STATE OF AMERICA
The $1 Trillion Black Audience – While advertisers have poured money into Hispanic targeted products and media in an effort to reach the rapidly growing Hispanic population, African-American audiences have been largely overlooked despite their projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015. According to The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released by Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, there is an increase of Blacks attending college – with 44% of men and 53% of women. The number of households (HH’s) earning $75K+ have grown by almost 64%. African-Americans watch more television than any other group. Not only does the avg. HH have 4+ televisions but spends about 40% more time watching them than the rest of the population. Thirty-three percent of all Blacks own a smart phone which is used primarily for talking and texting. Additionally online, they are 30% more likely to visit Twitter and download movies via the Internet than other ethnic communities. As this audience’s pockets deepen, it won’t be surprising to see a few brands re-evaluating their budget strategies.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Who’s The Boss – You will read this article. You will like this article. And you will put this article into action. Got it? In case you haven’t guessed, bossiness is on the rise. With too many choices to make, people are looking for someone to tell them what to do. Almost every waking moment, people are making decisions. While each decision may sound simple, the seemingly endless stream of decisions and the pressure to make the right choice for each one can really deplete a person’s time, energy, motivation and happiness. So people are looking to products and services for direction in their lives. There has been an up-tick in life coaches (the bossier form of therapists) and people seeking out help from them. There is also an emergence of wantologists – a new breed of professionals that tell patients what they want and how to get what they want. Increasingly, people literally need to be told what to want.
Lexus Ups Customer Service With FaceTime Consultations –
As part of its new customer service initiative to support the advanced technical features of its newest vehicles, Lexus has begun training customer service specialists who are responsible for educating new car owners. In addition to having these experts on hand at dealerships, select locations will offer remote video consultations via Apple’s FaceTime, enabling owners to ask questions and troubleshoot issues while seated inside their vehicles. This behavior called shopper coaching – an effort from brands and retailers to enhance product shopping and ownership by offering advice and coaching to customers – is on the rise because it is transforming customer’s traditional purchase experiences into an opportunity for education. These real-time consultations over video are a new dimension to the Lexus experience providing their customers with new skills and expertise.
Chipotle: The Fast Food Ethicist – Chipotle does not believe they are selling burritos. They believe they are saving the world. They are saving it from food without taste; from obesity; from chemicals; from ecological disaster; from torture of animals; from blandness and from unhappiness. As it turns out, these are things people are willing to pay for. Chipotle has nearly doubled its number of U.S. restaurants since 2006 and tripled its revenue to $2.3 billion last year. Steve Ells, the founder and co-CEO, has created a new category of restaurants designed to bring elevated food to the masses. Ells’ goal is to destroy fast food: no more frozen patties, no more microwaves, no more factory farms. Its “Food with Integrity” philosophy calls for free-range meat, hormone-free dairy, and locally sourced produce when practical. While Chipotle may not be the fastest-growing fast food chain in America, it may be the most notable because of the fuss it makes over food issues.
ON THE RADAR
Culture Observation: Drunk Phone – We at CultureFlash often observe a change in behavior that points the way to something new and different. In this new section, we’d like to share some of those fun finds.
“In studying beer, we started to discover that young adults cherish their smartphones and iPhones so much that they don’t want to lose them if they have an epic night out. Now they take what they call their ‘drunk phone,’ a cheap low-end phone, so now they are carrying two phones because they don’t want to lose their smartphone.”
Laura Krajecki, Chief Consumer Officer at Starcom MediaVest Group, AdAge.com | July 11, 2012
Read This: UCLA researchers recently published a book titled, “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors.” The book is the result of a years-in-the-making research project from UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families. Countless tours of homes, over 20,000 photographs and 1,500 hours of footage led to some very interesting insights. One finding in particular highlights the fact that consumers are paying good money to clutter their homes, and this in turn is raising stress levels and increasing frustration.
Try This App: Car-pooling is making a surge thanks to the advancement of apps and social media. Avego Driver is an app that enables drivers and riders to form carpools in real-time by matching the driver’s commute route with where riders are looking to travel. Download the app, set up a few routes and start receiving notifications about when riders and drivers are available. You can save money, travel faster in the HOV lane, and possibly make a new friend.