Conspicuous Consumption is Conspicuous. Does it distract us from what's really going on in the market? In her Marketing Profs article last Tuesday, The Devil May Wear Prada, But Everyone Else Wears Isaac Mizrahi, Marti Barletta cautions marketers to look beyond trend hype to what people really buy. In a larger context, we may be missing the forest for the ornamental trees.
So how do we track Inconspicuous Consumption? In their book The Influentials, Ed Keller and Jon Berry go where The Tipping Point's Mavens and Connectors leave off. The book's subtitle is: "one American in ten tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat, and what to buy". According to Keller and Berry, Influentials are information-hungry, outgoing, and suprisingly pragmatic. They don't seek to influence, but others trust their judgement. What does this mean to marketers?
We need to seriously consider who our real brand ambassadors are -- but not mistake Word of Mouth Marketing with orchestrating buzz through stealth spokespeople.
Worth adding to your news feed: the Influence 2.0 blog, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Womnibus Blog. A Great Primer for Marketers on Social Media: Brand Marketers, Meet Social Networks: Building Communities Without Jeopardizing Your Brand, by Joe Lichtenberg of Marketing Profs.