Posts tagged “Consumers


Posted on September 11, 2015


“Everyone’s instinct was, ‘Yeah, if you find out their age and gender data, that’s fantastic’. But what we learned is: it’s almost useless…it’s not who they are in a superficial sense – like gender, age, even geography. It’s not even what they tell you. It’s what they do.” –Todd Yellin, VP of Product Innovation, Netflix *

Demographics Awry

Posted on December 24, 2014


I received a lovely purse in a shipment from Neiman Marcus this month. Apparently, by ordering enough men’s grooming items (excuse: restocking two homes and a travel kit!) a promotional giveaway – including purse and women’s fragrance samples – was triggered. A few weeks prior, I received a complimentary tie from a menswear boutique of a color and pattern that I would neither purchase nor commonly wear. This from a company where I have an extensive order history of conservative wardrobe items. The simple thought doesn’t count with promotions. Orders over $100 get this random thing. Buy two, get a third you don’t need. Here, you can have this close-out item no one wants for free. To have a real impact, you have to think beyond basic…

I’ll Have the Usual

Posted on December 15, 2014


Driving south this weekend for a few months around Atlanta (at what I like to call the ‘legacy property’), we stopped at a fast food restaurant for a quick bite. The patron in front of us in line confidently customized every item in his order – take two toppings off this, add extra ingredients to that, more sauce here, less there, etc. I wondered how many variations he had experienced before reaching his perfect meal. No doubt he was a power user, and he likely finds nothing unusual in his behavior. I’m convinced modern advertising serves primarily as a reinforcement mechanism for high-volume consumer behavior. It looks like everyone is doing it, and we continually redefine what is normal. Eccentricities spread to the point of…

Greedy Consumers

Posted on November 30, 2014


The chairman of Alibaba landed in headlines this month after blaming greedy consumers for the prevalence of counterfeit goods on the internet. He could just as well blame greedy consumers for the prevalence of goods on the internet or credit consumers’ insatiable desires for the substantial growth of Alibaba. When households – particularly lower income households – access and spend money as quickly as it becomes available and purchase branded products at a higher rate than necessary, this really shouldn’t be a surprise. *