Friday, April 24, 2009

Just when you think it has all been already done... along comes a wolf...

This is brilliant!

Mad props to its creator, 25 year-old Tokyo-based Taijin Takeuchi (article here).

And for another stroke of beautiful elegance...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I have seen the future of branding and it is... Nine Inch Nails!?...

Ok... Not a huge fan of NIN the music, but I am now a huge fan of NIN the marketing machine. I think Trent Reznor and Rob Sheridan are really on the cutting edge of Integrated Marketing. They may not call it that but the simplicity and elegance in their understanding consumers and human truths to turn them into great marketing strategies with relevant and powerful tactical executions is a work of art. Listen below (and read the article here)...

The brilliance of their marketing integration begins with Reznor asking himself:
'What would I want if I were a fan?"
Fan, consumer, shopper, whatever... this is the epicenter of all good marketing.

Not to be a genius of the obvious, Reznor continues:
"How would I want to be treated?' Now let's work back from that. Let's find a way for that to make sense and monetize it."

WOW! What the consumer wants...working back from there...
What novel concepts. Yet, it is so ironic that many people in so-called marketing expert positions never start their marketing campaign from the simply obvious. Instead they look at it from THEIR marketing objectives identifying ways to exploit consumers.

Lesson here: observe, listen, understand, get inspired by what consumers are doing and then see how your brand can fit into their lives - let consumers exploit the brand. Read, make it theirs.

As I see it, it's not a brand for me until it becomes MY brand.

It is also a path of least resistance:
To build it out, Reznor decided to use off-the-shelf resources — Blogger, Twitter, FeedBurner, Flickr, YouTube — rather than trying to duplicate what other people had already created. 'They're going to do a better job than we are," he explains, "and they're going to have a lot more resources to put into it.'"

And the coup de grace: "We're using what people are already using every day anyway... It's media on the fans' terms, how they want to use it."

Lesson here: consumers are so overwhelmed by life they don't have time to add a new way to do things. So, forgo the "wanting a proprietary process/technology/system to make it ownable by the brand/company/etc." and instead focus on what works. Ask yourself: what works best for consumers so we can achieve ______?

But the real holy grail of marketing:
"There’s an enormous value in having a relationship with your fans, more value even than in selling your records." says Peter Jenner an ex-manager for Pink Floyd and The Clash.

Manufacturers and managers need to wake up to this reality: there is more value in having a relationship with your brand's consumers/advocates/fans/evangelists than selling product. In the end, as Reznor believes, people want to feel included in your brand experience. Connect them to each other because they are already connecting with you. There is more power in numbers.
So do as NIN does, post pictures of the audience they take from stage: "It was great," Reznor says: "People felt included. People kind of felt like they were getting postcards from us."

So my question is: are we creating our own marketing monster by trying to be too clever? Shouldn't it always be about understanding consumer/shopper behavior AND THEN seeing where the brand can fit in rather than the brand trying to make executions fit our needs?

I once read that the University of California system had built some new buildings. They then waited a year before landscaping and putting cemented paths from one to the other; they were looking to see what paths the students naturally took. The moral of the story is that they observed actual behavior and leveraged it for efficiency and effectiveness. They didn't base their decisions on a plan that looked good on a drawing in a boardroom - because it was convenient for the architect - they did it because it made sense from the "what would I want if I were walking across a campus" perspective.
This reduced immediate and long term costs,
was more intuitive and relevant, and people actually used it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The importance of creating a brand from the shelf out...

I have been following this story for a while now but it was because of today's article in the New York Times Magazine that it really hit me: design is where it's at. (Preposition intended.)

This story has gotten a lot of traction from AdAge (link is broken but the jest was: Sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line dropped 19% between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22 resulting in a loss of $33 million following the disastrous introduction of new packaging), to the Huffington Post, to Fast Company, to a series in the NYT. But what I find most interesting was the consumer reaction. There are a number of forces at work here:
  1. Tropicana brand managers who are looking for new news to excite the trade and boost sales
  2. The design team (Arnell Group) who wants to infuse the brand with some design intellectualism, push the client for a brand REvolution rather than an evolution (and make some cash for the company)
  3. The consumer who has a love affair with a brand and wants nothing to change
A brand is something we create out of thin, calculated air... hopefully. Prior to a brand's launch it doesn't exist and has no meaning. It is not until it is designed that it begins to take on meaning. As Deyan Sudjic ascertains: "design is 'the DNA' of a society, the code that we need to explore if we are to stand a chance of understanding the nature of the modern world." Now this meaning is two-fold: the actual, inherent, tangible attributes and functionality of the product, and the embedded, attributed, ethereal, intangible beliefs of the brand. One is very left brain, the other very right brain. Some is conscious, some unconscious. So, in essence a successful brand is a balance of the two. Different brands exist at different point along the rational/emotional, tangible/intangible spectrum. Tropicana is more to the left (tangible) and the Tiffany blue box is more to the right (intangible). Or is it...

I see the Tropicana event as a tipping point in the modern American culture, one where design (in this case packaging) holds all the power of successful marketing. Even for lowly orange juice cartons.

If there is anything to learn from this fiasco, here are my take-aways:
  1. Creating something new just to create something new is not always a good idea.
    Brand Managers need to look at where the REAL marketing problem lies asking themselves "Where is the consumer OPT-OUT in their shopper journey?" Identify that and you can address the real marketing inflection point. For Tropicana it was a lemming situation: Pepsi is redesigning their logo and packaging, well, then we need to also. They chose the corporate path of least resistance because it would get the green light rather than ask the hard question: What is the real problem with this brand...
    This has landed PepsiCo with what is being referred to as their very own New Coke fiasco from 1985. "We underestimated the deep emotional bond [consumers] had with the original packaging" said Neil Campbell, president at Tropicana North America. Not be a genius of the obvious but, did you ask them before you started this.

  2. Design for design sake is not always a good idea.
    I call this board room design. The strategy is great - Squeeze. It has so many layers. Had I come up with it, I would have been proud. Unfortunately, the strategic team needed to follow through to design - the planners should have been in the room to evaluate creative. The execution was self-indulgent from a design perspective; they went cold and modern when they said warm and connected - the imagery and words are there but the design "feeling" is off: hugging families (warm), black and white visuals (cold), colorful orange (warm), sans-serif typography (cold).

    Even Peter Arnell seems to be struggling with telling the brand story.

    Moreover, if the shopper reaction is that it looks "ugly," "stupid," "generic brand-like," "store brand" then I would suspect that little research was done before (by conducting a retail category audit) or after (shopper testing in real-world, at shelf environments). Most likely it was done in a board room full of left-brain managers (this is not a criticism of MBAs, they are very good at finance, but it is a criticism of having the right person for the task of evaluating creative executions. Hire more artists to evaluate and screen packaging/art/design or better yet, put a CDO - Chief Design Officer - at the center of your company. If it's good enough for P&G, it should be good enough for the rest of us.). Or the packaging was tested in a traditional consumer focus group: closed room, no windows, two-way mirror, a bunch of people telling you what they think you want to hear - nothing remotely resembling the real retail shopping experience.
    Then again, I could be wrong and they did everything right and no one during research spoke up: brand managers, designers, consumers, shoppers, and they are all in shock from the consumer reaction.

  3. Not checking in with consumers thinking you are smarter than them is not always a good idea.
    If you are selling to them, find out what they think first. I have seen this happen so many times. Brand managers who get paid healthy six-figure salaries making marketing decisions for consumer (well they should, they get paid enough to know what other people want) without testing the creative before rolling things out only to find out consumers hate it. When was the last time they went into a grocery store.

  4. Consumers have all the power.
    We, in the marketing business from brand managers to agency folk, like to believe we are smarter and have this great ability to make things irresistible to consumers and shoppers. We are all victims of our intellectual delusions. All our expensive education will never, and I repeat, never make up for the fact that shoppers choose things for the most irrational reasons, the best of which is: because I can. The reason they do, is something attracted them to it. Their senses guided them to the design.

    In the case of Tropicana, the design turned them off. It turned them off so much they took the issue into their own hands and keyboards. Technology has given them the ultimate democratic power and seat at the marketing table to do something about their beloved Tropicana. Read, package design - still the same product, but not the same brand. Checking in with consumers now seems like a smarter idea than change for the sake of change. The Tropicana billboards were great but the packaging failed to sell the brand at shelf. You fail at shelf, no traditional advertising is going to help you.
So my question is: Even though we are in a turbulent time when people crave the familiar, is change good? Do we not just need an evolution to win the marketing game rather than a revolution?

The one upside I see in this story is what was done to increase the sensual experience of Tropicana - the squeezable cap in the shape and texture of an orange. More senses, more emotional connection. Not a revolution, an evolution for the brand. Tropicana decided to keep that because consumers liked it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give it up...

It is said that the company doesn't own the brand, the consumer does.

So the question today is: why do so many corporations covet their brand equities like the holy grail and keystone holding the foundation of their company together when all consumers want is to feel the brand is part of them?

If a brand makes a concerted effort to release their equities for consumer play, then the consumer will play. Their creativity with the logos and taglines will spawn cult-like following without the heavy-handed corporate control which only translates as disingenuous.
Recently Coke decided to do just that, let the consumer keep the control over their brand. The second most trafficked page on Facebook (after Obama's) was a Coke devoted page created by two Coke fans (Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski). (For data and Ad Age article click here)
Now, FB policy is a branded page must be "authorized by or associated with the brand." So FB decided that they would have to close the page or give it to Coke. Under traditional corporate policy, a cease and desist would be issued. But Coke did something different. They decided to work with Dusty and Michael. Coke suggested that Dusty and Michael share it with them. What a novel concept! Sharing a brand... Giving it up for all to play with...

The culting of a brand will never come from the corporation/manufacturer only from the consumers. But it can only happen if the corporation/manufacturer allows it - or one better, encourages it - to happen.

To put Digital Gen into perspective...

In support of my last post, I recently received this video that kinda brings it home.

So my question today is: is the Analogue Gen resisting the real and very relevant tools of today out of ignorance or are we still holding on to an old-fashioned, left-brain (read, linear) paradigm of education? Or, should we be adapting to the Digital Gen's creative, right-brain (read, organic) paradigm of empowered and empowering technology?

The implication is that we will probably have to hire younger and younger people to teach us how to best communicate with and market to them.
A generation used to be defined as every 20 years: the Silent Gen, the GI (Government Issued) Gen, the Boomer Gen, Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials. What is interesting is that the last three have contracted to 10 years.
Why? Because of technology.
Even Gen X has subsegments: the Atari Gen and the Nintendo Gen. Both technologically defined.
I realize it can be quite threatening to tread on technological waters that seem to change every day. But isn't this the future we looked forward to when we were younger and it's happening today? And now that it's here, do we resent it because it is not enough (read, predictable) like the past?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Communication breakdown...

Had to share this Facebook experience. I think it is quite relevant to us analogue-wired gang and our frustration with the digital-wired gen.
So my question today is: do you think that the digital age is creating a generation of absolutists where things are either right or wrong, 1's and 0's, right here/right now and we are in an inter-generational communication freefall because of our analogue 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 shades of gray, patience is a virtue mindsets? As marketers, do we have it all wrong thinking we can begin to communicate with them or should we just hire them to market to them?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Is there a word...

Here is the quandary - we have consumers and we have shoppers. In marketing terms, the distance between the two is increasing everyday. Especially when we now make the marketing distinction between the person who consumes a product and a person who buys the product. For example, mom buys a 12 pack of carbonated soft drinks - she is the shopper - but her children are the the ones to drink it - they are the consumers.

Now that Shopper Marketing is the mot du jour and we are officially making the distinction between consumer marketing and shopper marketing when it is one and the same person, what do you call that person when they are both? I can't think of any other word than... person.

What I mean by this is - for the sake of simplicity* - when I am outside of the store I am a consumer, when I am inside the store, I am a shopper. So how do we qualify me when I am the target who does both. The easy answer is, by marketing definition, a consumer. So does consumer include shopper as part of its definition?

I think we are entering a new era where marketing has to create new terminology to allow both consumer and shopper to exist separately AND together.

So I throw out the challenge to all my marketing brothers and sisters to create that new Marketing 2.0 term that describes a target as BOTH consumer and shopper.

* To clarify, this is only to illustrate a point BUT my belief is that we become shoppers NOT when we pass the threshold of the sliding-glass doors, the shopper mindset begins when a need has been identified. For example, when we run out of Diet Coke, we go into shopper mode: where will I shop, when will I go there, how much will I get, do I need anything else, etc. The role of a shopper marketing strategist is to understand that path, the shopper journey, and begin to affect it, seducing and engaging the consumer/shopper with a relevant and compelling brand experience.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is brand communication like human communication?

It is said that 80 percent of communication is non-verbal leaving the other 20 percent for what we actually say. Think about it: WHAT YOU SAY is only 20 percent of what your audience takes away from the dialogue and 80 percent is HOW YOU SAY IT.

On Wikipedia I found a more specific statistic but that is just as revealing about real communication:

"More reasonably it could be at around 50-65 percent. That’s exactly what Mehrabian discovered in his communication study. He found that only 7 percent of communication comes from spoken words, 38 percent is from the tone of the voice, and 55 percent comes from body language."

This lowers even more the culturally accepted left-brain dominant belief that words are communication. 7 percent! The adage that words are the barriers to communication becomes not so scientifically far-fetched.

This poses a real quandary for rationally-driven marketing. It is proven that quantitative claims are effective in driving purchase. But it is more about closing the deal. The last stage of the purchase process.

So here is my question: when consumers react to brands are they not reacting to what the brand is not saying versus the words the brand is using? Do consumers fall 80 percent in love with a brand for all its non-verbal cues rather than the 20 percent of its verbal cues?

In the shopping space we know that women shop (in this order):
1. By color
2. By shape
3. By brand

Nothing has changed, we are sensual beings - we shop with our senses. How we interpret the world is a right-brain process because it is the QUICKEST and MOST EFFICIENT way to interpret a HUGE AMOUNTS OF INFORMATION. Once we have deselected what is not attractive to us - read non-verbal cues - do we begin to interpret from a more rational, left-brain perspective (price, value, ease-of-use, need, etc.).

What appears to draw us into a brand are the design and aesthetic cues (color, shape, style, size, etc.), the non-verbal cues. Knowing that shoppers don't see 50 percent of what is on shelf, are we not underestimating the first stages of Shopper Marketing by not auditing the category in store? What is every other brand doing at shelf? Well then, let's do the opposite or do it better. It all starts with design. THEN close the deal with the words and the claims.

One of these days I will undertake a formal research study to prove that 80 percent of brand attraction (then leading to brand love) is non-verbal and only 20 percent is verbal. I hope to then convince my clients to spend more time and resources creating a great brand story rooted in design (of packaging, advertising, mnemonic cues, etc.) and only once this is established, talk about the words we will use. Not only will this help create a brand that truly stands out (in the landscape and at shelf) but will also solve the communication issues for a time-starved and information-overloaded consumer/shopper.

Context is everything

I have been mulling around this idea of Context Marketing. Of course, only to find out that there are people out there talking about it already. So much for an original idea... But what surprises me is that no one in the business world is talking about it on a daily basis.

Not having really delved into what the others are saying, I will just elaborate on how I see it and what it means to me. And of course, only then will I look at what the establishment means by it...
To me, the premise is simple -
the only way to be relevant to a consumer or shopper is to understand the complete and total context:
- who are we talking with (THE RIGHT TARGET)
- where are they (THE RIGHT PLACE)
- what time of the day/week is it (THE RIGHT TIME)
- what is the most relevant "event" to talk with them (THE RIGHT OCCASION)
- what are they thinking about in this "space" (THE RIGHT MINDSET)
- what is the best vehicle to deliver the information (THE RIGHT MEDIA)
- what would really get them to pay attention (THE RIGHT NEED STATE)
- what do they already know about you and your brand (THE RIGHT INSIGHTS)

It seems to me that the only way to properly conduct marketing - especially Shopper Marketing - is not only to understand all the variables but also to leverage them to the fullest, most granular level. Thus the one-size-fits-all model of marketing is dead - you are either building awareness OR you are triggering a sale. Why not AND? Each piece of communication plays a deliberate role. And that role exists at the intersection of all the questions above. Even different areas/zones of the store will have a different message, in a different delivery media, with a different objective. For example, awareness and description at entrance of where the new product is located in store; a co-marketing opportunity out of category, an on-the-go message in deli, etc. And the out-of-store TV perhaps creates a drive-to-web where you can pick up a coupon and at the same time offer up some data for 1:1 CRM follow-up. You get the idea...

I believe Marshall McLuhan had it right when he said "The medium is the message." He was establishing the building-blocks of contextual marketing. That where and how the message is delivered is on the same importance level to the consumer as what you are saying in it. So the goal for us marketing strategists is to identify the optimal "contexts" for consumer/shopper engagement. These will become, in my opinion, AS IMPORTANT as the content.

This brings me to my first reading on Context Marketing - the distinction between content and context marketing. See what Jim Holbrook had to say about it here.

The question is then: what business are Marketers in today, content or context? Or both?

It seems to me that we have to become increasingly deliberate in strategically making the distinction based on the various objectives and contexts BUT that we have to learn to blur the lines in the execution.

The big advantage I see, especially in a recessionary period where marketing has to do more with less, is that we will begin to thin-slice what we are doing, truly questioning both the purpose and cost to ROI value of each component of the campaign. It is no longer acceptable to be a sponsor of an event if there is no take-away to drive the participant to store for a purchase. The upside of the economic situation will be to open a more candid and refreshing dialogue between the client and the agency about the client's marketing choices - is this the most efficient and effective way to get the biggest bang returns for your marketing bucks? I predict that as agency folk, and "true partners" in our clients' business growth, we will have increased visibility and opportunities to impact the yearly marketing plan. This will only come if we pro-actively undertake some due diligence in proving what are the best contexts to reach the right people, at the right time, in the right place, with the right media, with the right message.

Here is also an interesting link to Context Marketing's "What, Why and How."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I have a theory...

...on how the Hispanic shopper will save the American shopping experience.

For the last six or seven years I have been attending various conferences on Shopper Marketing and invariably, after waxing poetic for 55 minutes, the speakers would wrap up and say something like "...and let us not forget the Hispanic shopper for she shops differently... She shops with her senses..."

WHAT? She shops differently???...with her senses??? What ethnocentric trips were these guys on? This all sounded a little short-sighted and conveniently academic... in that conveniently-old-fashioned-marketing-trying-to-be-hip-and-provocative kinda way.

When I thought of shopping and markets, my mind would immediately drift off the the memories of my childhood shopping at the Marché Mouffetard in Paris, the images of the Souks of Marrakesh, the spice markets in India, the strange markets in China... The images in my head were endlessly filled with colors; the sense-memory of smells were of fruits, rotisserie chickens and cheese shops; the sounds were of vendors tempting us with a sample tasting of strawberry tart or a fresh cherry; the old ladies skillfully selecting of the perfect tomato by the way it felt in their hands and the way it smelled of green vine...

The market, my friends, IS the REALM OF THE SENSES. It is where we come to awaken and fine-tune the great skills called our senses.

We have been shopping with our senses since the beginning of time.
Our senses are what guide us to and far away from the good or bad foods. It is how we define and determine what we like and don't like. As we have evolved, perfecting our choices via our senses has been the difference between greatness and mediocrity - those who became adept at spotting a certain hue of meat, or the particular scent of the perfect melon become the better cooks.

The reward for being great at choosing the better ingredients is the delight the family takes in eating a delicious meal. Wives and moms thrived on the praise from their families for being adept at knowing which butcher has the better steak, which produce stand has the better vegetables, which baker baked the better bread...
The same extends to all products we purchase - from food to jewelry, to rugs, to clothes... our senses guide not only preference but quality. This ability is not only something we used to learn over our lifetimes but is a coveted skill passed down through the generations (at least in the old world).

But something happened...
Increasing numbers of Americans report that they "hate grocery shopping" (14% of the adult population. But women, ages thirty-five to forty-nine years old, were the most likely group to dislike grocery shopping* moreover 42% percent of consumers were looking for ways to reduce the amount of time spent on grocery shopping.**

The question is WHY?
Why do we now hate grocery shopping so much? How can something that used to be the source of such pride have fallen from grace for almost half of us?**

So here goes the theory...
Until the Second World War, many of us lived in an urban space where we had our community within walking distance. We would walk to the butcher, the baker, the deli, the fruit stand... Each vendor took pride in his/her store and competed with other vendors by trying to seduce shoppers with a better product, a better display, samples, anything that would entice shoppers to buy from them. They knew that appealing to the senses would at least attract passers-by thought the door. Think of the magical power of the scent of freshly baked bread. Not only do we suddenly crave it, but we also begin to imagine the possibilities of a great meal... Up until then, carefully selecting our foods was something we worked at becoming more proficient in.

WWII saw the explosion of efficiency. It was an era when efficiency experts perfected - from an accounting perspective - production rates: more with less and faster. Henri Ford invented the assembly line for cars, Chicago for meatpacking but WWII took it to everything else on a ubiquitous scale. Everything that could be optimized to supply the war effort, was.

So the inevitable happened, the bean counters of the now defunct war effort decided to optimize everything, including the space where their wives, not them, shopped for groceries - how much of something can we ship further, faster and stack higher and deeper per square foot. Well, let's put everything in boxes and under cellophane. And while we are at it, can we freeze it?...and then put it in a box? Can we do it with produce too?
Suddenly, we are not shopping at the local deli and the local produce stand, we are shopping at the modern antiseptic and anonymous marvel called the Supermarket. Here everything is streamlined, it's pretty, clean and homogeneous; the shelves all look the same, in perfect, identical rows. How wonderful is that? It's called progress. And this progress is our left-brain, male gift to our wives, sisters and mothers.

- But... But... How do I smell the tomatoes for the ripest one through the plastic wrap? How can I tell which is the best of something if it's hidden in a box?
- Honey, don't worry about that.... Trust me, this will make your life so much more practical. Trust me, what's IN the box will look exactly like what's ON the box.

Well, the artist formerly knows as the shopper, i.e. mom, could no longer feel, smell, taste, listen, see the actual food they were going to actually purchase, they had to trust the advertising on the box. How convenient for the manufacturer and the retailer. How inconvenient for the actual consumer.

Mom and all the other sensorial shoppers got the short end of the stick for the next... oh... 60 or so years. In some places and retailers it's still going on... Have we learned nothing of human behavior... We crave connection with the world around us. The sad irony is that in the name of progress, we have been removing any and all contact with the food we eat, the products we use, and the people who can advise us on all of them. Think about it, the only contact any shopper has with anyone is at the checkout. And now with the self-checkout, no human interaction at all. Is it any wonder we shop talking to our friends on cell phones...just to feel connected.

Soooo, what does this have to do with our Hispanic shopper?
As the state of marketing denial of all human needs continues to prevail, an underground movement is taking place where retailers (like Walmart) and brands (like P&G) are paying attention to the rapid growth of the Hispanic population (currently 50% of the population growth in the US***) and developing marketing and shopping strategies to cater to them. Because it is lucrative. But these strategies are usually based on communication and just putting Hispanic people in the ads. The best ones are creating a different shopping experience targeting heavy Hispanic communities by offering more colorful and interactive environments where the shopper can touch, smell, taste and generally sample the various items. What they are failing to see is that shopping needs of Hispanics who bring with them habits from quote "poor" and "unsophisticated" tiendas in their old-fashioned countries are actually the shopping habits and needs of all of us.

Well, guess what my friends, the old way is the right way. Let us experience and interact with our food and we will enjoy shopping even more. Case in point, look at the huge success H.E.B. has had with their Central Market format in Austin. The "experiment" of a new sensorial and interactive shopping experience helped a grocery store become the number two tourist destination (1.5 million visitors) in Austin behind the State Capitol... Are you kidding! A grocery store...became an attraction! Yup, they got it right, they encouraged shoppers to interact with the food. I would also venture to add that it is not surprising from a state that has such a large Hispanic/Latino population.

In the last 10 to 15 years, there has been increased "sensualization" of business. This would correlate with the increased power of women in the corporate world. When women sell to women, they sell by helping them feel something. Think of the make-over to sell cosmetics. The senses are what capture the imagination. Again, in the grand scheme of things, nothing new, but to a left-brained, linear, male-dominated culture this is a radical departure from the "way a grocery store has always been." The minute we tap into the power of experiencing via sensual sampling, we begin to seduce on a whole different level. By inference, the power to sell is really about taping into the right brain - the imagination, the creativity, what could be. And the gateway is the senses. Kinda like the Hispanic shopper, she is the gateway to shopping - if we understand how she shops, we can understand how we all shop. This has been a long winded way to say: to create a shopping environment for her, is to create a shopping environment for the rest of us.

So my questions is: in an increasingly digital world, is sensorial shopper engagement more or less important than it has been in the last few million years of shopping?

The truth is, we all have always shopped "differently" than the way we have been expected to shop for the last 60 years. Efficiency is not always effective in creating memorable or pleasurable experiences.

So the world of marketing will be forever indebted to the Hispanic mom. We may not realize it now, but by proxy, she will show the US how to find pleasure in grocery shopping...again.

(*Thomas, Jerry, 2003, "Some Hate Grocery Shopping"
Pastore, Michael, 2000, "Online Grocery Market Treading New E-Commerce Waters," Cyber
***Pew Research Center 2008)