Conference for Positive Marketing – Humanism rising!

Conference for Positive Marketing, Fordham UniversityFordham University’s Center for Positive Marketing put on its 4th Conference for Positive Marketing on March 26.  A great blend of academic and practitioner talks and viewpoints, most of us participating felt refreshed and energized.

For me, I was absolutely thrilled that the humanistic ideas I and others have written about and talked on for a few decades are becoming accepted more widely and by mainstream brands. It also served to frame my own journey in business and research.

Empathy and Experience Design

I got a charge from hearing Stacy Graiko of Millward Brown Firefly talk about a retailer who wanted their customers to leave feeling better than when they walked in, irregardless of whether they bought something. When my mother and I opened a restaurant, City Island Diner, back in 1986, those exact words were the first principle of my business plan – they emerged from listening research I did to figure out what type of restaurant City Islanders wanted that we could create for them.

Cigna’s Christine Chastain and Tim McKnight, VP Global Innovation, talked about empathy, design thinking. and consumer experience.

Their excellent presentation reminded me of how I designed the restaurant from that first principle: the menu was to focus on comfort on familiarity – I described it as “the food you had growing up, but made with the freshest ingredients, to order, and in front of you.” I also banished square edges and right angles to the extent possible, which offered respite from the gridded world most of us live in, where our vision is forced to be straight, forward or back, up or down. This took form in the plates, cups, and saucers – only round or oval, chamfered edges on the tables, round stools, a curved counter, and so on, which let the eye wander. For dinners, every night had a theme that was warmly evocative and alliterative where possible: Meatloaf Mondays, Turkey Tuesdays, Wegetable Wednesdays, Pot Luck Thursdays and Fish Fridays. Many menu item names reflected the nautical heritage of City Island, and several local characters lent their names to desserts. My mother owned the restaurant for 11 years, then sold it to a local family – the “new” owners – who’ve had it for 18 more and counting. Some of the people hired over 25 years ago still work there, as do their kids, sometimes. A number of movies shot scenes in there, such as Solitary Manwith Danny DeVito as the Diner owner who offers his friend Michael Douglas a job. Jerry Seinfeld did an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Ricky Gervais at City Island Diner.

Brand Love, Materialism, and Happiness

Prof. Aaron Ahuvia of the U. Michigan Dearborn Business School gave a talk about brand love, materialism, and happiness. Generally he found that materialism was not related to happiness, but he also found that, paradoxically, people who expressed love for brands were happier. He admitted that he didn’t have an adequate way to explain the findings yet and urged the audience to submit ideas. This was unusual at a conference – so often the ideas presented are so apparently airtight, but very welcome, showing that we have much to learn and can do so collaboratively.

Using Mobile Technology for Good: Mobile Apps, mHealth, and Mindsets

The Conference offered 6 Salons – presentations followed by participant discussion. These were held in 3 sets of two that ran concurrently. I gave one with Dr. Sandy Ng of RMIT (Melbourne Australia) having to do with mobile apps, mHealth, and mindsets. Sandy talked about her research on mobile apps, and I reviewed research by my colleague Howard Moskowitz on reducing hospital re-admission rates. Conversation we stimulated dealt with creating apps that helped people improve their lives, the need for integrated apps, and different ways to think about monetizing apps.

Training Positive Marketers

Dawn Lerman, who heads the Center for Positive Marketing, and Yanan Wang of Bishop’s University led a salon on training positive marketers. Yanan recapped a course she gives on “Happiness Marketing.” She covered a lot of ground. What I found interesting was the emphasis on training marketers to be happier people in order to create products and programs that help people improve their well-being, quality of life, and life satisfaction. Dr. Wang outlined specific frameworks that strengthen marketers’ empathy and understanding. The discussion following was far ranging and very engaging, touching on areas like inner strength, self-knowledge, and how can happiness marketing avoid being seen as a cute fad and become integrated into marketing culture.

Salon Topics

I couldn’t attend every salon, but all the topics were of interest. They were: Gifts, Reciprocity & Obligation: Applications for Positive Marketing; Psychotherapists, Life Coaches & Professional Organizers: Why Consumers Seek Professional Help and How Professionals Improve Consumer Well-being; Overcoming Stereotypes in Multicultural and Global Marketing Strategy; and Purpose Driven Marketing: Achieving Social Change Through Brands and Consumer Advocates

The Digital Metrics Field Guide – Exhibiting at ARF Re:Think March 16 an 17

rethink-4-1060x7951I’m exhibiting at ARF Re:Think 2015: Where Leaders Ignite Growth at the Hilton Hotel on Avenue of the Americas on March 16 and March 17. I’ll have a table opposite registration and look forward to seeing you there.

Many really interesting companies will also be exhibiting and are worth checking out.

The Field Guide ships on April 14. Pre-order your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the finest booksellers in the US and around the world.

Millennials, Mindsets, Microbrews … and Golden Suds

Beers of the world, microbrews, macrobrews, lagers
Beers of the world

With 2,592 unique craft brands sold Millennials—and all persons of legal drinking age—enjoy a stunning and sometimes bewildering array of lagers, pilsners, IPAs, stouts, pale ales, sours, and porters. They can be malty, hoppy, clear, dark, spicy, citrusy, or taste of coffee, toffee, nuts, cloves, bananas, and bittersweet chocolate. And we’re just scratching the surface. Millennials, we’re told, love choice. Marketers are told, “give them choices.”

Giving choices is one thing … but no guarantor of marketing success. We need to know why a person chooses—or doesn’t choose—a marketer’s offering.

Millennials … Why Do They Prefer One Beer—And Buy One Beer—Over Another When There are So Many to Choose From?

That’s the question my colleagues Howard Moskowitz, Kimmy Lee, and Helena Bollini will answer through two cognitive economics studies that are now in the field: one on microbrews, the other on macrobrews—the big-company “golden suds” lager beer like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors that is the most popular style worldwide.

When thinking about Millennials and beer, the issue is this: Generations may shape demand for beer, but they don’t buy beer: Individuals buy beer … one bottle, one draft, one six-pack, or one case or keg at a time. And individuals differ from one another. People may look alike on the outside and share some common traits, but they differ on the inside—the ideas they hold, what interests them, and what motivates them to buy. Discovering those “inside differences” and then exploiting them for product development, innovation, marketing, and sales are keys to brand growth and profitability. Hence, our research.

Discoveries We Will Make about Millennials and Beer

Using the Mind Genomics and Cognitive Economics research tradition, we expect to make a number of discoveries, which are:

  1. Identifying the different mindsets MIllennials hold toward microbrews and nationally distributed macrobrew lagers like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller?
  2. Within each mindset, specifying which elements of beer increase interest, decrease interest, or have no effect … and by what amount?
  3. In dollars and cents, what is a Millennial willing to to pay for what interests them in microbrews or macrobrews?
  4. What are the narratives that each mindset has towards microbrews or macrobrew lagers?
  5. Guided by the narratives … What does a brand say—and who does it say it to—to bolster a brand’s chances for success in the market.
  6. Approaches a beer marketer can take to accurately assign any single Millennial or millions of Millennials to a mindset segment using an algorithm produced by inputs from the research … enabling them to target individuals with personalized, tailoring messaging?

Aspects of Beer We are Studying

The elements included in the two studies are in these areas: style, taste, appearance, mouthfeel, finish, food, origin, packaging, presentation, promotion, and emotions.

Demographics, Attitudes, Media, and Consumption

Our research captures Millennial demographics; their attitudes towards beer and beer occasions; their social media use regarding beer; and patterns of consumption. The data will be analyzed and cross-tabulated with the mindset data.

Millennials, Mindsets, Microbrews … and Golden Suds – the book, will be Available in Q3 2015

The book will be available as an e-book during Q3 of 2015. This title is one volume in our series Millennials, Mindsets, and Money. 

Millennials, Mindsets, and Money … A Series of Books on the Consumer Economy

Millennials, Mindsets, and Money (M3) is a series of books developed by me and Howard Moskowitz, with contributions from colleagues in the business world and academia.

M3 researches categories that are essential to the consumer economy from the Millennial perspective. Each book tackles an area and answers the six questions above. Our initiative primarily concerns advertised categories that are part of the everyday experience of Millennials.

You Can Sponsor Category Research in Millennials, Mindsets, and Money

Brands targeting Millennials who are interested in cost-effective and fast ways to grow their business are invited to sponsor a category study. Please
email me for details.

Invitation: Keep Up to Date with the Research

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