I started this week with unlimited Rosarito sunshine*, coconut sunscreen, Pina Coladas, Lobster and as many biz books as my new pool bag could hold. After three days of
baking 'bronzing' and reading around 350 pages a day, my tan and I are back and ready to tackle the world.
The good news for you is that my voracious appetite for typed treasure lends well to sharing, so I'll be writing a quick and rough review/summary on three books this month.
Premise: Consumers are gravitating in mass towards the polls - high end for the 'rush' of a luxury splurge, low end for the 'win' of a cheap deal - and are ignoring the middle.
Opinion: As a whole, the book was less satisfying than expected although I'm willing to concede that it may just be better suited for readers more inclined towards economic theory. It's premise is well explained and the authors provide data to substantiate their conclusions. Unfortunately, the real-life stories, however touching, fail to clearly reinforce the point (or assumed point) of the chapter. After struggling thru Chapter Four, the rest of the book was skimmed, read when and where it grabbed my attention and then finally pushed aside (meaning take this review with the a double grain of salt as I didn't digest it exactly as the authors intended).
Brainfood: Faced with an increasing breadth of options in nearly every avenue of spending, consumers are using emotion as a criteria in narrowing their choices The book identifies some primary emotional drivers, most notibly the satisfaction of a perceived 'bargain deal' (low end product) and the excitement of a 'splurge' (high end product). The consumer challenge is less about how to make purchases at a certain level than it is how to finance their few high-end desires with low-end savings. (Such as a $80k salaried worker who universally buys generic brand groceries and Walmart clothes but drives a $32k BMW)
Furthermore, products, brands and companies who find themselves squeezed into the middle will suffer. Brands such as Kraft, which has done historically well with middle-ground salad dressings and other foodstuffs but has failed to garner adequate traction with the high-end 'fancy' or 'boutique' food lines has seen a continued drop in market share that is expected to continue unless the situation is remedied.
From the Marketer: This concept seems such an easy twist on what we already know - consumers want to 'nichify' nearly every aspect of their lives. Faced with an overabundance of options and the assumption that we can have it 'our way', we aren't happy with 'middle of the road' or 'average' anymore. If it doesn't fit my life in the way I need or want it to, I'll find something else somewhere else that will. This is just another reminder that marketing can't be about broadcast anymore - talk to me if you want me to listen. Otherwise, just go away.
*Rosarito Note: I highly recommend Las Rocas Resort and Spa. Good location/grounds, amazing views, excellent service, great massages, decent (clean) rooms and very inexpensive. I'll definitely go again even if only to sneak down for a cheap 'spa day'.
and the eBoost-beloved (see, guys, I TOLD you I'd get around to reading it soon!): The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More" by Chris Anderson
-Danielle (the Recovering Cynic)