The Fundamentalist - "Just give me the Carfax" With all the functionality packed into today's modern-day devices it's getting harder and harder to be a "fundamentalist" buyer: no frills, no extras, just give me what I need. "I just want a cellular phone, I don't need all this app business." In my experience these types of buyers are either very task oriented and want simplicity, or they're like my mom and probably shouldn't be bothered with anything beyond the basic — "How do I send a text message again?" But even these days she's asking me about "one of those new iPhones."
The Individualist - "I'll have what she's having...but with more pepper" Most of us fall in this category just by the nature of choice. It's why restaurants serve things in three sizes, and why you usually go for the "medium." It's just right — not too little, not too much — in terms of features and price. And in today's world the medium often gets super-sized for free. But we all like to have a bit of distinction, so we may choose to accessorize our purchase with a colorful case or go for the medium-sized memory stick that looks like a cute animal. Tech buyers that fall in this category are likely to hold more value to the overall design and look of the product versus comparing all the pros / cons against similarly priced alternatives. The great thing is that today that philosophy will get you by just fine. Technology and manufacturing have developed to the point were most things on the shelf are really great and it really does all come down to..."What color do you want it in?"
The Professional Enthusiast - "I got next" I'll admit it, I'm that guy. Just like I used to rock the Jordan Jersey with the matching Air Jordan shoes for pickup basketball — I tend to buy the professional-level tech. The key difference here, if you're with me, is that the tech can actually make you better. You likely get enamored with specs, buy things (software, computer, smartphones) with more features than you can foreseeably use, but sometimes you grow into them. You find yourself taking more pictures because of the convenience and portability, or turning your computer into a home server because it can handle it. Heck, sometimes this approach even helps you develop new hobbies and skills. So, given your enthusiasm and knack for it, you're likely to go big or go home. Which category do you best fit into? (Images: Chris Perez)