RangeRoverSince the 90’s the Bobos have been invading our cities and changing the way they look.  Bobo is a term which combines the two words Bohemian and Bourgeoisie; these two words seem as though they would never be put together, but this consumer group has values and ideals from both sides of the spectrum.  Their motivations combine those of the liberal idealists of the 1960’s and entrepreneurial materialists of the 1980’s (Brooks, 2000).  The Bobos have not only changed the way which advertisers must communicate with the consumer, but have changed the look of the business world.

Karl Marx has said that cultures always clash which will sometimes cause a conflict between the two, but in other instances the two just blur into one.  That’s what has happened here with these once contrasting cultures.  The Bohemian side of the Bobo values things such as the environment, being more open to new ideas, and just the overall enjoyment of life; while the Bourgeoisie side values like working hard for a living and have a steady income.  The 25-40 year old Bobos reside in the cities but like leaving the cities for weekend get-a-ways.

They have different motivators for their purchases, but most of their major purchases are justified on an emotional appeal.  For example, your typical Bobo would say that they’re environmentally conscious, yet they would buy a gas guzzling, $65,000, Range Rover.  Their entrepreneurial side would say that they need a car because that’s what the wealthy do, even though they ride their bikes to work.  They would justify the purchase by taking the SUV out of the city to an open field and covering it in mud.  Their ideals and motivations seem contradictory, and many of them are, but that is who the Bobos and how they act.

daniel.dudley@temple.edu