STATE OF AMERICA
Gen Z: The Next Generation- Following Millennials is Generation Z , anyone born in the early mid-90’s and beyond,the first generation to have always known the digital world. They don’t think about digital or traditional, it’s all the same to them. Being truly digital isn’t the only way they differ from previous generations though. They are educated to care. Their values and concerns about the world reflect their knowledge of wider events as well doubts and fears within their own families and communities. This generation lives with change in a way that nobody has before. It’s absolutely embedded into their psyche; they won’t be fazed by it either in a way that previous generations have, because they have been brought up to expect it. These children were born into a recession and have different expectations and perhaps less of a sense of entitlement. Very aware of a shortage of money and unemployment has caused many to acknowledge they work for pocket money and are accustomed to waiting for special occasions to get things. Being accustomed to uncertainty and a lack of institutions or leaders they can count on to protect them and their welfare will create individuals with a new understanding of personal power. They are learning to negotiate and understand the power they have in relation to brands. Which has also lead to taking part in decision making in their own families much earlier. The challenges the world has wrestled with when communicating with Millennials, it seems will be intensified with Gen Z
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
The Daily Deal Fatigue – Daily deal services – like Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers – took off because small businesses got a novel way to bring new customers in the door, shoppers got a discount and the deal providers got a large cut of every sale. But signs of deal fatigue are everywhere, raising questions about whether Groupon and its competitors can continue their hyper-growth. While traffic to Groupon was higher at the beginning of 2012 than last year, it was down almost 10 percent in May and June from the same months in 2011, according to comScore. Facebook and Yelp were quick to jump on the fad, but backed off last year. Groupon is searching for alternative ways to make money, like buying movie tickets, watches and other goods and selling them to shoppers. In the last six months of 2011, 798 daily deal sites shut down, according to Daily Deal Media, which researches the industry. The daily deal bubble has burst. Too many companies have popped up but the interest has been lagging as people are feeling overwhelmed by the numbers of deals they receive on a daily basis. Others feel the daily-deal industry is too crowded and they’ve opted out of signing up. Unsubscribedeals.com has become a support group for shoppers who are fed up with deals. Some commenters take issue with the frequency of the e-mails, while others complain about the quality of the offers. “I once got a Groupon for teeth whitening,” one person wrote. “I went to the office and the receptionist gave me some bleach and told me to do it at home. She said it would be extra if I wanted the dentist to do it.”
Amazon Changed Reading Now It Can Change Writing – Throughout its 17-year history, Amazon has helped change the way that books are sold, the format in which they’re read and how they are published. Now it could change how they’re written.In addition to the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon introduced a subscription book format at a press conference in Los Angeles Thursday. These books, called “Kindle Serials,” will be released in segments instead of in their entirety. Updates, or “episodes,” automatically appear at the back of the book as they’re created or released without extra charge. “Kindle Series authors will be able to follow along with reader reaction and adapt the next installments based on the first ones,” Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon said. Amazon will provide discussion boards for each Kindle Serials book. Unlike most book discussion boards, they may influence the outcome of the books. Publishing one segment at a time will enable authors, like app developers, to make decisions based on user activity. Data analytics will push that ability to another level. Digital has transformed all media to some extent and now it’ll be changing what people read and what authors ultimately write.
The $1.3 Trillion Price of Not Tweeting At Work – As social media spreads around the globe, one enclave has proven stubbornly resistant: the boardroom. Within the C-suite, perceptions remain that social media is at best a soft PR tool and at worst a time sink for already distracted employees. Without a push from the top, many of the biggest companies have been slow to take the social media plunge. A new report from McKinsey Global Institute, however, makes the business case for social media a little easier to sell. According to an analysis of 4,200 companies by the the consulting giant, social technologies stand to unlock from $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value. Savings comes from some unexpected places. Two-thirds of the value unlocked by social media rests in “improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises,” according to the report. Far from a distraction, in other words, social media proves a surprising boon to productivity. Companies are embracing social tools – including internal networks, wikis, and real-time chat- for functions that go way beyond marketing and community building. Social technologies also has the potential to free up expertise trapped in departmental silos. High-skill workers can now be tapped company-wide. Managers can find out which employees have the deepest knowledge in certain subjects, or who last contributed to a project and how to get in touch with them quickly. Just cutting email out of the picture in favor of social sharing translates to a productivity windfall as more enterprise information becomes accessible and searchable, rather than locked up as ‘dark matter’ in inboxes.
ON THE RADAR
Follow This: @baconbarter – Last week we highlighted a documentary that followed one man’s quest to travel the country depending solely on the kindness of Craigslist strangers. This week, we want you to take a look at this integrated campaign from Oscary Mayer and digital agency 360i called The Great American Bacon Barter. During the next few weeks actor Josh Sankey will leave his money behind and attempt to travel from NY to LA with nothing but a trailer filled with Oscar Mayer’s new Butcher Thick Cut Bacon. Mr. Sankey will attempt to barter bacon for anything he might need during the trip including: food, fuel, entertainment, and a place to spend the night.
Watch This: The Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture aims to bring artists out of the performance halls and into the streets and our everyday lives. Similar to the antics of Improv Everywhere, unexpecting shoppers can suddenly find themselves in the middle of a musical. However, the difference is that Random Acts of Culture partners with local arts organizations and attempts to bring new audiences in by going to where the people are. Watch this video where the Opera Company of Philadelphia performs a song at the city’s famed Reading Terminal Market for a crowd of delighted shoppers.
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Lately, (more than usual) cats have been the talk of the web. Maru, perhaps the most popular feline on YouTube, has amassed an impressive 173 million views. Now he’s hit the big time and is starring in a commercial for Uniqlo. It’s not just clothing brands that are playing off the cultural obsession with cat videos. Some animal clinics are utilizing Catroulette, a Chatroulette “nexting” model to increase interest in cat adoption. Users can skip through videos of cats to find the perfect one.