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The Future Of Your Future Is Psychographic. Read All About It.



MisfitHas this ever happened to YOU?

Weeks of involvement drag by.  You’re not having fun.  Pouring yourself into it, people don’t seem to appreciate you.   You’re likable.  But, you’re not connecting. Relationships aren’t blooming.

What’s wrong?

This misfit story unfolds when the decision to join a group/organization/tribe/niche, is based on demographics, or worse, random happenstance.  What’s wrong?   Your Psychographic proclivities are not in alignment with the group you’ve selected — these people aren’t your kind-of-people, you know it and they know it. Ergo, nothing good happens.

The fix is simple and quick. When you engage with a tribe that has shared passions, interests, activities and opinions, you click and stick.

Now is the time to open your mind and imagination.  Let’s talk about how to enjoy, grow, nurture and profit from choosing the right tribes and crafting relevant and effective marketing, advertising and branding.  We’ll start with a momentary review of old school demographics, then we’ll dive into the in’s and out’s of new school Psychographics.

You’re familiar with Demographic selling?

If you type “definition: demographic selling” into the Google Search, it returns 4,720,000 results. Demographic selling is old school.

Google Search: definition: demographic selling

Crafting a written plan to develop and grow your business is smart.  Demographic considerations play a role in every effective business plan.

Want to slingshot your business from misfit and unfun, to popular, appreciated and wildly brilliant?

Learn all you can about unlocking and unleashing the brilliance of Physcographic-Selling.

WTH Is A “Psychographic”?

If you type “definition: psychographic selling” into Google Search, it returns 66,600 results.  (My first thought, the sign of Satan, then, realizing it was Lucifer’s trick to misdirect, I quickly gathered my thoughts and continued…).

Google Search Definition: psychographic selling

That’s 4,720,00 results for old school “Demographic-Selling” and 66,600 for the lesser known, but brilliant, Psychographic-Selling”.

Why lesser known?  Because the power of” Physchographic-Selling” is most recently electrified by the omnipresence of the internet, social media, online sharing and boundry-less conversation. Facebook, blogs, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., all empower us to engage each other on shared Interests, Activities and Opinions (IAO).  Interests, Activities and Opinions are Psychographic variables. It’s easier than ever to find new friends and join new tribes.

Here’s more,  a snippet from on the definition of “Phsychographic Selling”.

Psychographic variables are also known as IAO variables – Interests, Activities and Opinions. The seller needs to analyze these 3 factors primarily in order to understand the psyche of the customers. Then he can adopt a suitable marketing strategy, or he can alter an existing marketing strategy. The habits that consumers generally display with regard to a certain class of products will determine their reaction to the product that a seller is offering them.

Psychographic Segmentation Variables
The variables that come into play when we speak of psychographic segmentation are primarily psychological in nature. The following variables could be said to be a part of the process of psychographic segmentation.

  • Interests
  • Activities
  • Opinions
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Habits
  • Lifestyle
  • Perception of selling company
  • Hobbies

Because the real estate business is personal in nature and success is won or lost on the basis of “trust”, when planning and strategizing on tactics to grow your real estate business success and profitability, Phychographic considerations add muscular-mojo to your plan.

Psychographic-Selling Mojo

People with similar interests, shared beliefs and in-common hobbies like each other. People trust people they like. People hire and referral recommend people they like and trust. This is why understanding Psychographics and it’s IAO (Interests, Activities and Opinions) variables is important.

To deepen connection, forge strong relationships, earn trust and have fun, it’s wise to analyze your SOE (Sphere Of Engagement) and segment them into tribes and niches of similar Psychographic makeup.  Taking this advanced step will insure that efforts to grow the size, depth of connection and your relevance (Top Of Mind Awareness & Trust) within your tribes, returns maximum results.

Here’s how:

Psychographic segmentation: Consciously group your Sphere Of Engagement (SOE) into tribes and niches with in-common IAO (interests, activities, opinions) variables.

When crafting marketing messages: Whether institutional, personal branding, property promotion, presentation or prospecting; understanding the Interests, Activities and Opinions (IAO) of the people you are addressing, will insure that you speak their language.  When conversing and marketing, it’s wise to choose an angle of approach that is relevant to the personality traits, interests, opinions, hobbies, passions and aversions of your defined and grouped Psychographic tribes and niches. Do this and connection, conversation, persuasion, trust and Top Of Mind Awareness will take deep root and your success will bloom brilliantly. You’ll have more fun too.

When adding a new tribe or niche to your existing Sphere Of Engagement (SOE), using Psychographic segmentation will keep you from beating your head against the “you’re NOT one of us”, steel-clad-security-door.  When you engage with a tribe that has shared passions, you click and stick.

Immediately quit mis-chosen tribes and scoot to a tribe that is involved in something you’re passionate about, a tribe with compatible Interests, Activities and Opinions.  I know the women get it.  Dudes, YES, I said “passionate”!

Now is the time to open your mind and imagination. What legal passions singe you.  What passions do you think you don’t have time for?  Cooking classes, yoga, book club, bunco, ballroom dancing, PTO, tennis league, coaching little league?  The real estate business is one of the few business that allow positive people to engage in people centric passions.  Forget about joining the traditional and professional organizations, unless you’re passionate about them, and join the tribes and niches that you love. They’ll love you back.  When this happens you and your tribe win.  Yea!

Psycho Action Plan

A Simple 4 Step Action Plan

  1. Identify Psychographic tribes and niches within your Sphere Of Engagement.
  2. Craft your marketing messages, promotions and conversations to speak directly to each tribe and niche in their language, based on your shared Interests, Activities and Opinions.
  3. Expand your Sphere Of Engagement by joining new tribes and niches that share your passions.  Avoid or quit engagement with tribes and niches that don’t share your passions.
  4. Be yourself.  Participate, share and have fun with your new tribe members and you’ll grow trust, attract, uncover and discover new opportunities.
  5. Have fun, live it up, share, serve and succeed brilliantly.


Thanks for reading.  Share with your friends.  If you’d like to share with the Agent Genius tribe, leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.


Photo Credit

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Ian Greenleigh

    December 28, 2009 at 8:57 am


    Love the call to action here, get in with those of similar passions. If we read what you’ve written carefully, you do address this, but I just want to make sure: You’re not advocating marketing to different tribes without first belonging to them or engaging with them, correct? This seems like the crucial message many do not get. It’s not just about IDing the tribes out there and slinging stuff at them, it’s about selling to those that *share* your interests.

    Great stuff, thanks.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      Good eye. Seems are few universal threads that weave success. You are correct, after identifying tribes, figure out which are yours. If you’re not one of them, don’t bother trying to connect/market/prospect with them, it’s like swimming up stream, in wet sweats. Stick with people who like things you like, then you’re having fun and success.


  2. BawldGuy

    December 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Ken — I’m more than a little intrigued, he said, making use of intense understatement. 🙂

    I suspect combining this principle with both NLP and Conceptual Selling would be a nearly unbeatable hat trick.

    Would love to see a short version case study, even if you had to construct it out of whole cloth.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      I’ve read about Psychographics, what there is, and my personal experience is on where, instead of joining the Chamber of Commerce (nothing wrong with them, it’s an example of a typical choice) I did what I loved. I played basket ball. Basket ball at noon with a bunch of guys, Bball on weekends and evenings in the park, 3on3 leagues at the Y and 5on5 at the rec cener and church. Made dozens of friends, played games and listed and sold a ton of homes. Why? Because we shared the same passion, people get to know you well by how you win, lose, hustle, etc.

      So for me, what I’ve experienced and seen, connecting with people who have the same IAO is the fast tract to connection and trust.

      What do you think.

  3. Janie Coffey

    December 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Ken, I have to come back and read this when my brain is free not to multi-task. It looks great and I am with you 100%. Connect with those you connect with. I’ll be back, but camping out here for a bit to digest it all.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks. It’s a long post. I’m including in a book I’m writing, so I wrote a bit more indepth than I might usually. Hope you find it useful.


  4. Lisa Roth

    December 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I totally agree with you. I’m not into dogs and yet consider it every time I see an agent using a dog in their marketing 😉 Hope 2010 is a great year for you. I believe it will be fun and profitable!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      That’s the thing isn’t it. To an outsider, what the insiders do and understand is completely different. I’m with you on the Dog thing, yet some LOVE it. Since I don’t, pet lovers would know I’m a poser and never trust me. You make a good point.

      I think the same thing applies to things like Facebook Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. While I’m not interested in playing, I know people who love it and have developed relationships with others that do as well.

      Thanks for sharing.


  5. Katherine Carrier

    December 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm


    Thank you for this enlightening perspective. As I have studied where I predominantly got sales, I was thinking there was a magic “at least two times a week” face-time denominator (softball practices and games, tennis lessons and matches, fitness camp, church), and I still think that’s true, but I see this is linked to common passions.

    As we broaden our business and seek more non-sphere leads, it would be good to understand better how to craft our marketing messages to speak to our tribes!

    Great content!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks for the comment and good point. Sounds like you know what you’re about and it works great. Amen.

      In the future I will write a post that addresses your interest in crafting messages that resonate with a particular tribe. Basically, the approach centers around Persona Based copywriting. Over simplified, what you do is write your advertising/presentation/promotional copy as if you were writing a single person in the tribe. This technique is perceived a personally speaking to the reader/prospect and because you’re writing to a tribe member, most of the tribe can relate to it. For example, your copy/story would sound and feel different and you’d most likely or rather, you should use different metaphors, symbolism, verbs, nouns and context if you were addressing your tennis league pals than you would if you were addressing soccer league tribe.

      I’ll go into more detail in a future post.

      Thanks and Happy New Year to you.

  6. Paula Monthofer

    December 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Great article! Love it and will be incorporating some psychographic marketing into my 2010 business plan. Thank you!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      Great. Psychographic is smart and when you name drop the word, you’ll get funny looks, then you can impress them with your well rounded, world of marketing and communication knowledge. Cheers and thanks for the comment.

  7. Elaine Reese

    December 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Ken, this was a very good article.

    In my corp mktng career, we used psychographic marketing for specialty products. When I got into this RE business I recall an agent telling me that eventually I would realize that all my clients were ‘just like me’. I developed my target market to be a demographic that I am comfortable speaking with. As you say, we speak the same language – use the same type of terminology. I prefer using a rifle strategy rather than a shotgun. I was pleased to see you suggest that we write our blogs as if we were speaking directly with our phantom target client. I do that and it’s very helpful to keep me focused.

    On a side note, I’m one of those “dog” people and obtain business because of it. I’ve had blog readers make, buy and send gifts to my dog. If I were to try to target joggers, or health nuts, it would be a complete failure … that’s just not me. 🙂

    • Ken Brand

      December 29, 2009 at 8:04 am

      Thanks and thanks for sharing your experience. It seems obvious, but there are tons of people who think meeting as many people as you can is the key to success. Nope. The rifle strategy is the way to go, it’s easier, funner and more profitable.

      Cheers Elaine, here’s to a BIG 2010.

  8. Houstonblogger

    December 29, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Ken. I don’t know if it would be possible for me to even be successful in marketing myself to a “tribe” that I don’t believe in, enjoy or even want to be around. I put myself in front of those that amuse me, make me happy and share my love of life, experiences and specific hobbies and interests. Not a bunch of groups that mean nothing to me nor I to them. Great post from a great person!

  9. Ken Brand

    December 29, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Life’s to short to work with people you don’t click with.

    I think you’re criteria “I put myself in front of those that amuse me, make me happy and share my love of life, experiences and specific hobbies and interests.” sums it up.

    Cheers to our working with cool people in 2010. And speaking of working with cool people, next time you’re in The Woodlands and you have a free few minutes, give me a buzz and let’s grab a cup of coffee or lunch.


    • Houstonblogger

      December 29, 2009 at 8:19 am

      I will do so! I’ve been meaning to head that way, it just hasn’t happened yet. Looking forward to it, though!

  10. Janie Coffey

    December 29, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Hi Ken,

    OK, I am back. Psychographic connections are the real deal. It is being your authentic self. It works because you make the connections and build relationships built on a common ground (IOA). You know the lingo and share common bonding elements.

    I find it important to go for depth, not breath with this kind of engagement. To create the strongest bonds, it can’t be superficial or occasional connections. If it’s a sport, social media, or whatever, pick a few you LOVE and get in there, be involved, help out, and grow your connections.

    Great ideas, as always Ken! Janie

  11. Ken Brand

    December 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Thank you Janie;-) There’s something sorta liberating about the love me, like me or leave me approach.

    One of the things that I try to remember is that I “choose who to lose”, meaning, do what you do with gusto, the people who are attracted will really like it, the people who don’t, wouldn’t get it or enjoy it anyway. Cheers to you and the best ever in 2010.

  12. Jes Extender

    January 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Interesting, never really though in this way…

  13. Claudia Gonella

    January 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Great article and congratulations on winning this week’s CORE hoted by Mike:

    It’s hard to answer the question “who are your writing for?” in precise terms, hold that person in your head and then write to them, and only to them. The internet and social media is perfect for that kind of precise targeting (communicating with the masses is much harder online) so that’s what we should use it for.

  14. ColoradoHomeFinder

    January 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    So many times in my life I have been presented with something at the very time when I needed to have it presnted to me. Finding and reading this article is another one of those times. Great article, great subject matter. Thanks.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.



Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.



Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.



Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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