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Grounded Consumer

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  • 1. Consumerism in a Changing Economy: The Emergence of the Grounded Consumer Source: The Context Research Group ” Grounding The American Dream: A Cultural Study on the future of Consumerism in a Changing Economy
  • 2. Reshaping The American Dream The Economic Crisis has eroded the core of our consumerism driven culture. As the old American Dream crumbles a new dream has taken shape. This dream is more grounded in practicality, community, and knowledge not the accumulation of “stuff.” At the center of the formation of the new American Dream is a new consumer identity.
  • 3. . The Grounded Consumer: A better, smarter, more connected consumer.
  • 4. The Grounded Consumer… Knows Thy Means The Grounded Consumer fully understands their means and lives within them.
  • 5. The Grounded Consumer… Embraces a WE Economy The Grounded Consumer embraces a WE economy balancing personal financial success with values of sociality, community, and well-being.
  • 6. The Grounded Consumer… Lives an unSTUFFED Life Life The Grounded Consumer fills their lives with more than just “Stuff”.
  • 7. The Grounded Consumer… Walks the Talk The Grounded Consumer does not sit on their new learning and skills but puts it all into action.
  • 8. The Grounded Consumer… Knows Thy Means The Grounded Consumer fully understands their means and lives within them; Embraces a WE Economy The Grounded Consumer embraces a WE economy balancing personal financial success with values of sociality, community, and well-being. Lives an unSTUFFED Life The Grounded Consumer fills their lives with more than just Stuff Walks the Talk The Grounded Consumer does not sit on their new learning and skills but puts it all into action. But, how are consumers reaching this high level of consumer enlightenment?
  • 9. Becoming a Grounded Consumer is A Process Though the economic crisis has altered our reality seemingly overnight it takes time to to unlearn past spending habits and ideals about consuming--throughout America people are at different stages of dealing with the economy from a consumer standpoint. The stages make up a pattern-- a 5 stage process which leads to a“ Grounded Consumer”. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 The Realization: New Value Equation: How did I get here? Walking the Talk: unSTUFFing My Life: . . Goodbye Homo Moving from a ME My life is not a loan. Putting New Building a new economicus to a WE economy Skills Into Action Toolkit
  • 10. Becoming a Grounded Consumer Stage 1 The Realization: Goodbye Homo economicus Stage One is the light bulb moment, the critical juncture when they come to understand how the larger economy intersects with their personal economy and what they will need to do to start making changes. Homo economicus that side of a person that is consumed by consumer- ism and to whom consumers must say good-bye. involves consumers moving to a deeper level of The second stage understanding for their situation as they ask themselves the critical question, How did I get here? Key to this stage is an understanding for credit, debt, and what constitutes one’s means.
  • 11. Becoming a Grounded Consumer Stage 2 How did I get here? Stage 1 My life is not a loan. The Realization: Goodbye Homo economicus The second stage involves consumers moving to a deeper level of understanding for their situation as they ask themselves the critical question, How did I get here? Key to this stage is an understanding for credit, debt, and what constitutes one’s means.
  • 12. Becoming a Grounded Consumer Stage 3 New Value Equation: Stage 2 Stage 1 Moving from a ME How did I get here? The Realization: to a WE economy My life is not a loan. Goodbye Homo economicus The third stage involves a movement toward emphasizing a new kind of value equation, one that moves from The second stageto puttingconsumers In this equation, the level of putting “ME” first involves “WE” first. moving to a deeper best financial and life decisions truly balance rational, emotional, and social needs understanding for their situation as they ask themselves the critical question, How did I get here? Key to this stage is an understanding for credit, debt, and what constitutes one’s means.
  • 13. Becoming a Grounded Consumer Stage 4 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 1 unSTUFFing My Life: New Value Equation: Building a new How did I get here? The Realization: . . Moving from a ME My life is not a loan. Goodbye Homo Toolkit to a WE economy economicus By the fourth stage consumers get very practical and tangible as they literally start to clean the STUFF out of their lives. unSTUFFing is not just a one time deal either, but part of a new toolkit of skills that consumers can rely upon during and after the crisis to keep their lives on track.
  • 14. Becoming a Grounded Consumer Stage 5 Walking the Talk: Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 1 Putting New . Skills Into Action How did I get here? unSTUFFing My Life: The Realization: New Value Equation: . My life is not a loan. Moving from a ME Building a new Goodbye Homo to a WE economy Toolkit economicus The final stage is about the change to becoming a Grounded Consumer. This new consumer cannot afford to just say one thing and do another. What this economic downturn has taught consumers is that they must understand their situation intimately and practice what they preach if they want to avoid another “downturn.”
  • 15. Speaking To The Grounded Consumer A fundamental change in the way in which people consume and think about purchases requires a shift in the way we market to them. Talk is cheap. Consumers want more than just a “We know times are tough” message. They desire brands that show an understanding through action and added value.
  • 16. Ideas That Speak To The Grounded Consumer Bundle something for free. FREE is still the strongest word in marketing, but not if your just offering more stuff. Look to greater experiences or unique service offerings. Are there ways to reconfigure your product offering so you can offer a valued experience or service for free? Even if it something you already do, make customers feel like they are getting more from their purchase, which will help them remain loyal to you. Support delayed gratification. Create ways to help businesses and people feel responsible with their money. You could create a device on your website to help people track toward a savings goal for a large purchase, rather than just putting it on a credit card. Provide more transparent reporting and descriptions of what the investment buys. People will have a different attitude about risk, so it’s important to make them feel comfortable with it again through responsibility. Talk about your good. Grounded Consumers will be looking to make purchases that support the head (rational), heart (social), and hand (community). By raising awareness of your charitable outreach and green efforts , you give them another reason to feel good about giving you their patronage. Create community networks. They might be digital or they might be tangible. But as we evolve to a “We” economy, sharing and participating together will become priorities. Communal gardening and social marketing will be more similar than one might initially think. And the top community of all? The family. Increase face-to-face. It will help customers feel more confident as they venture into new waters. If you can’t afford more sales visits or a larger staff, consider video chat or live chat via IM. And help people understand how some purchases really do make an impact on their lives. Those are still very worthwhile, and face-to-face conversations help make that point.
  • 17. OVERVIEW The failing economy is shifting how we think and feel about spending. Consumers are going through of series of changes leading to a new consumer identity. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 The Realization: New Value Equation: How did I get here? Walking the Talk: . unSTUFFing My Life: . . Goodbye Homo Moving from a ME My life is not a loan. Putting New Building a new economicus to WE economy Skills Into Action Toolkit The Grounded Consumer: A better, smarter, more connected consumer. Knows Thy Means Embraces a WE Economy Lives an unSTUFFED Life Walks the Talk Ideas for speaking to the Grounded Consumer Increase face to face Bundle something for free. Support delayed gratification. Talk about your good. Create community networks.