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Smart companies and the post-crisis consumer

What if you did the right things and the smart things years before most of your competitors did? Wouldn’t that make life easier?

John Gerzema talks at TEDxKC about the post-crisis consumer (16m 34s), but there are some interesting business nuggets in here as well.

Smart companies, smart consumers

Gerzema talks about a lot of things that make the video interesting from a consumer and business perspective, but 2 things stuck out for me:

1) Some of the discussion is about all the changes that big companies are making to take advantage of the post-crisis consumer’s mindset, even though much of what they are doing are the things that *smart companies* have been doing for years.

They’ve been watching their expenses, tracking their advertising, spending money on investments they can measure, hiring smarter – and they’ve been doing this for years – just like the frugal consumers Gerzema talks about.

2) I found it interesting, and at times mildly amusing, that many of the “new” consumer trends that Gerzema’s team is discovering (presumably in urban areas) have been part and parcel of rural living for as long as anyone can remember. Emphasis on community, volunteering, ethics, “durable living”, not flaunting your bling (had to be said), and the like.

Most small town folks didn’t need the economy to crater to start doing those things.

Those 2 things aside, the 16 minutes is definitely worthwhile, so grab a cuppa joe and enjoy.

What to do next

Now that these things have reached beyond little towns like the ones around me and are reaching deep into urban areas, how can you adjust what your business is doing to get in step with the consumers where you live?