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Category Archives: Cultural Context

Advocating a Deeper Read on Consumers’ Financial Status

It’s a mixed state of affairs for shoppers and retailers today.  Same store sales are up at Macy’s, down at WalMart. Consumers are finally loosening the purse strings or keeping them tightly closed. Commodity prices are trending up (especially cotton) but inflation is still held at bay; there is strong pressure against raising prices.  It’sContinue Reading

This Earth Day, the Focus is on the Consumer

The 40th Earth Day is April 22, so naturally there is a lot of buzz about it just now. Today’s Advertising Age cites the importance of getting consumers to change their behaviors – because the potential for a big positive environmental impact is far greater at the user’s end of the purchase cycle than atContinue Reading

Can Brands “Nudge” us via Social Media?

In our 3/30/10 blog there is commentary about Brands’ use of social media, ideally stimulating consumers to generate and spread user-generated content.   One thought is to use the principles laid out in Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein to “nudge” people to take action on the brand’s behalf.  How to do that is not well documentedContinue Reading

Brands’ Use of Social Media Marketing

There is a well written article posted today by Chris Wallace titled Social Media is Not a Content Channel.  He makes the point that social media is really akin to PR, not marketing; it has to breakthrough and generate interest and action to an extent not usually achieved by advertising or other marketing activities.  But toContinue Reading

Generational Shopping Patterns – Implications for Retailers

Shopping behaviors differ by generation – knowledge which retailers can put to use when designing the shopping experience or considering marketing for their site.  Let’s look at just one cohort.  Millenials (born 1977 – 1994) are an important segment because at 76 million people, they are about on par with Boomers, and likely to beContinue Reading

“Green” Marketing in a Recession

Last week David Almy published a nice essay on green marketing. He looked at consumers’ statement of intent to buy green products across a wide array of product categories, and divides them into two silos of green-ness: 1. Products that are good for me – products that benefit the consumer directly (healthier to eat) andContinue Reading

Dim Recovery

I just returned from The Marketing Research Event in Las Vegas. Some of the speakers there are predicting that the cutbacks in consumer spending will last years. There are other indications that the economic recovery may not be as robust as some recent media reports portend. A recent survey by Tatum, of business executives, suggestContinue Reading

Long Term Impact of this Recession on Spending Patterns

The last couple of blogs deal with factors that will affect how a person’s spending habits are impacted by this recession.  Some of those factors have to do with the person – changes to their resources, and their psychological response to the recession.  Some of those factors have to do with the product under considerationContinue Reading


Whether or not we are on the cusp of recovery and what that recovery will look like, is a concern for manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods and services.  A number of sources have declared the recession “over,” and there are signs of support for that.  Some components of the financial markets are doing well:Continue Reading

Shopper’s Mindset in Tough Times

These are some of the factors that I think will determine the impact of this recession on spending habits for a particular product category. Each factor is a continuum. If you are researching issues around demand for a product, it might be worthwhile to consider some measurement of these variables, to use as diagnostics inContinue Reading