Monday, June 16, 2014

Read Kit Yarrow’s New Book

Had consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow not quoted me in her latest book, Decoding the New Consumer Mind, I’d still recommend retailers get the book and carefully consider her analyses. Kit nicely identifies what’s trending in consumers’ psyches. (She says “trending” does a better job than “trend” for portraying the rapidity of changes in those psyches.)
      In her text, Kit does seem to have a special fascination with C: “...(F)our major opportunities to involve your customer…. Handily, each begins with the letter C. They are Champions, Customization, Crowdsourcing, Contests.” And in introducing examples earlier, Kit writes: “(W)hat do Cowgirl Creamery, Coors, and Campbell’s have in common besides the letter C?”
      Never mind the bias as long as Kit attends to the really Big C—the Consumer. She pulls together a range of research conclusions and brief case studies which will stimulate retailers’ thinking about how to improve profitability.
      The pages she spends discussing the effects of technology on the consumer introduce little that informed retailers don’t know already in abundance. But of great value is her discerning and documenting the emergence in today’s consumer of rampant narcissism. “Narcissism” doesn’t begin with that special letter, so perhaps, for consistency, it should be “C for Centered on Self.” Your shoppers are more self-centered than in the past and walk into your store accompanied by a compelling sense of entitlement.
      I do find an unevenness in the credibility of Kit’s sources. She takes findings from carefully done peer-reviewed experimental research, then mixes in stories of her own qualitative inquiries and what seem to be rough, anecdotal estimates from others, those estimates claiming credibility principally on having been repeated often enough. The result is the occasional silly statistic showing no visible means of support: “Today more than 80 percent of online content is user generated.”
      Also, the text veers too close to a position that none of the old rules apply anymore. This might have been helpful in justifying the “New” in the book’s title. However, it’s a view which lacks adequate credibility for experienced, perspicacious business people.
      It’s easy to put aside my nitpicking, though, when Kit’s analyzing why ready-to-eat popcorn sales are growing faster than microwave popcorn sales, and the implications for shopper wait times. Or how a Facebook “Like” given for the most shallow of reasons becomes more genuine just because of having been given.
      Read the book. C for yourself.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Limit Design Support for Personalized Gifts 
Imply Exclusivity Using Processing Difficulty 
Notice How Teens Are Into Exclusive Resale 
Sense When Wait Irritation Heats Up

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