BBD CEO Summit – Lorna Borenstein

In the intro Jeremy Moon recounted how clothing companies moved from wholesaling to wholesaling and retailing, worrying unnecessarily as it turns out, about retailer concern about disintermediation. , Their latest challenge for the industry is selling directly online, again worrying about the response from store retailers but it seems again unnecessarily so,

Lorna Borenstein – speaks about the youth of today.

Youth are creating new habits which we are adopting – they are the Bellwethers. (No kidding – more specifically teenage girls are the leading indicator of what’s coming).

  • They are extremely productive and always multitasking. (Kind of like I am doing writing this while listening to Loren.)
  • Their filter for immediacy and control. Self expressive yet in groups which they belong to rather than individually. The younger folks are never alone – always with a group online, and wanting to know what everyone else is doing.
  • Coddled and Complimented – they are raised to beleive that everything about them is special, with the pass/fail moving to constant praise, multiple graduations (in the US) and so on.
  • Optimistic and Self-entitled. 
  • As a generation they are special, sheltered, confident, team oriented, achieving, pressured and conventional. They process information up to 5 x faster than (most) adults. Books are slow, realtime more faster information is best.
  • Targeting youth means interactiveness, personalised and moving media.   They want to be part of what is new (Tumblr example of creating and sharing), share and take part. Media sharing is a form of communication.
  • They have money, are wired and want to make their own content. Social Media is tech, people and media converging.  Pew study – 77% have computers, 44% smartphones 18% tablets, each of the last 2 rising quickly. They are all used at once = with news, for example, is accessed from multiple devices. (I’ve used a Macbook Air, iPad and my iPhone to blog, tweet and goodness knows what else today.) The consuming device matters – we expect different user interfaces on each device.
  • Younger folks embrace and use their devices much more than older ones. It pays to create personas to understand how and when they consumer media. Waiting in line at the coffee shop, commuting, while watching TV and so on.

Lorna says that brand preferences are set between the ages of 10-15. (Source: Cognitive Marketing Inc – NOP World/Roper 2005). That’s before the time that they have much direct money to buy products, so it’s important to engage early, right now that means  Facebook.

They also filter from multiple sources, and the different devices encourage different methods of filtering. Discovery is also through connection, e.g. 39% of Twitter users say the news they get from there is news they would never have received otherwise.

The first generation of digital natives are now, apparently, coming of age. (I’d argue they have been here for quote a while.) Borenstein uses the cinnamon challenge as an example, with her own son trying the challenge (posted by somewhat idiotic glozell) and posting the result on YouTube. They did so to get feedback, but no advertisers were there at the time to understand the trend. Marketers need to watch for these moments, and take some risks.

Her son also started a Tumblr blog, and she raised Pinterest, the new hotness. Polyvore a Pinterest competitor, had expert stylists to create their boards, and failed because they failed to let the consumers create and they would denigrate their brand. (Polyvore’s site is horrible compared to Pinterest).

Millenials have no fear of losing privacy. There are 100m 11-29 year olds (born 1982-2000) spending 200 billion each year. They are the tastemakers and the customers of the future. Word of mouth amplifies everything tremendously. They make no distinction between sharing and communicating and prefer sharing via text to live interaction as it allows them to control the conversation.

Brand advocate millenials tell about twice as meany people about their purchases as non advocates, and will disproportionally generate revenue through brand purchases. They are more likely to both recommend and to get friends to actually buy products. 18% of advocates (and 9% of non advocates) write a blog post about their purchase. The same stats apply to IMing, posting pictures, reviewing and so on.

(Disturbingly Loren kept trying to differentiate between ‘over 40 year olds’ and younger people, saying there are differences for example with how people consume online, use electronics and so forth. Not my personal experience.)

Published by Lance Wiggs


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