How Black Friday taps into the 5 Macro Trends

By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

Okay, we know Black Friday IS marketing.  So it’s not hard for us to link it to Everything is Marketing.  But it’s the human side that we are interested in.  As we watched the lunacy that is Black Friday ($2 WAFFLE IRONS…SHUT….THE…DOOR!!!) it got us thinking why do people subject themselves to this insanity?

Yes, of course there are those driven to low prices by pure necessity, thanks to the continuously poor and desperate economic conditions in the US.  But there are those who simply get a rush from the crowds, from waiting in mind-numbing lines, from a game of tug-o-war with a fellow human being over a deeply-discounted DVD player.  Why is that?  Well, simply put Black Friday has become the Super Bowl of retailing because it taps into the 5 macro trends (click here to see a presentation on the trends).  And unless the Mayans are right and the world ends in 2012, the acceleration of these trends is unstoppable:

Hunger for Relationships: consumers are social animals and seek experiences / connection over transactions.  Our disconnected society has driven people to find new ways to reach out and touch someone.  Even if it meant an X-rated full-body smush from a dude in crush of people waiting to get into a local Walmart.

New Value Mindset:  consumers demand a powerful, more emotional connection or low prices. There is no middle ground.  This is pretty obvious:  Black Friday shoppers wanted a kick ass deal, they loved the hunt for a bargain and they wanted their dollars to stretch to the limit.

Consumer 2.0:  consumers are even more selective, demanding and diverse.  They use technology to pre-shop the best deals and save time.  Leading up to and on Black Friday, retailers stirred up a feeding frenzy by sending out online flyers and offering instant deals on mobile devices.

Health and Wellness: consumers seek products and solutions that support fitness and nutrition plus emotional / spiritual wellbeing.  Black Friday shoppers worked on their fitness by pushing through crowds, sprinting along aisles, and doing the clean-and-jerk with a gigantic flat screen TV.  (I jest, but only slightly….)

Do the Right Thing: in a world of less trust, consumers seek great brands.  On Black Friday shoppers clearly helped keep the capitalist machine running by putting their hard earned cash back into the economy with retailers they know and trust.

What’s the lesson for your brand?  Ask yourself, what macro trends are you tapping into to drive growth; to drive your own feeding frenzy for your brand?  There are likely opportunities for your brand to tap into all 5, but at minimum pick one and deliver.

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