Yes, I Wrote A Book. Here’s Why.
If my college mentor could see me now.
I wrote Stand Out in the Age of the Consumer because there is a sea change in the marketplace causing a major shift in consumer behavior. The Internet, in the beginning, created a certain isolation in society where people stayed home and were fascinated with all the information coming into their home. Faith Popcorn called it “cocooning”. Computers brought information in the front door. All sorts of food was delivered. Games (not the multi-player kind) could occupy people for hours. And television offered bigger screens and more choices.
From Cocoon to Community
And then I noticed a shift. Product reviews blew up, along with social media, forums and other forms of online community. Peer-to-peer information and conversations were taking hold. This was sponsored by Amazon, which complemented its retail operation with a virtual publishing house where customers could communicate their experiences with the next round of shoppers. People wanted to know what other people thought. The reviewers were now reaching thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people a day. Authenticity was the key, and the juice.
And this shift continues. People are now moving away from “cocooning” and into the community. Athletic clubs, community theatre, local music scenes, restaurants, concerts, men’s and women’s groups are all growing. This is thanks to the sense of connection the internet has fostered.
I just had a conversation with a specialty retailer yesterday and he says his business is booming. Why? Consumers researching online leading to conversations on the sales floor, leading to a sale, leading to finding groups to ride, ski or hike with. And from there the social engagement builds.
What does all this mean? The Internet has brought out the humanity in us. Brands must recognize this and engage. Not through mass advertising, which is being ignored, but through the communication channels that consumers have chosen and now own.
I hope you enjoy the book.
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