Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Are you a transumer?

Once and a while I come across a new term and go - Wow! This is so cool. Over the weekend while reading the Toronto Star I had such a moment with the word "transumer".

Some of you may know from my posts that I spent over a decade working as a global manager, and for several years my life and work consisted of a lot of travel -- and I mean a lot of travel, sometimes 180 working days a year on a plane or in a hotel room. As a manager with staff in 10 countries it was very common to have days when I might wake up in one country and go to bed that night in my third country of the day. It was really fun -- for quite some time before the allure of power travel and plane delays took its' toll. After almost a three year hiatus of power travel, doing only an international consultancy here and there, my thoughts of travel have been forefront in my mind recently, so this article on transumerism was very timely.

Trendwatch defines "transumer" as ,
"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'.
Trendwatch recommends you read Gilles Lipovetsky’s Hypermodern Times for a deeply insightful take on consumers' pervasive obsession with the here-and-now. "

This weekend's article in the Toronto Star, "Transumers buy on the fly" describes how transumers are modern day nomads, collecting experiences rather than product. They cite Canadian companies such as Roots serving these clientele.

The article hit quite a few chords for me, especially as I realized that my once-nomadic lifestyle is more common than expected, and my shopping patterns "on the fly" are not unusual. Even now my "home base" is still pretty fluid. When I share how we divide our time between Toronto and Muskoka, there often is a longing in people's voices -- how do you do it? Well, for me it really was an intentional decision, and after working in the international development sector for so many years, for me experiences are truly more powerful than goods.

I'd love to hear your comments -- are there any other transumers out there? What's your favorite experience? How has this shaped your life? Your work? Your family? Looking forward to hearing from other transumers out there!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

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