We have what they want…
August 16, 2011If you haven’t read the article, “The Power of the Post-Recession Consumer”, you really should. It will restore your faith in the fraternal system and convince you that we have what modern consumers want. Simply reading it won’t change your society’s performance; but it may give you the fodder you need to reinvent your society and capture the market share fraternals have lost over the past century. Here are a few key findings…
- Consumer spending patterns are changing as a part of a trend that has been quietly gathering strength over the past 10 years. Say hello to a lifestyle more focused on community, connection, quality and creativity. People are returning to old-fashioned values to build new lives of purpose and connection. They also realize that how they spend their money is a form of power, and are moving from a mindless consumption to mindful consumption, increasingly taking care to purchase goods and services from sellers that meet their standards and reflect their values.
- This Spend Shift movement will create opportunities for businesses that heed its message, and penalize those that do not.
- More recently, surveys show sharp increases in the number of consumers who want positive relationships with marketplace vendors and who focus more on corporate behavior. The brand attributes Americans found more important as they began to sense the impending recession and then suffered through the crisis were: “kindness and empathy” (up 391 percent), “friendly” (up 148 percent), “high quality” (up 124 percent) and “socially responsible” (up 63 percent).
- The reference to “kindness” is not a typo. Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. consumers expressed a nearly fourfold increase in their preference for companies, brands, and products that show kindness in both their operations and their encounters with customers. This desire for companies to be more empathetic toward consumers is the biggest shift in any attitude that we have ever seen.
- Our data suggests that kindness and empathy are now dominant discriminators in commerce, and are valuable attributes of the best companies. The ability of a company to identify with it customers is now a prerequisite for any brand in the post-crisis age. Today, openness, humility, and understanding are critical. Generosity binds a company to its community and its stakeholders. The rising importance of generosity reflects the fact that the post-crisis era will be defined by inclusion rather than exclusion. The emphasis is on being more human and humane in transactions with others, and people will set these same standards for the businesses with which they deal.