns that may be a long drive away from a mall, they’re happy to become regular customers of e-retailers such as kohls.com and cabelas.com. Reflecting the number of older children still living at home, these households shop online for toys, cars and fitness equipment; they visit Best Buy, Craigslist and Yellow Pages sites. However, they’re still somewhat slow in adopting new digital technology for computers and cell phones: nearly a quarter of households still use dial-up phone modems - almost triple the national average.