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Transumers gonna getcha!

What the hell is a Transumer?
TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the ‘fixed’, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the 'now'.

Experience over ownership. "Fractional ownership". An experience collector. It's hilarious to me that, reading the descriptions it's a lot like a communal 1960's idealism updated for the soft-safe-pastel-rounded-corners consumerism we're neck deep into in the 2000's.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
selling experience as a product is better than selling something tangible; tangible things take time to become obsolescent, whereas experiences can be rebranded, repackaged and sold again to the same person the very next day.

seems like hollywood has been operating under this paradigm for some time, huh.
Dec. 15th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
I appreciate that someone has really examined the phenomenon. I hate that they've managed to make it into another marketing segment. But I suppose that's inevitable. Where it comes over into the tangible market is rented consumer goods. Couture dresses you can wear just for the night at a tiny fraction of the retail price of owning the dress (that you'd only wear once anyway). High end purses you can rent for a few weeks or a month - exactly the amount of time where the novelty wears off and you're looking for the next hot thing. Cars that you can drive when you need it, leave in a lot and walk away from without having to worry about it. The concept of high end/expensive/exclusive property (which in the past has been a status symbol) as community property is a really interesting one. And it leaves those partaking in it free of the establishment-ownership taint.

Hollywood doesn't seem to know what the hell it's selling. Is it DVDs or the experience of film on a personal level, the communal shared experience of a theatre, or some other permutation? One of the reasons they're floudering is they don't even know what their product is anymore.

Dec. 16th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
it is interesting how our different perspectives color this phenomena. to my eye, this seems like another way to deprive the debtor class of owning anything at all; to rent something like a dress or a purse or a vehicle instead of owning it is to me an oppression. to you it is a freedom.
Dec. 16th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
To me it's neither. I was describing the person who feels this way from outside of it - not saying it was how I felt. I haven't expressed a personal slant to it.

I can see how either sentiment could be felt depending on what the perspective is. The people who are renting couture dresses for one night for some exclusive gala or gucci bags for a month might be of the debtor class but are attempting - through fashionista conceit - to appear that they are not. These aren't people renting an item they really need because there is no other way to have it. These are people temporarily buying a lifestyle that they don't really have the means to live in because the appearance of monetary status is what's most important to them. These are purely things that fall into the "other" category in the monthly budget.

Personally the flex-cars (they have them in DC) I think are great. SO many people live in the city, have no space or money for a car. But having easy access to one should they need it (without the financial and logistical burden) is great.

For me, I think whether it's someone chucking away money on pointless, frivolous, disposable, trendy garbage or someone finding the only way they can manage with something that's a basic need is through leasing and rental makes all the difference in how I feel about the concepts.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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