I found this comment a couple of days ago. It bears on whether an economic downturn can refashion consumer taste and preference.
The rise of Millennials and the aging of Baby Boomers represent significant challenges for established food brands and traditional grocery stores, according to new study from investment bank Jeffries and business advisory firm AlixPartners. Over the next decade, Millennials (born between 1982 and 2001) will come of age and Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will enter the next phase of their lives and spending patterns. As a result, established food brands and traditional grocery stores will be pressured at both ends by consumers with different value equations.
These news items recently caught our attention: P&G shifting money from marketing to social media. And GM walking away from advertising on Facebook. Question: Are these events contradictory or complementary?
Tablets are on track to fundamentally change the computing landscape. The handheld devices of various shapes and sizes will be in the hands of 34 percent of the U.S. population by 2016, predicts James McQuivey, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
I finally had a look in on Eat, Pray, Love, the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert that sold 4 milllions copies in paperback and this summer became a movie starring Julia Roberts. (I know I am late to this, but, as an anthropologist who studies contemporary culture, I'm trying to keep up with everything.) Three things struck me.
Instead of our usual text-based Trend Briefings, we bring you a light-hearted yet insight-heavy video edition this month, featuring consumers from all over the world speaking their minds on a variety of trend topics. After all, one consumer video sometimes says more than a 20-page Trend Briefing ;-) Enjoy!
Welcome to the dawn of Responsible Consumerism -- arguably the most profound shift in American values since the 1960s. We saw this seismic shift coming a generation away. Members of both the G.I. and Silent generations, those now ages 64 and older, led the way by reducing their own consumption of goods and services as they grew older. Their desires shifted as they reached age 50 and then 60: fewer material goods, more enriching experiences. Fast on their heels comes the largest, wealthiest and most important demographic group America has even seen. Boomers, raised in front of television sets, a target for marketers from age five upward, are now reaching 60 at the rate of one every eight seconds.
In an economy as whacked out as this one is globally, the tired "customer is king" adage is actually a wicked understatement. Consumers have seemingly infinite choices from good brands--many of them desperate to move the merchandise to generate cash and survive. In an unforgiving marketplace like the one we are enduring, brands better build products and services around real, differentiated and defensible insights. "Here's what I hope you want to buy" is a merchandising strategy for failure.
Leo Babauta has written the perfect post for some of the thoughts I've been having about marketing, social media and the age of the customer. In it, he encourages us to be lusting for life, not stuff. I couldn't agree more. I find that the more I know myself, the more refined and specific grows my taste on wines, food and yes, stuff - like jewelry, clothing, cars, even vacations.
Gen Y has higher expectations of the products that it uses and consumes, demanding that brands not only perform to perfection but help make the world a better place at the same time. The rising popularity of cause-based marketing reflects a fundamental shift in the way that Gen Y is changing consumerism.
In the first part of my article on Post Consumerism, I touched on the drivers of the “Citizen Renaissance,” as Jules Peck coins it. My hypothesis is that there are emerging citizen values, and a shift away from consumerism towards citizens who are actively engaged in behaviors of business, the decisions of government and of involved in communities of interest. In this second part, I attempt to outline the market need and opportunity, and some examples that attempt to address post consumerism.
"Spent" looks at why, when scientific research shows that more stuff doesn’t lead to more happiness, humans are driven to endlessly acquire.
Is there altogether too much design out there? That's the assertion of Liz Kinmark and Kegan Fisher, a pair of young designers based in Bushwick, Brooklyn, who call themselves Design Glut.
AT the entrance to almost every shopping mall in the country, you will find a directory that, if you are spatially coordinated, will give you an approximate lay of the land. You can gauge the distance from Abercrombie & Fitch to its younger-skewing cousin, Hollister, or its older cousin, Ruehl, and find the way to their closest competitors in the teenager and young adult category, Aéropostale and American Eagle Outfitters. But you will be no closer to discerning what drives the modern youth from one store to the next; what differentiates one’s frayed cargo shorts from another’s; or why one of them, Abercrombie, is facing a consumer revolt, while others are paradoxically upbeat. A clue: It has to do with price.