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Posted by Brandon Carter on Nov 5, 2014 1:14:00 AM

Are we heading into the most competitive holiday shopping season ever?

We know last year was a little intense, beginning with a Black Friday/Cyber Monday full of deep discounts and winding up with a large percentage of consumers holding out for last second deals. The result was a bloodbath on price tags, as retailers had no choice but to cut prices to keep up.

Deloitte predicts 2014 holiday shopping will increase by 13% over last year, up to around $1300 per household. That’s a good sign for everyone – namely, more money to go around for every business, right? No more deep discounts or fire sales, right?

Posted by Brandon Carter on Oct 1, 2014 12:12:00 AM

Someone has been a jerk to you today.

It may have been during your commute, or maybe someone stole your parking space just as you were pulling in.

If you’re like me, just recalling the incident gets you worked up all over again. Your shoulders tense up, your stomach churns, and you think about all the snappy one-liners and responses you could’ve thrown out to put that worthless, snot-nosed barista right in his place.

If you experienced boorish behavior today, you’re not alone. Incivility may not be a growing problem – it’s always been around in some form and always will be – but people are growing sick and tired of it.

The uncivil world presents an opportunity for businesses: be a part of it and suffer the consequences, or be a personable, polite island of peace to customers, who just want to be treated like humans.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jul 30, 2014 2:40:00 AM

Why hasn’t the technology of the Jetsons come to fruition? Why can’t I wake up and be taken through a conveyor belt that automates the process of showering/getting dressed/eating breakfast/greeting the family/heading out to work?

It feels like the future, after all. We all tote around connected devices that allow us to share video calls and broadcast our images to the entire world at a moment’s notice – and yes, we’re going to be wearing them on our wrists soon. We’ve got self-driving vehicles and robots that drop treats out of the sky on the horizon. We even have the beginnings of the cyborgs that humanity is destined to battle in the coming decades.

The online world has changed everything quick, fast, and in a hurry. We communicate differently, we find information differently, we shop differently.

We don't, however, purchase items differently. In that area, consumers are still overwhelmingly going local.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jun 24, 2014 2:27:00 AM

There's a scene in the new HBO comedy series Silicon Valley where a number of startups are trying to explain their approaches to Social, Local, and Mobile using a thousand variations on the popular "SoLoMo" mashup word. "LoMoSo," "MoLoSo," "SoMoLo," and "LoSoMo" were a few of those mentioned as these (fictional) companies are trying incredibly hard to stand out from a very crowded field trying to capitalize on new consumer trends.

It's a hilarious sendup of a very real movement. Everyone wants to get in front of consumers in the ongoing digital revolution. It's a tough job, what with a still-sagging economy and stagnant wages hindering well-informed and scrupulous spenders, who only have flexibility with about 36% of their income. Good luck.

The brands who will win - and by "win" we mean capture frequent engagement and spending - will be the ones most able to capitalize on the where, how, and why people buy.

To that end, we put together an infographic highlighting some of the new developments in consumer spending, what's changing and what isn't, and how saving money is still king. To learn even more about engaging the modern consumer, download our free eBook today.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 2, 2012 7:51:00 AM

The business world has figured out that if you spend a buck with them, it's cheaper to earn the next buck from you than another first buck from someone else. It's the concept of loyalty, which we all know too well. The idea of the loyalty program has grown so much lately that a lot of businesses are getting into the concept.

In fact, there are even loyalty programs for consumers who engage in transactions they didn't exactly volunteer themselves for. Read on.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 15, 2010 4:12:09 AM

Mintel recently published the results of a survey on the benefits of instant redemption in reward and loyalty programs. The results emphasized the convenience, ease, and customer preference of cash back programs compared with the standard miles and points programs.