Come see me speak in Dallas…

As most of you know, I am still settling into my new role at SolutionSet. I have declined a number of speaking opportunities during this period so I can focus on learning the business and connecting with the clients. One of the few opportunities I have accepted is to speak at this year’s Texas A&M Retailing Summit on October 7, in Dallas, Texas.

This year’s event will showcase presentations from premier national retailers including Rachel Bishop of Walgreens, Sid Keswani of Target and Tony Rogers of Wal-Mart. They will discuss the evolution of the American consumer. It’s an honor to be among the conference speakers, and a special thanks to the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies for inviting me to represent all of the smart and talented people behind SolutionSet that work on retail and ecommerce marketing solutions every day.

For more details or to register, check out the event website: http://www.retailingsummit.org.

As I prepare my speech, “Tomorrow’s Customers – How Will You Serve Them”, I’ve been considering that GenYers in the 25-43 year old age group are going to comprise a third of the audience pool within the next few years. This new generation has been raised on technology. Seventy-five percent of them are on Facebook, with an average network of 440 friends. They are better educated than their predecessors. And, for the most part, they are more environmentally responsible than previous generations. But most importantly, this new generation of shoppers shops in a different way. Unlike previous generations, they trust their peers over marketing and advertising. They have spent their whole life being promoted to and the old ways of marketing our brands needs to be adapted to a new consumer and its needs.

So this is what’s on my mind lately, finding the killer shopping experience for the next generation.

Thoughts welcome.

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Categories: about me, Analytics, brand strategy, consumer behavior, crm, economic downturn, emotive, future, loyalty, marketing, measurable, new media, retail, segmentation

1 reply

  1. Congratulations on the speaking engagement!

    Your analysis is fairly precise in regards to the Outside Fringe of GenX and GenY (there is a bit of overlap in those timelines). The point being that a majority or all of our lives we have had access to “High Technology”. You did not point out that we are more socially aware, and that generally we are disenfranchised by a system stuck in the early 20th century. We care just slightly more about the quality of the products we are sold. We care just slightly more about how our products were made, and who made them. We can find out in moments pretty much anything that we want about a company, product or manufacturer from multiple independent sources.

    From that view the retailer and marketer have two important points of contact with the public. The first being in product development. Strategies should focus on accurate accumulation of data and analysis of “NEEDS”. Product development should not only be focused on the most “cost effective” means of production; this generation is willing to scrimp and save (or go into massive debt) for the right product. Tangible goods take more of a backseat in a day-to-day life where many “needs” can be satisfied virtually. Thus the product itself must bring something more to the table. Most of this entire process is not actually visible to a majority of the public, however it is key. The second point of contact being first impressions. A strong launch with a targeted product will determine success or failure. Miss the message or deliver a product that does not support the message, and all those people with 400 friends on facebook will know in hours.

    One massive blind that I do see still is in the BRAND. Establish consistent messaging and products, and eventually the advertising will take care of itself. Wall-Greens and Wal-Mart both became the massive brands they are today on a foundation of brand loyalty, even while business practice and scope have massively changed. You can see this with Apple and many other brands also. Once “hooked” the audience will buy up to a point.

    A potentially under explored avenue with this generation is personalization. The way that we consume media is highly personalized, as are the means by which we communicate and express ourselves. You can see some explorations of this in the fashion and accessories industries. There are a number of shoe manufacturers offering customizable versions of their core products (www.miadidas.com, http://www.converse.com/products/shoes/converseOne/scratch/all, shop.vans.com/catalog/Vans/en_US/category/custom-shoes.html#/selectShoe). Some iPhone accessories have made headway here also, this is my favorite example. (http://www.grovemade.com/). By making your product about the person who is buying it you create a connection to the consumer in a very unique way.

    In a world where information is readily available, and consumers are naturally curious, the onus is on the Retailer and Marketer to put forth an image supported by real content more than ever before. The TECH GENS do not want to be sold to, they want to be served and in some way benefit from the products and companies they are loyal to.

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