Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The times, they ARE a changing. Back to basics and the "New" Consumerism.

I apologize for staycating and missing last weeks blog, but here is today's.

Parade Magazine, not the bastion of negative thinking nor teh hot bed of radical thought reported on the economic crisis and its effects on common Americans.

How the Economic Crisis Changed Us
by Michael J. Berland and Douglas E. Schoen
published: 11/01/2009

The Recession Hits Home  
  • 79% have personally felt its impact
  • 42% delayed or canceled their vacations
  • 27% pursued extra work to make money
Americans See Benefits, Too  
  • 52% are forming stronger bonds with spouses
  • 63% have become more do-it-yourself
  • 30% are volunteering more for charities
The first numbers aught get the attention of government leaders and market makers. The second set aught to get the attention of all of us. My postings about post-consumerism over the last few months have been pointing out indicators of a change in the way ordianry Americans are going about adjustign to the new economic relaities.

Humans as a species are adaptive, and we Ameircans are especially receptive to change.

Over the last two decades we have gotten way too wealthy and accustomed to having easy times.

It appears with these difficult times we are looking for what's important, and the advertisers have inevitably figured that out. If you google "back to basics" you will get 15M plus hits, by the time you read this, the number will be higher.

I'll grant that "back to basics" as a phrase has been around for a long time and it resonates with us, but  "New" Consumerism as a term for scaling back and shopping around for deals, strikes me as kind of weird.

"New" consumerism is the new normal. Yikes.

I really liked the Allstate ads for back to basics of spending more time with family and friends, finding pleasure in simple things. Now we are faced with the "new normal", spending our time in stores searching out the best deals. In this model just run to WalMart as they price compare. I do too: I know that this week milk and soymilk are cheaper at Safeway than at Sam's and that wine on sale (as it always is) at Safeway is way cheaper than Sam's.  But if we follow the new normal our shopping time will be increased and advertisers will be assured at work trying to find new ways for us to part with our cash once we hit the inside of the mall.

But we can be assured that AARP is on the ball: The 10 commandments of new conumerism were posted in the e bulletin

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