Consumers have become more selective and thoughtful about what they're spending their money on. As we've shifted from the mindless consumption of the past to mindful consumption of the present, consumers are expecting the businesses they buy their products and services from to be concerned with more than just profit margins.
Being a successful business is not just about offering more but about being better! Here at KYB, we provide exactly that by tailoring our services to our client's needs. As your "green" accounting team in the cloud, we use the latest technology combined with a great team of certified account mangers to ensure scalability; we grow as the needs of your company grow!
For more tips on how your business can be better, watch "The Post-Crisis Consumer" TED Talk by professor John Gerzema, which maps out the four major cultural shifts that are driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses should evolve to connect with thoughtful spending.
A brief summary of the four value shifts that drive new consumer behaviors:
1) Cultural Value – Liquid Life. The movement from finding success in having things to finding value in having liquidity.
- Consumer Strategy: Declasse Consumption - The idea that spending money frivolously makes you look anti-fashion.
- Management Principle: Dollars and Sense – Variable costs and living. Example: SF Giants have instituted “Dynamic Pricing” by taking in account, the weather, pitcher match ups, and team records when setting prices for their consumer.
2) Cultural Value – Ethics and Fair Play. Consumers want empathy, respect, and for businesses to provide value.
- Consumer Strategy: Empathy and Respect – There has been a focus on communities and neighborhoods. According to Gerzema, there is a rise in volunteerism; meaning doing something good for someone else without expecting a return. Example: Universities are reconnecting with alumni and helping them with job sharing skills and re-training.
- Management Principle: Value and Values – Today's consumers are looking at the culture of a company as well as their conduct in the marketplace. Example: Microsoft is vowing to re-train 2 million Americans with IT training – they are using their existing infrastructure to do good.
3) Cultural Value – Indestructible Spirit. Marathon not sprint mentality with a focus on the idea of betterment.
- Consumer Strategy: Durable Living – Consumers are looking for ways to extract value out of every purchase they make. Example: They are holding on to cars longer (9.4 years average) and value knowledge and education more (68% of Americans own library cards; the highest percent ever in our nation).
- Management Principle: Brands that Last – Be a brand that lasts. Pay dividends to consumers, offer transparency and promise you're going to be there beyond today's sale. Example: Padagonia's footprint chronicles, which tracks their social and environmental footprint by providing information on the social responsibility and ethics behind each product.
4) Cultural Value – Return to the Fold. Consumers want to connect to communities and social networks.
- Consumer Strategy: Cooperative Consumerism - Consumers are working together to get what they want out of the market place. Example: Locally derived products and services are more popular.
- Management Principle: Community Organizer - Make your brand more elastic. Example: Zagat diversified from rating just restaurants to rating health care (makes brand more elastic).
Gerzema noted that 72% of people trust what other people say about a brand or company versus 15% who trust advertising.