Author: Karl Gerth
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Release Date: 2010-11-09
In this revelatory examination of the most overlooked force that is changing the face of China, the Oxford historian and scholar of modern Asia Karl Gerth shows that as the Chinese consumer goes, so goes the world. While Americans and Europeans have become increasingly worried about China's competition for manufacturing jobs and energy resources, they have overlooked an even bigger story: China's rapid development of an American-style consumer culture, which is revolutionizing the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese and has the potential to reshape the world. This change is already well under way. China has become the world's largest consumer of everything from automobiles to beer and has begun to adopt such consumer habits as living in large single-occupancy homes, shopping in gigantic malls, and eating meat-based diets served in fast-food outlets. Even rural Chinese, long the laggards of consumerism, have been buying refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, and larger houses in unprecedented numbers. As China Goes, So Goes the World reveals why we should all care about the everyday choices made by ordinary Chinese. Taken together, these seemingly small changes are deeper and more profound than the headline-grabbing stories on military budgets, carbon emissions, or trade disputes.
In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II fueled our pervasive consumer mentality and transformed American life. Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, social equality, and the American Dream. Material goods came to embody the promise of America, and the power of consumers to purchase everything from vacuum cleaners to convertibles gave rise to the power of citizens to purchase political influence and effect social change. Yet despite undeniable successes and unprecedented affluence, mass consumption also fostered economic inequality and the fracturing of society along gender, class, and racial lines. In charting the complex legacy of our “Consumers’ Republic” Lizabeth Cohen has written a bold, encompassing, and profoundly influential book. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Matthew Willcox
Publisher: Pearson Education
Release Date: 2015-02-20
Genre: Business & Economics
Winner of the 2016 Berry - AMA Book Prize for Best Book in Marketing from the American Marketing Association! Named Marketing Book of the Year for 2016 by Marketing & Sales Books! Reshape Consumer Behavior by Making Your Brand the Instinctive, Intuitive, Easy Choice • Discover powerful new ways to simplify and guide consumer decisions • Gain actionable insights into social influence, how people plan, and how they interpret the past • Leverage surprising advances in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and the behavioral and social sciences Whatever your marketing or behavioral objective, you’ll be far more successful if you know how humans choose. Human intuitions and cognitive mechanisms have evolved over millions of years, but only now are marketers beginning to understand their impact on people’s decisions. The Business of Choice helps you apply new scientific insights to make your brand or target behavior the easiest, most instinctive choice. Matthew Willcox integrates the latest research advances with his own extensive enterprise marketing experience at FCB’s Institute of Decision Making. Willcox explains why we humans often seem so irrational, how marketers can leverage the same evolutionary factors that helped humans prosper as a species, how to make decisions simpler for your consumers, and how to make them feel good about their choices, so they keep coming back for more!
Author: Frank Trentmann
Release Date: 2016-03-29
What we consume has become a central—perhaps the central—feature of modern life. Our economies live or die by spending, we increasingly define ourselves by our possessions, and this ever-richer lifestyle has had an extraordinary impact on our planet. How have we come to live with so much stuff, and how has this changed the course of history? In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today’s global economy. While consumption is often portrayed as a recent American export, this monumental and richly detailed account shows that it is in fact a truly international phenomenon with a much longer and more diverse history. Trentmann traces the influence of trade and empire on tastes, as formerly exotic goods like coffee, tobacco, Indian cotton and Chinese porcelain conquered the world, and explores the growing demand for home furnishings, fashionable clothes and convenience that transformed private and public life. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought department stores, credit cards and advertising, but also the rise of the ethical shopper, new generational identities and, eventually, the resurgence of the Asian consumer. With an eye to the present and future, Frank Trentmann provides a long view on the global challenges of our relentless pursuit of more—from waste and debt to stress and inequality. A masterpiece of research and storytelling many years in the making, Empire of Things recounts the epic history of the goods that have seduced, enriched and unsettled our lives over the past six hundred years.
Author: James H. Gilmore
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Release Date: 2007-10-18
Genre: Business & Economics
Contrived. Disingenuous. Phony. Inauthentic. Do your customers use any of these words to describe what you sell—or how you sell it? If so, welcome to the club. Inundated by fakes and sophisticated counterfeits, people increasingly see the world in terms of real or fake. They would rather buy something real from someone genuine rather than something fake from some phony. When deciding to buy, consumers judge an offering's (and a company's) authenticity as much as—if not more than—price, quality, and availability. In Authenticity, James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II argue that to trounce rivals companies must grasp, manage, and excel at rendering authenticity. Through examples from a wide array of industries as well as government, nonprofit, education, and religious sectors, the authors show how to manage customers' perception of authenticity by: recognizing how businesses "fake it;" appealing to the five different genres of authenticity; charting how to be "true to self" and what you say you are; and crafting and implementing business strategies for rendering authenticity. The first to explore what authenticity really means for businesses and how companies can approach it both thoughtfully and thoroughly, this book is a must-read for any organization seeking to fulfill consumers' intensifying demand for the real deal.
Author: Eddie Yoon
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Release Date: 2016-11-29
Genre: Business & Economics
Pork dorks. Craftsters. American Girl fans. Despite their different tastes, these eclectic diehards have a lot in common: they’re obsessed about a specific brand, product, or category. They pursue their passions with fervor, and they’re extremely knowledgeable about the things they love. They aren’t average consumers—they’re superconsumers. Although small in number, superconsumers can have an outsized impact on a company’s bottom line. Representing 10% of total consumers, they can drive between 30% to 70% of sales, and they’re usually willing to spend considerably more than the average consumer. And because they’re so engaged and passionate, they can offer invaluable advice to managers looking to improve their products, change their business models, energize their cultures, and attract new customers. In Superconsumers, growth strategy expert Eddie Yoon lays out a simple but extremely effective framework that has helped companies of all types and sizes achieve more sustainable growth: he’ll show you how to find, listen to, and engage with your most passionate and profitable consumers, and then tailor your decisions to meet their wants and needs. Along the way, he’ll let you into the minds and homes of superconsumers of all kinds, revealing what makes them tick and why they’re willing to spend so much more than other consumers. Rich with data and case studies of companies that have implemented superconsumer strategies with great success, Superconsumers is a fun, practical, and inspiring guide for anyone interested in making their best customers even better.
Take the guesswork out of choosing safe and effective cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. You wouldn’t eat something without knowing what it was. Don’t you want to take the same care with what you put on your face, hair, and body? Find out what’s in your health and beauty products with Ruth Winter’s A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. This updated and expanded sixth edition gives you all the facts you need to protect yourself and your family from possible irritants, confusing chemical names, or exaggerated claims of beauty from gimmick additives. Virtually every chemical found in toiletries, cosmetics, and cosmeceuticals—from body and face creams to toothpaste, hand lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, soap, perfume, and makeup—is evaluated in this book, including those ingredients marketed as being all-natural, for children, and for people of color. The alphabetical arrangement makes it easy to look up the ingredients in the products you use. With new substances popping up in products we utilize every day—and with the continuing deregulation of the cosmetics industry—A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients is more indispensable than ever. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Lisa Jacobson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Business & Economics
In the present electronic torrent of MTV and teen flicks, Nintendo and Air Jordan advertisements, consumer culture is an unmistakably important -- and controversial -- dimension of modern childhood. Historians and social commentators have typically assumed that the child consumer became significant during the postwar television age. But the child consumer was already an important phenomenon in the early twentieth century. The family, traditionally the primary institution of child socialization, began to face an array of new competitors who sought to put their own imprint on children's acculturation to consumer capitalism. Advertisers, children's magazine publishers, public schools, child experts, and children's peer groups alternately collaborated with, and competed against, the family in their quest to define children's identities. At stake in these conflicts and collaborations was no less than the direction of American consumer society -- would children's consumer training rein in hedonistic excesses or contribute to the spread of hollow, commercial values? Not simply a new player in the economy, the child consumer became a lightning rod for broader concerns about the sanctity of the family and the authority of the market in modern capitalist culture. Lisa Jacobson reveals how changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity shaped the ways Americans understood the virtues and vices of boy and girl consumers -- and why boys in particular emerged as the heroes of the new consumer age. She also analyzes how children's own behavior, peer culture, and emotional investment in goods influenced the dynamics of the new consumer culture. Raising Consumers is a provocative examination of the social, economic, and cultural forces that produced and ultimately legitimized a distinctive children's consumer culture in the early twentieth century.
From one of the most prestigious nonprofit organizations devoted to environmental issues comes a clear, practical, and rational overview of the relationship between consumers and the environment. Paper or plastic? Bus or car? Old house or new? Cloth diapers or disposables? Some choices have a huge impact on the environment; others are of negligible importance. To those of us who care about our quality of life and what is happening to the earth, this is a vastly important issue. In these pages, the Union of Concerned Scientists help inform consumers about everyday decisions that significantly affect the environment. For example, a few major decisions--such as the choice of a house or vehicle--have such a disproportionately large affect on the environment that minor environmental infractions shrink by comparison. This book identifies the 4 Most Significant Consumer-Related Environmental Problems, the 7 Most Damaging Spending Categories, 11 Priority Actions, and 7 Rules for Responsible Consumption. Learn what you can do to have a truly significant impact on our world from the people who are at the forefront of scientific research. From the Trade Paperback edition.