Rolling the Dice: blend of optimism and pessimism

Experian describes a group of American families they describe as “Rolling the Dice: a blend of optimism and pessimism.”

With an average household income that is 25% lower than that of the average American, members of Rolling the Dice are especially feeling the pinch of the economic recession and are less likely than average to feel financially secure. Four-in-10 adults classified as Rolling the Dice (40%) think that the U.S. economy at large will be worse off in the next year, versus 32% of all adults who feel this way. When it comes to their personal financial outlook, it’s a coin-toss — or a roll of the dice. Interestingly, this segment as a whole is simultaneously more pessimistic and more optimistic than the average American about their personal economic future. Specifically, 27% of Rolling the Dice members say they will be worse off financially a year from now and 36% say they will be better off. Among all U.S. adults, only 17% say they will be worse off and 32% say they will be better off. Whichever way the winds blow, the majority of Rolling the Dice members have a good feeling that in the next year, things will at least be different.

With their limited budget, it’s no surprise that this group shops most retailers at below-average rates. Interestingly though, Rolling the Dice scores well for online shopping, with 29% reporting having made a purchase online within the last 30 days, compared with 22% of all U.S. adults. The propensity for online shopping can be explained by their quest to find lower prices — Rolling the Dice shoppers visit nearly every Website with “coupon” or “deal” in the URL.

Rolling the Dice Americans are more likely to part with their money when products tout green or environmentally friendly claims. In fact, 76% of Rolling the Dice say they are more likely to buy a product from a company that is environmentally friendly, versus just 55% of all American adults who say the same. Further, this group is 51% more likely than average to believe that eco-friendly products are actually higher quality than those that are not. Online, this propensity has translated into finding this segment on environmental Websites like Care2, an online community for healthy and green living, and the Daily News from National Geographic.

While traditional media still plays a major role in the lives of Rolling the Dice, they admit that the Internet and cell phones are starting to change their routines. Many members of this segment say they are spending less time watching television and reading magazines and newspapers because of the Internet. In fact, 48% of adults in this segment say, “The Internet has changed the way I spend my free time,” versus 41% of all adults who feel this way. The Internet and cell phones have especially impacted the social world of Rolling the Dice, by providing them with the ability to connect and share with friends and even meet new people.

Connecting with others through electronic devices is so common for this group now that 39% say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation. Just 27% of all U.S. adults feel this way. Rolling the Dice can be found using online instant messenger services like Tinychat and Meebo to chat with family and friends. They also enjoy communicating on a variety of specialty forums and social networks like Duck Hunters Refuge Forums, United Kennel Club Message Boards, Television Without Pity and the Quilting Board.