Tuesday Morning With Elm Street
It's Not The Hockey...It's The Marketing

Consumer Power - Paying Attention?

If you are a regular reader you know about my adventure this past Tuesday with the folks from Elm Street Economics.  I had predicted, a day before the seminar, not only what the seminar was about (that was the easy part) but also what topics would be covered.  That took more thought and I'd say I hit about 90%.  What I could not predict were some of the jewels Mike Anderson actually said.  Remember, I'd not seen the presentation before.  Here is a line of thought we've talked about before, but not in exactly the same way:

The Consumer has MORE power today than he/she had a year ago.

Think of it like this.  A year ago, as fuel was inching toward $5.00 a gallon, consumers spent money on both "needs" and "wants".  You were, no doubt, one of those consumers.  I was.  Did we "really" need that water feature/fountain for the deck?  No...we wanted it.  And, so I spent money buying all the parts and loads of time putting it together.  Would I do that...this year?  Notice there is a question.  And, consumers are doing this every day. 

They now have a reason to exercise their power to say, "No."Cash Register No Sale

That's exactly what is going on in the minds of most consumers today.  So, the question my client (if we had a water feature/fountain client) would ask me might be:  "How can I sell more water feature/fountains and overcome consumer push back in light of the economy?"

The simple answer, based on what we know about "wants" and "needs", might be, "We must translate value to the consumer in such a way that a "want" can, for some, become a "need".

And, if you think about it, that is exactly what we are seeing as retailers embrace the concept of a "StayCation".  You know, kind of like a vacation...but you STAY at home.  We wrote about this some time ago. 

The retailer is telling the consumer what the consumer already knows, "As long as you have the power to say no to a spendy vacation we are going to find a reason for you to exercise your ability to say yes by offering you value...buy our water feature and enjoy your own backyard."

This ability can work across the board even if you are selling expensive products or services.  Remember my story about $300 shoes?  Sure they are expensive but twenty years later I'm still wearing them.  That would not have happened with a $75 pair of shoes.  The message today would be on value, lasting value.

And it will resonate with the consumer...that's our take.  Now, how do you make that happen?  We'll visit about the how later in the week.  But, be thinking about it.  I'll bet you've already got a set of ideas.

Thanks for reading.  And, a reminder:  Come by our daily radio show about business.  It's called Insight on Business were we talk about advertising, marketing, public relations...the stuff we do every day.  We're live, Monday - Friday starting at 12:30 Central and you can pick it up at www.MacsWorldLive.com.

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