The geeks are inheriting the Earth, if you believe a study from Geeknet. Their study in the U.S., Britain and Germany with Forrester Consulting says 66 percent of online respondents have “geek tendencies.”
This means that many people online work in IT jobs and might also have “Technology Enthusiasm” and Geek Passion in that they keep up with new tech trends and like to understand how things work. Some, however, are “Non-Tech Geeks,” where they like geeky things but aren’t as technically oriented.
On nearly a two-to-one basis, self-identified geeks were more likely to read a lot about things that interested them, liked solving problems and thought that technology made their life better. The term geek itself has turned around from a negative into a positive.
“We’ve certainly seen a turning of the corner — more than a turning of the corner — about that,” says Scott Kauffman, CEO of Geeknet. “because there’s a deep intelligence behind it. I used to call myself a music fan. Now I call myself a music geek.”
While this group might appear ad adverse, they are actually twice as likely to say that an ad helped them make a purchase decision, and are similarly likely to check out a website of a product or make a purchase online.
Interestingly, geeks are also more brand-loyal and spend more on a product associated with their image. “They take pride in using information to get the best products, which probably doesn’t mean the most expensive,” says Kauffman. “They’re confident in the decisions they’ve made. They have higher educations and higher incomes, so they’ve got the purchasing power.”
Geeks are receptive to ads, if it is on their terms and integrated into their lifestyle. “If the information is relevant to them — no longer a 30-second spot, but more integrated into their lifestyle — then their response is not so much ‘I’m getting hit with a commercial message’ as it is ‘I’m getting information that’s relevant to me,'” says Kauffman. “These are smart people, and their antennae are way up.”
Importantly, geeks are often touchpoint consumers that others turn to for advice on purchases, whether technological or not. “Geeks are getting the last laugh here,” says Kauffman. “Technology is no longer exclusionary. Geeks were there first, so now it’s easy for them to be setting the agenda.”