Young People Are Leading the Retail Market Revolution …but then you knew that already.
A journalism course once had a session on ‘The Cheryl Cole Angle’ in news gathering. They encouraged writers to take any story and see if they could attach Cheryl Cole to it in any way to sell more copies and interest TV.
If an old story needed recycling, they wanted a fresh/young angle to give it legs. They substituted Cheryl Cole with any attractive female who was more current.
So, rather than opening this blog with: Everyone who shops is aware of the earth-shaking changes that technology has brought about in recent years. Now data-scraping is set to take the revolution another big step on.
We say instead: We bring you Bethany Mota! This 18-year old has more followers than Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle put together. She would have been called a ‘trend setter’ or ‘opinion former’ a decade ago, as a means of reintroducing retailing and social media to you.
Mota is queen of the ‘haul video’, where teenagers talk to camera on YouTube about their shopping of make up, hairstyles, shoes and clothes. This new genre has hit the traditional ways of reaching the teenage consumer market – billboards, TV/radio, magazines.
Now social networking has opened up a way of selling that goes even beyond sharing and recommending. Facebook and Twitter (for now) are the out-front leaders in showing what young buyers are up to.
The companies who can sift through social media chatter and analyse it, are in control of the golden egg of future shopping.
Forget the ‘grey pound’, the spending power of an aging population, important though that is, it’s the teenagers and young 20s who are dictating fashion and lifestyle choices that manufacturers and retailers need to anticipate accurately.
Count Your Lucky Starcount
Starcount is a British company, founded in 2011, which gathers data from almost 2 billion global consumers, led by trendsetters such as Bethany Mota and sells analysis and insights to businesses.
The man behind making Tescos into the global giant it is (was), Sir Terry Leahy with others has stumped up £6m to develop Starcount.
He has teamed up again with Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn who devised a way of processing customers’ data that fed Tesco Clubcard, widely credited with the exponential successful growth of Tescos.
Using the same mass marketing approach on social media as elsewhere is not the answer. Shoppers have personal and often subtle differences one to another, geographically, physically and emotions. However, there are strands of hysteria, copying/emulating and must have that inform young people’s spending
It’s Tweeting That Sells
Celebrities who have hundreds and thousands of followers, real or otherwise, can make or break a brand. They can kill an idea or start a new craze in 140 characters.
Business leaders are now recognising that the young are becoming disproportionally influential in markets. Identifying and holding them is the big challenge for retailers now.
Leahy believes that working with an objective partner like Starcount companies will take a long-term view of marketing from an informed base of what people are liking/saying/buying and being motivated by and what will drive future change.
Interrogating data is how they are already achieving this. As that interrogation gets ever more sophisticated and includes more metrics, we can just sit back and wait to be told what to buy, eat, wear and think.
We have other blogs around this area:
Your Face When Shopping Is the Retailers’ Biggest Asset, 16 December 2013
Holding Back the Facebook Tide, At Least in the Mind, 25 November 2013
Catch It Here and Hold It Down: Stuff in the Air About Data, 18 November 2013
Big Data Is Worth More Than Gold and Oil Put Together, 3 September 2013
If Twitter Ruled the World, What Would Its Policies Be? 19 August 2013
Image: O Boticaro