Americans' Attitude Toward Consumption May Be Shifting   / Credit: Dreamstime.com

Marketers trying to keep their finger on the pulse of American consumers' shopping preferences may want to take notice of a new survey that suggests Americans are becoming more concerned with substance than they are with appearances.

That's the finding of a new survey from mini car maker smart USA and Harris Interactive which found that the majority of Americans surveyed preferred smarts and substance over good looks or flashy material possessions.

The survey, which was conducted online in December and included more than 2,000 American  adults, found that 88 percent – both young and old, male and female – would prefer to date a person who is intelligent and philanthropic over someone who is simply attractive.

 The survey also found the following:

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 (69 percent) Americans would prefer their spouse to speak another language than have washboard abs
  • Almost 3 in 5 (59 percent) Americans would rather have their partner gain 20 I.Q. points than lose 20 pounds
  • An astonishing 95 percent of women and 80 percent of men would prefer to date someone who is smart and philanthropic like Reese Witherspoon or George Clooney than someone with a pretty/handsome face like Megan Fox or Alex Rodriguez

 

Survey respondents also indicated that their days of over consumption may be numbered.

  • 97 percent of Americans believe that at least some of the items in their household are junk (i.e., they could easily get rid of it)
  • Nearly one out of 10 (9 percent)  Americans believe they can part with a full half of their stuff
  • 9 percent of Americans believe that 51-100 percent of the items in their household are junk

"The fact that a majority of Americans are deeply concerned with right-sizing their lifestyles and making intelligent choices shows why smart has so much curb appeal today," says smart USA General Manager Tracey Matura. "People are rethinking whether bigger is actually better and focusing instead on value. They're looking at how they can cut down the clutter in their lives, whether in their choice of vehicle, home or other purchases, so they have fewer, better things rather than simply more, more, more. And smart is proof that good things do come in small packages."