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Epidemics, Hush Puppies, and Retail Anthropology (or the Science of Shopping). Hush Puppies Sales: 30,000 pairs (1994) 1,700,000+ pairs (1996). Hush Puppies and M. Gladwell.

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hush puppies and m gladwell
Hush Puppies Sales:

30,000 pairs (1994)

1,700,000+ pairs (1996)

Hush Puppies and M. Gladwell
slide3
New York City’s crime rate began a steady and steep decline in 1991 that continued through the end of the decade.
what is a tipping point
What is a Tipping Point?
  • It’s a biography of the idea “that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and human behaviors spread just like viruses do — they’re contagious.”
three characteristics
Three Characteristics
  • Contagiousness
  • Little causes can have big effects
  • Change is not gradual but dramatic
contagiousness
Contagiousness
  • Examples: elevator standing & Candid Camera, fraternity hat styles, back-pack strappage fashion (single-strapper, double-strapper), men wearing Capri pants (not), yawning . . .
  • In short, lots of human behavior is contagious
little causes can have big effects
Little causes can have big effects
  • Examples: “QWERTY” and typewriters; Bingo “raffle basket” game; SAT/LSAT preparation, flu epidemics, exam studying
  • Principle of “not arithmetic but geometric progression”

– abandon expectation about proportionality

change is not gradual but dramatic
Change is not gradual but dramatic
  • Examples: suburban “white flight,” fax machines (1987), and cell phones (1998)
  • Why? networking/coordination externalities (e.g., Microsoft Windows, Explorer, Excel, Word, VHS/DVD, Sony Playstation, etc.)
dramatic and quick change
Dramatic and Quick Change
  • mobs (sporting events) and genocide
  • Rwanda –800,000 killed in approx. 3 months; U.N. peacekeeping forces were quickly overwhelmed and withdrew:
retail anthropology
Insight: Shopping, like so many other human behaviors, can be scientifically studied.

e.g, the Invariant Right, le facteur bousculade, “touching” clothes at the Gap or Banana Republic

"Builders who do not pay attention to the needs of new and different family considerations operate at their own peril."

Retail Anthropology
store coverage
Store Coverage

This map illustrates how far shoppers penetrate into the store.

Only 14% of shoppers made it all the way to the back of the store.

market research typing
Market Research: Typing

Claritas or Total Research:

PRIZM divides the U.S. consumer into 15 different groups (based on unique clustering algorithms) and 62 different segments:

  • Elite Suburbs 8. 2nd City Centers
  • Urban Uptown 9. Exurban Blues
  • 2nd City Society 10. Country Families
  • Landed Gentry 11. Urban Cores
  • The Affluentials 12. Working Towns
  • Inner Suburbs 13. Heartlanders
  • Urban Midscale 14. Rustic Living
market research typing subsections
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 1 - Elite Suburbs

The five clusters of social group 1 rank in the first and second deciles of Claritas' education and affluence scale, making this one of the nation's most affluent social groups. 1 clusters share high income, education, investment, and spending levels. A high concentration of wealthy Asian immigrants populate these clusters. Beyond these shared patterns, there are marked differences.

The Elite Suburbs group consists of the following subsections:

  • 01 Blue Blood Estates: “old money,” many multi-millionaires
  • 02. Winner's Circle: “new money”
  • 03. Executive Suites: ten years younger than “Winner’s Circles”
  • 04. Pools and Patios: empty-nester executives and professional couples
  • 05. Kids and Cul-de-Sacs: semi self-explanatory, massive SUV’s and

Volvos galore

market research typing subsections19
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 2 – Urban Uptown

Group U1 ranks as the nation's second most affluent social group. Major market concentrations are dense, with over 94 percent of total households in the top 10 TV markets. For over two decades, these clusters have had high concentrations of executives and professionals in business, finance, entertainment, and education. More recently, 2 clusters have absorbed a wave of upscale immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The Urban Uptown group consists of the following subsections:

  • 06. Urban Gold Coast: M. Gladwell/Greenwich Village (Gillette)
  • 07. Money and Brains: mix of family types with dual incomes
  • 08. Young Literati: few children, less affluent but more educated
  • 09. American Dreams: immigrants, bigger families
  • 10. Bohemian Mix: mobile, highly educated singles (few children)
market research typing subsections20
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 4 – Landed Gentry

The four clusters of social group T1 cover a vast amount of American geography. T1 is the fourth most affluent group. Large, multi-income families with school-aged kids, headed by well-educated executives, professionals, and "techies" dominate this group. Above all, the clusters share serenity because 4 neighborhoods lie far outside the metropolitan beltways in America's most spectacular coastal areas and uplands.

The Landed Gentry group consists of the following subsections:

  • 14. Country Squires: urban stress refugees, “big ducks in the boondocks”
  • 15. God's Country: white-collar managers; focus on family and outdoors
  • 16. Big Fish, Small Pond: conservative, family-oriented cluster; Griswolds
  • 17. Greenbelt Families: younger, less-affluent, heavily mortgaged married

couples with lots of children; heavily in debt

market research typing subsections21
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 8 – 2nd City Centers

The five clusters of this social group describe the midscale, middle-density, satellite cities surrounding major metropolitan areas, as well as many smaller, second-tier cities. The 8 clusters have a lower cost of living, and are generally better off than their peers in group 7. With some exceptions, these clusters are predominantly white. Otherwise, they differ in age, marital status, education level, occupation, and lifestyle.

The 2nd City Centers group consists of the following subsections:

  • 32. Middleburg Managers: solid citizens of American’s smaller cities
  • 33. Boomtown Singles: young professionals in multi-unit rentals
  • 34. Starter Families: early marriage and parenthood families
  • 35. Sunset City Blues: police, firefighters and other blue-collar workers nearing retirement and eager to get to Florida
  • 36. Towns and Gowns: 18-24 year olds on limited budgets but big tastes
market research typing subsections22
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 10 – Country Families

Social group 10 now rivals groups 6, 7, 8, and 9 in midscale affluence and, thanks to lower living costs, suffers less poverty. Found in hundreds of small towns and remote exurbs, the group covers all but a few television markets. Composed of white, married couples, many with children, these country families work in industrial and agrarian occupations. They own their houses and mobile homes.

The Country Families group consists of the following subsections:

  • 41. Big Sky Families: well-paid craftsmen, machinists, and builders; family-centered lifestyle focus on hobbies, hunting and boating and some militias
  • 42. New Eco-topia: Northern Pacific, Rockies, northern New England
  • 43. River City, USA: 4th of July parades and front porch blue-collar folk
  • 44. Shotguns & Pickups: enjoy hunting, bowling, sewing and auto races; mullets and professional wrestling very popular
market research typing subsections23
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 12 – 2nd City Blues

The four clusters of this social group cover the downtown neighborhoods of hundreds of second cities on the fringe of major metropolitan areas. With lower living costs, these clusters are better off than their big-city cousins (social group 11). Coupled with pockets of unemployment, broken homes, and solo parents, this group also includes a wide range of occupations including agrarian, clerical, retail, labor, transportation, and public and private sector services.

The 2nd City Blues group consists of the following segments:

  • 48. Smalltown Downtown: students and those looking for fresh starts and first employment
  • 49. Hometown Retired: central Florida; take bus tours, collect stamps,

and enjoy playing cards and chess

  • 50. Family Scramble: scars of poverty, but are managing to get by by working in transport, labor and service
  • 51. Southside City: over 80% African American; Mississippi Delta, Gulf Coast, and Atlantic states; their low cost of living keeps them afloat
market research typing subsections24
Market Research: Typing Subsections
  • Group 14 – Heartlanders

The two clusters of this social group describe the nation's agrarian heartland, centered in the Great Plains, South Central, Mountains, and Pacific, with a few pockets in the East. They are comparatively self-sufficient with a low cost of living. They are large, multi-generational families living in low-density houses and mobile homes. A mix of Hispanics and Native Americans, they are fiercely independent.

The Heartlanders group consists of the following subsections:

  • 56. Agri-Business: famous for very large families, countless animals, apple pie, and going fishing; work in forestry, farming, fishing, ranching, mining, and other blue- collar employment
  • 57. Grain Belt: feeding the U.S. and sometimes the world, this subsection is our bread basket; these families are only poor in money