Some call them archetypes. Some call them personas. Whichever term you prefer, they’re a given today among marketing departments of all types of companies. They’re a semi‑fictional representation of the target audiences for each of your marketing campaigns — going beyond demographics to include a created name, a personality description, a likely image, and more.
Research firm New Frontier Data recently examined cannabis consumers throughout the U.S., and identified the ten most common archetypes that segment consumers into addressable groups. In the early 1900s, famed psychologist Carl Jung developed the basic set of archetypes used in the behavioral sciences, art and literature — the hero, the caregiver, the lover, the everyman and other familiar terms. Today, marketers refine these into categories that immediately distinguish the attitudes and behaviors of the consumers profiled.
These newly-identified archetypes, in order from high frequency of use to low frequency, include:
Savvy Connoisseurs. These are the most frequent, highest-spending consumers, encompassing 8% of the population. The majority identity themselves primarily as medical cannabis users. They consumer multiple forms, and usually source from brick-and-mortar dispensaries.
Contemporary Lifestylers. Making up 9% of the population, these very frequent users consume both flower and non-flower products, and tend to be recreational users for unwinding. They mostly source from dispensaries, and will engage in many activities while high.
Legacy Lifestylers. Often consuming multiple times daily, they mostly consume flower that is sourced from dealers and friends — cannabis is not legal in their states. They use for medical and wellness, and also recreationally. This group is 7% of the population.
Modern Medicinals. These are frequent medical users, although many also use recreationally. High spenders, they source from dispensaries and delivery services, and will consume many forms especially non-flower. They make up 13% of the population.
Engaged Explorers. They are frequent recreational consumers who consume the most different product forms. Mid-range spenders, they source from cannabis businesses. They are 10% of the population.
Classic Smokers. These are frequent recreational users who mostly consume flower, buds and joints, sourced from dealers and friends. They are not legal consumers in their states. They socialize and engage in many activities while high, and represent 15% of the population.
Holistic Healers. These are infrequent medical users who primarily use topicals, tinctures and edibles for pain. They rarely consume flower. Most source from dispensaries or delivery. They make up 8% of the population.
Social Nibblers. These are infrequent social users who primarily source from friends, often for free. They love edibles and do not consume flower. This group is 9% of the population.
Aching Dabblers. Just 5% of the population, these very infrequent consumers use cannabis for pain or specific medical conditions. Most consume only flower, and tend to source from friends.
Infrequent Partakers. While these are the most infrequent consumers, they represent 16% of the population. They are social users who mostly consume flower when among friends, from whom they consider their source. They are least likely to pay for their cannabis.