What do Mainers really think about Maine?
We can tell you.
Last year, we worked with AudienceAudit, a leading attitudinal research firm, to learn not only WHAT Mainers think, but WHY. In our study, Mindsets of Maine, we found three distinct attitudinal segments — a group of individuals who share similar thoughts and feelings about Maine — and by digging deeper into the data, we were able to learn who thought of themselves as a Mainer, what they want out of Maine-based businesses, and, even more importantly, why.
This data helps us tailor messages to meet each group where they are and it’s changing the way we help our clients market their products and services. We think it can change your business approach as well.
The three segments, Proud Mainers, Disparagers, and Change Seekers, have many things in common — what factors they consider make a company Maine-based, for example. Or whether or not they expect to travel south to find the product and/or service they want. And, consequently, whether or not they are willing to travel north for the same item. Or east. Or west.
But when it comes to how to really connect to each segment, why they belong in each group matters. Because each group has specific interests in, and feelings about, Maine. And by using this knowledge, we help clients adjust their messaging to potential customers in order to reach the right audience, the right way.
Proud Mainers – 34% of participants
- Love all things Maine and all Mainers
- Believe in Maine’s future and potential
- Being Maine-based is enough to make a positive connection
These respondents are significantly more likely to say they are proud to be Maine residents. They cite many features of the state they love, but they also believe that Mainers themselves are a unique breed.
Proud Mainers say Mainers are more independent, tougher, more practical, more connected to each other, more inventive, and more humble than residents of other states.
These respondents make a point of seeking out local companies when making a purchase and feel Maine is a dynamic state well-positioned for the future.
When it comes to working, Proud Mainers —
Want to work for your Maine-based business and promote your products and services. And they hope your company will proudly share its role in making Maine a great place to live and work. Proud Mainers make wonderful front-line employees.
Disparagers – 36.5% of participants
- Are suspicious about Maine’s ability to compete
- Believe Maine people are slow to grow and change
- Are skeptical of trends and are cautious to try new things
Disparagers could not be more different than Proud Mainers. They feel Mainers are hesitant to change how they do things and are stuck in the past when it comes to social and cultural topics, and admit they themselves find it difficult to try new things. They also claim Mainers are an “odd bunch”.
They feel that Maine businesses are less tech-savvy than businesses in other states and that most companies don’t understand the needs of Maine buyers, who they say tend to buy cheaper products if they can. They are less likely than others to say that Maine is a great place to start and grow a business.
When it comes to working, Disparagers —
May be best suited in traditional roles that don’t require big leaps of trust in the company, new technology, or fellow employees. Because they see it as a rarity, Disparagers will place extra value on the potential for job growth and a well-paying job. Disparagers are not great front-line employees.
Change Seekers – 29.5% of participants
- Believe Maine is a great place of potential
- Strive for social, entrepreneurial, and ecological progress
- Believe Maine’s motto, Dirigo (I lead) can help Mainers make the world a better place
These respondents are very concerned about environmental issues, saying climate change is being accelerated by human activity. They believe immigrants and others coming to Maine are good for the state. They are fairly pro-Maine, but they don’t believe that Maine residents are much different than residents of other states.
When it comes to working, Change Seekers —
Will want to help with new initiatives that make your company and our state a better place. They would make great members of your DEI committee, or they will help to plan a multicultural potluck or a teambuilding exercise to clean up a local park.
For Mainers, Maine Matters.
Organizations doing business in Maine must recognize that one size fits all “Maine-based” marketing approaches may alienate a sizeable group of potential buyers. If you do claim Maine-based status in your messaging, work to ensure potential customers or employees see your business as competitive in the wider world, concerned about the future of our state and world, and highlight with care the work you do to make your company unique.
Mainers aren’t all the same and don’t all share the Proud Mainers’ enthusiasm for the state or the belief that its residents are unique. But all Mainers respond to Maine-based companies with loyalty and respect, regardless of segment.
In fact, 90% of Mainers think it’s important for Maine residents to support Maine-based businesses.
So if you are a Maine-based company, make sure to make that known!
Want to learn more about our Mindsets of Maine 2022 research? You can download the executive summary, watch the webinar, or see the data here.