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(CNBC)   How the current generation of consumers--the least loyal in decades--is changing the face of retail   (cnbc.com) divider line 74
    More: Interesting, Jeff Greene  
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3213 clicks; posted to Business » on 09 Mar 2014 at 5:01 AM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-09 05:17:43 AM
To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.
 
2014-03-09 05:43:43 AM
Why would we be loyal to some big faceless corporations that by and large don't do their civic duty?
 
2014-03-09 05:53:26 AM
FTA "This generation is the most word-of-mouth generation of any generation," said Chiagouris. "They don't do as much research evaluating purchases as previous generations. ... Social media is their form of research."

ROTFL, So they just want what their friends have not what might be a better purchase. Sounds like a generation of greedy concieted little schmucks.
 
2014-03-09 06:06:10 AM

unlikely: To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.


This. Consumers are as loyal as ever, but the products out there in a macro market are all just the same shiat. Am IC is an IC. Any computer (assuming it works) can run a browser about as well as any other of the same stats. So the computer you buy will not be the brand you stick with if the price point changes.

Same with everything else. There's so many wannabe brand names out there now that it's almost impossible to stick with just one. Meanwhile I bet Black and Decker is still the go to name in tools. A lifetime warranty is not to be scoffed at if you're likely to break or wear out your screwdriver.
 
2014-03-09 06:30:56 AM

tzzhc4: FTA "This generation is the most word-of-mouth generation of any generation," said Chiagouris. "They don't do as much research evaluating purchases as previous generations. ... Social media is their form of research."

ROTFL, So they just want what their friends have not what might be a better purchase. Sounds like a generation of greedy concieted little schmucks.


What research can a consumer reasonably do?

I can't afford to just buy one of everything and try it myself.  I don't have the time to scientifically study something.  Big reviewers seem to have their hands in the pockets of the companies they review for, to the point where (after getting burned enough times), I don't trust them.  Anonymous reviews compiled by things like Amazon are just as bad, entire 'marketing companies' exist that do nothing but spam fake reviews and they do a great job.

More objective facts and figures rarely map well to the subjective question of 'Will this work well for me'.  A lot of times, the specific things I care about in a product ARE NOT advertised.  I *hate* mp3 players that, when set to shuffle/random, if I press forward to a new song, and then press back get another random song.  It's a little thing, but you won't find that in most reviews, and you certainly won't find it on the box.  Beyond that, most of the 'objective' information is b.s. - my wife and I both have nearly identical Eee PC netbooks.  They look the same, they were purchased at about the same time, they have the same size battery....one of them advertised 8 hours of battery life while the second claims 11 hours.  There is NO discernible difference in battery life between the two nearly identical netbooks.  Sure, sure, if I set the brightness to 10%, turn off the wi-fi, slow down the CPU and do nothing, it might last for 11 hours, but under reasonable use both are lucky to get 6 hours of use.

I value the opinion of a friend, co-worker or family member about 1000 times more than a TV commercial or ad and about 100 times more than a review that someone was paid to do, or given free stuff to evaluate.
 
2014-03-09 06:36:16 AM

doglover: I bet Black and Decker is still the go to name in tools. A lifetime warranty is not to be scoffed at if you're likely to break or wear out your screwdriver.


You know I like you,  doglover, but I will seriously kick you in the dick if you ever again MSPaint Black and Decker products in a positive light.

/just sayin'
 
2014-03-09 06:40:25 AM

tzzhc4: FTA "This generation is the most word-of-mouth generation of any generation," said Chiagouris. "They don't do as much research evaluating purchases as previous generations. ... Social media is their form of research."

ROTFL, So they just want what their friends have not what might be a better purchase. Sounds like a generation of greedy concieted little schmucks.


Or, by virtue of being the generation where the Internet has been omnipresent, are generally media savvy enough to know that's the only channel left where info about the product isn't 100% "sponsored content" these days. And not for lack of trying on the part of many companies and their "social media experts."
 
2014-03-09 06:42:56 AM

TinyFist: doglover: I bet Black and Decker is still the go to name in tools. A lifetime warranty is not to be scoffed at if you're likely to break or wear out your screwdriver.

You know I like you,  doglover, but I will seriously kick you in the dick if you ever again MSPaint Black and Decker products in a positive light.

/just sayin'


trolololololo

/ I honestly like Stanley vice grips.
 
2014-03-09 06:53:32 AM

unlikely: To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.


Not just that no company is clearly better, but good companies will regularly release some stinkers just in case you were starting to get attached to them.
 
2014-03-09 06:58:12 AM
What? Businesses try and cater to the needs of their potential customers? Impossible! Companies are tools of the 1% used to oppress innocent consumers! Evil capitalists are the ones destroying the economy with their obsession of "producing the best quality at the lowest price" and making "profit for shareholders."

I heard about it from my neighbor the beekeeper while drinking mead on out rat hunting trek through Brooklyn last night.
 
2014-03-09 07:15:01 AM

nickdaisy: What? Businesses try and cater to the needs of their potential customers? Impossible! Companies are tools of the 1% used to oppress innocent consumers! Evil capitalists are the ones destroying the economy with their obsession of "producing the best quality at the lowest price" and making "profit for shareholders."

I heard about it from my neighbor the beekeeper while drinking mead on out rat hunting trek through Brooklyn last night.

 What's it like, to be so stupid, so early on a Sunday?
 
2014-03-09 07:18:33 AM

tzzhc4: ROTFL, So they just want what their friends have not what might be a better purchase. Sounds like a generation of greedy concieted little schmucks.


demotivators.despair.com
 
2014-03-09 07:19:30 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: What research can a consumer reasonably do?


A lot, if you know what you're doing.  If you're eating it, what are the ingredients?  Jeez, that's the most obvious of obvious.  If it's disposable, where do the materials come from?  If it's durable, what are the specs -- the ones they DON'T market prominently on the box?  (When it comes to cars, everyone in America is so focused on power and cargo room, it's amazing what sorts of absolutely crappy weight distribution and turning radius they're willing to live with.)  If you're holding a kitchen utensil, visualize the sort of abuse it'll take and how it would need to be washed.  There's plenty you can do as a consumer.

Except America is now a hyper-extreme anti-intellectual culture as well, so social networking is the only skill they have for evaluating product, which makes marketers' jobs absurdly straightforward -- control the feedback.  But people are wise to that so it's a wash, and as long as you have no farking clue what sort of quality you're getting because you're too stupid to realize it even when actually trying out the product, why not just shop exclusively on price?

I have a running joke with my wife:  Any place I buy from -- being quality-minded -- goes out of business.  We did tons of research on pet food when we decided on Evo, which gave our cats the glossiest coats I've ever seen.  It was bought out by P&G; we stopped buying as soon as we found out despite their assurances they wouldn't change anything (yeah, pull the other one P&G), and since then Evo has been recalled several times.  Used to buy a hipster brand of root beer; local stores stopped stocking it.  Our favorite local pizza place changed owners; it has since gone WAY downhill.  I know nothing is forever but quality brands in America are particularly short-lived.

When shopping for houses we found an excellent home inspector we brought in for every house we considered.  Dude was meticulous.  At the end he asked for some feedback, so I said, "Well, I like how you do things a lot, so that's probably not the way to do business."
 
2014-03-09 07:40:35 AM
We all have tools of choice we didn't used to have.
The Millenials are just the generation that grew up always having them. They've never had any reason to develop much in the way of "brand loyalty".
 
2014-03-09 07:43:25 AM
Hares an idea assholes. Stop spending so much money on marketing. Spend more money making something worth buying.
 
2014-03-09 07:51:16 AM

unlikely: To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.


Account Create: 2003-11-11 13:02:25
 
2014-03-09 07:54:24 AM
TFA:  "The older we get, the less we spend," said Jeff Green, an independent retail analyst based in Phoenix.

So, in other words, Just A Guy.  A particularly stupid one, at that.

TFA:  Millennials are "low on social trust," according to Pew. Just 19 percent say most people can be trusted, compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of baby boomers.

Yeah, that tends to happen when you lie to them all the time.
 
2014-03-09 07:57:25 AM

dragonchild: Fark_Guy_Rob: What research can a consumer reasonably do?

(When it comes to cars, everyone in America is so focused on power and cargo room, it's amazing what sorts of absolutely crappy weight distribution and turning radius they're willing to live with.)


I just finished car shopping, but the first question was budget - I am getting a replacement for a company car. After that, it was up to me to pick out what suited me as far as drive comfort and utility. And yes, I looked at handling and turning radius, but the big question was "will these seats cut off the feeling in my legs after 20 minutes?" Which a previous employer's car did quite nicely, thank you.

I have a running joke with my wife:

Mrs. Un has two automatic go-toos, and they irritate me: (1) "Let's see what Consumer Reports says." Which is nice, except the review is 18 months old and none of those models exist any more. (2) "Get it at the Warehouse Club." Which I don't like shopping at and many times doesn't have the best price.
 
2014-03-09 08:10:36 AM
As a Gen Y/Millennial I've gotta say that the whole consulting your friends rather than conducting research thing is less "Laziness/keeping up with the joneses-iness" and more "These are the only people I can consult who probably won't lie to me". Also, your friends are more likely to share your interests and give you a relatable opinion.

Also, of course brand loyalty doesn't mean anything in a world where the manufacturer/owner (but not the brand) of a product can change quickly and a formerly good product/service can become a hopeless piece of crap within a few short years. The relentless and fast-paced race to the bottom for manufacturing was bound to have an effect.
 
2014-03-09 08:17:05 AM

harm dealer: Also, your friends are more likely to share your interests and give you a relatable opinion.


Yes, an equal opportunity stupid one.  But while it's useless, at least it's honest, eh?
 
2014-03-09 08:18:15 AM
If you're basing your opinions on Millennials on that article, I have some bad news for you: almost everything in it is stupid or wrong, or both. It's the kind or crap that The Ad Contrarian routinely debunks.

But more generally, if you have an opinion about Millennials at all, I'm here to tell you it's wrong. Look around you at your own peers: whether you consider yourself a Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, or something else, look at how homogeneous your generation is -- or more accurately, isn't. And think about how much you mock articles that make sweeping generalizations about your own generation. Yeah, the same is true of Millennials.

So what if the "average" Millennial is less religious than Boomers? People are not the averages of some demographic, they are individuals.
 
2014-03-09 08:22:01 AM

Unobtanium: dragonchild: Fark_Guy_Rob: What research can a consumer reasonably do?

(When it comes to cars, everyone in America is so focused on power and cargo room, it's amazing what sorts of absolutely crappy weight distribution and turning radius they're willing to live with.)

I just finished car shopping, but the first question was budget - I am getting a replacement for a company car. After that, it was up to me to pick out what suited me as far as drive comfort and utility. And yes, I looked at handling and turning radius, but the big question was "will these seats cut off the feeling in my legs after 20 minutes?" Which a previous employer's car did quite nicely, thank you.

I have a running joke with my wife:

Mrs. Un has two automatic go-toos, and they irritate me: (1) "Let's see what Consumer Reports says." Which is nice, except the review is 18 months old and none of those models exist any more. (2) "Get it at the Warehouse Club." Which I don't like shopping at and many times doesn't have the best price.


Consumer Reports somehow manages to not be as valuable of a resource as it should be. In fact, despite whatever level of infiltration customer reviews have, I generally find them to be the most helpful. Especially on sites like Newegg where you can see if and how a company has been responding to negative feedback. Even on Amazon a product with 100 reviews will generally have any potential problems detailed several times over, so you know what to expect.

Regarding good products disappearing, I'm tempted to start buying a gross of anything I like 'cause they're sure as shiat going to quit making it or start making it crappier. Shoes, shampoo, chewing gum, coffee. All products I had found a brand/line that I liked that they don't make anymore, or make in a different way that ruined what I liked about them, and that's just within the last year or so.

Dear God I just realized I've been wearing the same brand of socks since I was a kid. How have they managed to escape ruination for so long? I should probably stock up, because they're going to start making them out of sandpaper and fishhooks soon.
 
2014-03-09 08:31:21 AM

SeaMan Stainz: Hares an idea assholes. Stop spending so much money on marketing. Spend more money making something worth buying.


And then the distinguishing quality gets shiat on by marketers working for big companies as the first phase of a clever plan to control the messaging for the quality, then in the second phase the company is nearly destroyed and then bought for cutrate or the idea stolen ouright.
 
2014-03-09 08:31:37 AM

czetie: But more generally, if you have an opinion about Millennials at all, I'm here to tell you it's wrong. Look around you at your own peers: whether you consider yourself a Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, or something else, look at how homogeneous your generation is -- or more accurately, isn't. And think about how much you mock articles that make sweeping generalizations about your own generation. Yeah, the same is true of Millennials.


Way to totally walk right into the "Super Speshul Snowflake" label the Millenials are mocked for.

Um, excuse me, but the Baby Boomers are ridiculously homogenous.  Absurdly homogenous.  Despicably homogenous.  Why the fark do you think the economy is so focused on them?  Why the hell do you think you're forced to listen to the same grating Christmas music three months a year?  They're the easiest demographic out there.  Make a pitch that strokes their egos, appeals to their childhood memories (or modern paranoia) and plays up their sociopathic materialism as a positive and you have the last big chunk of American middle-class wealth at your disposal.  The only flaw with the business plan is that your customer base is literally dying, but that won't happen for a while.  As for Gen X, nobody really pays enough attention to us to give us "sweeping generalizations", so when we're given any generalizations at all we're more flattered that someone actually remembered we exist.  Stereotypes exist for a reason, and you more or less proved yours.

Now, this Jeff Green fellow is an idiot and a shill, but I already pointed that out.
 
2014-03-09 08:38:41 AM

tzzhc4: FTA "This generation is the most word-of-mouth generation of any generation," said Chiagouris. "They don't do as much research evaluating purchases as previous generations. ... Social media is their form of research."

ROTFL, So they just want what their friends have not what might be a better purchase. Sounds like a generation of greedy concieted little schmucks.


I'm not sure how asks their friends about their experience with a product maps to 'greedy & conceited,' but there is value in knowing your reviewer, no? Context? 'Yeah, he didn't like it, but he's obsessive about X.' 'Her expectations are about the same as mine, and she liked it, but said it was pricey, and we should wait for it to go on sale.'

My wife and I were at a wine tasting the other night, and one of the women there was very down on a school we're thinking of sending our kids to. The couple we were there with knew her, and let us know we could safely discount her opinion. Voila, context based on social interaction.
 
2014-03-09 09:14:53 AM

dragonchild: czetie: But more generally, if you have an opinion about Millennials at all, I'm here to tell you it's wrong. Look around you at your own peers: whether you consider yourself a Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, or something else, look at how homogeneous your generation is -- or more accurately, isn't. And think about how much you mock articles that make sweeping generalizations about your own generation. Yeah, the same is true of Millennials.

Way to totally walk right into the "Super Speshul Snowflake" label the Millenials are mocked for.


Congratulations. You are officially more stupid than the author of TFA. Way to read exactly the opposite of what my post said.


Um, excuse me, but the Baby Boomers are ridiculously homogenous.  Absurdly homogenous.  Despicably homogenous.

What a load of bollocks. Oh, and congratulations for walking right into the "other generations are homogeneous but mine is special" bullshiat.That was really spectacular. 


Why the fark do you think the economy is so focused on them?  Why the hell do you think you're forced to listen to the same grating Christmas music three months a year?  They're the easiest demographic out there.


The reason the economy is focused on them is because they have the most wealth, the most disposable income, and despite a popular myth can be influenced to try different brands. And the reason the marketing towards them is so banal is because marketing is dominated by your generation, who actually believe those things you said, despite them being readily disproven.


As for Gen X, nobody really pays enough attention to us to give us "sweeping generalizations", so when we're given any generalizations at all we're more flattered that someone actually remembered we exist.

The generation that was characterized for all time by the label Gen X? And immortalized in the Douglas Coupland novel "Generation X"? Nobody makes generalizations about you? Or pays attention to you? Oh, boo hoo.

Stereotypes exist for a reason, and you more or less proved yours.

*cough*


Look, I realize you are emotionally invested up in your "oh poor me" narrative about what uniquely persecuted precious little things Gen Xers are, but it's all bollocks. Among others, Amazon has been proving for literally two decades now how little demographics matter in taste-based purchases. Furthermore every one of us is a member of many different demographic dimensions -- age, religion, politics, culture, upbringing... -- and the idea that one of those dimensions "defines" us is provably wrong.

Oh, and for the record: I'm not a Boomer. If anything I'm among the oldest members of Gen X.
 
2014-03-09 09:24:25 AM

dragonchild: Fark_Guy_Rob: What research can a consumer reasonably do?

A lot, if you know what you're doing.  If you're eating it, what are the ingredients?  Jeez, that's the most obvious of obvious.  If it's disposable, where do the materials come from?  If it's durable, what are the specs -- the ones they DON'T market prominently on the box?  (When it comes to cars, everyone in America is so focused on power and cargo room, it's amazing what sorts of absolutely crappy weight distribution and turning radius they're willing to live with.)  If you're holding a kitchen utensil, visualize the sort of abuse it'll take and how it would need to be washed.  There's plenty you can do as a consumer.

Except America is now a hyper-extreme anti-intellectual culture as well, so social networking is the only skill they have for evaluating product, which makes marketers' jobs absurdly straightforward -- control the feedback.  But people are wise to that so it's a wash, and as long as you have no farking clue what sort of quality you're getting because you're too stupid to realize it even when actually trying out the product, why not just shop exclusively on price?

I have a running joke with my wife:  Any place I buy from -- being quality-minded -- goes out of business.  We did tons of research on pet food when we decided on Evo, which gave our cats the glossiest coats I've ever seen.  It was bought out by P&G; we stopped buying as soon as we found out despite their assurances they wouldn't change anything (yeah, pull the other one P&G), and since then Evo has been recalled several times.  Used to buy a hipster brand of root beer; local stores stopped stocking it.  Our favorite local pizza place changed owners; it has since gone WAY downhill.  I know nothing is forever but quality brands in America are particularly short-lived.

When shopping for houses we found an excellent home inspector we brought in for every house we considered.  Dude was meticulous.  At the end he asked for some feedba ...


That *sounds* good - but, let's be honest, it's useless.  I mean, honest to god, let's be realistic.  Read the ingredients?  Okay, let's play this out.  Let's say I'm shopping for a high quality multivitamin.  You are correct, there are some regulations that dictate the labeling of ingredients.  But what does that really mean for a consumer without several medical/pharmacological degrees?  It means they don't have a f***ing clue.  At BEST they'll spend some time on health sites, blinding following advice given, and looking for ingredients that match what they 'heard'.  The medical community as a whole struggles to agree on really basic things like 'is butter better than margarine'.

Beyond that, the laws that regulate the ingredient labels are pretty awful.  Take Trans Fats.  Basically everyone agrees trans fats are about the worst thing you can eat.  They recommend NO manufactured trans fats and less than 1% of your total calories be from trans fats.  For a normal 2,000 calorie diet - you should not exceed TWO GRAMS of trans fats.  But the laws regulating the labels say it's okay to print ZERO trans fats, so long as it is less than .5g per serving.  A person could easily eat 2-3x the daily limit of trans fats while reading the ingredients and having an expected value of 0g.

It gets even harder with things like electronics.  Most of the time, you can't even find out the details of what is inside the plastic case.  Cell phone manufacturers routinely swap out internal parts without telling anyone.  I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Ace after reading positive reviews, only to learn that after the initial release and it's popularity, they quietly switched the CPU and GPU.  Shockingly, the new CPU and GPU performed worse than the original.  I only saw the difference because I was rooting it and comparing performance and noticed my scores were lower than others had reported.

http://www.smartprix.com/mobiles/samsung_galaxy_ace_s5830i_vs_samsun g_ galaxy_ace_s5830-c2108_143.php

In my case, I even ordered the exact model of the good phone (S5830) but the quietly sent me the (S5830i).  That's a 800 MHz, Qualcomm MSM7227 Chipset Processor verse a 832 MHz, Broadcom BCM21553 Chipset Processor.  Totally, completely, different.

It took me hours to figure out what I had, and what had happened.  90% of consumers would never have noticed that they had a gimped version of the phone.   The people selling the phone claimed they had no idea there was a difference.  They have the same name, from the samemanufacturer.  I looked at, at least, 20 phones before deciding on the S5830....I ended up returning the S5830i after a long battle with the company selling it.  Samsung Galaxy Ace?  Sounds good.  Checked reviews - sounds good.  Read the details on the box?  Sounds good.  Did it help at all?  Nope.  Not even close.  There was no way I could investigate all of the available cell phones at a level deep enough to catch B.S. like this.  And this is just one example of one thing that goes wrong.  Anything involvingwarranties orguarantees or really ANY future action on the company's behalf are just as complicated.  I'm not a lawyer.  I'm not qualified to read the fine print of their 80 page terms and conditions.  And if I were qualified, the actual cost of spending that time reading their contract would cost me many times the value of most purchases.  Almost all of which is designed to screw over the consumer.  My ISP can be down 24/7 and, according to my contract with them, they don't have to give me any credit.  I don't know if it's legal or not, but I signed it.  My choice was sign it or don't have internet.

Since I'm not a lawyer and since I don't want a lengthy legal battle, I'd much rather make a decision based on an experience my brother had at the store in question, than read online reviews (which I assume are fake) or spend hours/days/weeks/months developing the legal background required to understand the enforceability of their replacement warranty.  If my brother had a good experience returning his broken device, I think it'll probably be okay and I go with it.
 
2014-03-09 09:28:47 AM
Loyal consumer? That must be one of those antiquated phrases like "employee pension".
 
2014-03-09 09:50:33 AM
FTA: "Despite spending roughly an hour a day on retail websites, tech savvy millennials also require more brand interaction opportunities than advertising, said Jason Baker, a principal at Houston-based retail consulting firm Baker Katz.  "

As a Gen X-er who has worked in I/T for the last 20+ years and is working on a BA, I would like to say that the statement in bold is a far from the truth.  Just because some twits surf teh Facebook and lol with their BFF on Twitter does NOT make them tech savvy.

/Was in a presentation when one such twit couldn't understand why his Quicktime presentation would not work on Windows Media Player
//Said twit gave me constant shiat for not having a Facebook account and also not having a smartphone
//The Deer in the Headlights look, when his presentation failed, was priceless
 
2014-03-09 09:53:05 AM
Popular products breed loyalty (see lemmings) but they also push up prices. Thanks to our spectacular personal income growth, most people shop price first and last these days
 
2014-03-09 09:56:37 AM

czetie: So what if the "average" Millennial is less religious than Boomers? People are not the averages of some demographic, they are individuals.


If you'll step off your soap box for a second maybe you'd see that statistics aren't meant to tell you anything meaningful about any individual within a group.
Averages tell you something meaningful about a group as a whole.

When you graduate high school in a few years and start taking college level courses, maybe you'll understand better.
 
2014-03-09 09:58:25 AM

Gary-L: FTA: "Despite spending roughly an hour a day on retail websites, tech savvy millennials also require more brand interaction opportunities than advertising, said Jason Baker, a principal at Houston-based retail consulting firm Baker Katz.  "

As a Gen X-er who has worked in I/T for the last 20+ years and is working on a BA, I would like to say that the statement in bold is a far from the truth.  Just because some twits surf teh Facebook and lol with their BFF on Twitter does NOT make them tech savvy.

/Was in a presentation when one such twit couldn't understand why his Quicktime presentation would not work on Windows Media Player
//Said twit gave me constant shiat for not having a Facebook account and also not having a smartphone
//The Deer in the Headlights look, when his presentation failed, was priceless


I would wonder why you were using Windows Media Player and not a decent one.

And a 'non-tech savvy' millennial is still infinitely more 'tech savvy' than a 'non-tech savvy' member of an older generation.

If you have to include a basic Windows tutorial when you're trying to explain to a co-worker how to use Office or a basic web tool, you're likely not talking to a millennial.

Yeah, they're not all writing code. But they all know how to close a damned window and don't take 30s to mouse to the 'X'.
 
2014-03-09 09:59:43 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: That *sounds* good - but, let's be honest, it's useless. I mean, honest to god, let's be realistic. Read the ingredients? Okay, let's play this out. Let's say I'm shopping for a high quality multivitamin. You are correct, there are some regulations that dictate the labeling of ingredients. But what does that really mean for a consumer without several medical/pharmacological degrees?


Well, first off, let's define "high quality" here.  For starters I've seen multivitamins where they go way overboard on a few of them.  What the fark do you need eight times the USRDA for Vitamin C anyway?  The surplus gets pissed out, so you're paying for stuff your body actually has to work to dispose of.  Or you might get one that's making nonsensical claims like how important selenium is.  Um yeah, it's an essential nutrient but a trace one; actual selenium deficiency is rare so why the fark do you need a supplement for it?  You don't need to be a pharmacist, or even have a degree, to use common sense.

Fark_Guy_Rob: It gets even harder with things like electronics. Most of the time, you can't even find out the details of what is inside the plastic case.


You can actually judge a lot BY the plastic case as that's usually one of the first corners they cut.  Most people get obsessed by the performance specs and yes they do matter, but I think a top-flight CPU isn't going to come in junk-grade plastic -- and even if it did, why do the specs matter if it's going to break within several months?

Fark_Guy_Rob: I even ordered the exact model of the good phone (S5830) but the quietly sent me the (S5830i). That's a 800 MHz, Qualcomm MSM7227 Chipset Processor verse a 832 MHz, Broadcom BCM21553 Chipset Processor. Totally, completely, different.


Um, well, apparently it was important to you, and you caught it. . . so, what's the problem here?  If you're saying the effort is hopeless then this isn't a particularly good example; I'd call it a bad shopping experience but nothing, not even vigilance, can make life entirely risk-free.  Is your expectation that the work should be unnecessary?  I would agree in principle, but people have been cheating each other since Ogg and Ugg got past communicating with grunts.

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'd much rather make a decision based on an experience my brother had at the store in question


So in other words you still think the work should be done.  Just not by you.

Really though, the most important fact about shopping is perhaps the simplest:  You're certainly free to collect advice, but don't let others convince you of what you want.  I can give you great recommendations on cars, but it seldom matters because what I look for and what others want are usually entirely different.  This is such a simple rule, and yet it's boggling just how often people get snowed over.  And no two groups will try harder to get you to stray than sales & marketing.  Jeez, I remember (get off my lawn) the race to get CD drives to spin faster -- 2x, 4x, 8x -- until we were looking at whopping "96x".  I was working in desktop support at the time and people were literally buying into this stuff.  We had to keep asking, as if to turn their brains back on, "Yeah, but has the rest of the hardware kept up?  Where's the bottleneck?"

You don't need to be an expert at anything to be a good, self-interested shopper.  You just need to have critical thinking skills, which unfortunately is one of the rarest commodities in this country given how desperate employers are for it these days.

I do have one major gripe, though.  Companies are totally convinced -- no joke I've heard this everywhere without a hint of irony -- that "consumers don't want choice, they want the illusion of choice".  If the manufacturers pull everything from the market but homogenous crap then we really don't have a choice at all and that's going to back up the numbers.  "See, boss?  We told you that consumers want the illusion of choice, so we stopped making everything but the same consumer-grade product re-badged several different ways and confirmed that people bought that model and not the models we're not selling anymore!"
 
2014-03-09 10:06:12 AM

Eddie Ate Dynamite: Consumer Reports somehow manages to not be as valuable of a resource as it should be. In fact, despite whatever level of infiltration customer reviews have, I generally find them to be the most helpful. Especially on sites like Newegg where you can see if and how a company has been responding to negative feedback. Even on Amazon a product with 100 reviews will generally have any potential problems detailed several times over, so you know what to expect...


The only reason I've ever bothered with Consumer Reports is car purchases.  I don't bother with it anymore, because the evaluations are retarded.  "The Nissan Versa's trunk is too small, and the Jeep Wrangler's ride is bumpy and gas mileage sucks.  We recommend the Accord."  If I was worried about space I wouldn't be shopping a Versa.  Ditto efficiency and the Wrangler.  And they never actually spell out what they mean by reliability with each car.  When I'm shopping for a car, I want to know if there are routine issues with the powertrain.  The infotainment system isn't a serious reliability issue.  It's a nuisance, sure, but not an end-of-the-world issue, especially in the age of 50,000-mile warranties.  "The engines tend to catch fire" -- problem.  "MySync won't let me send texts with my Galaxy Derp VI" -- not really a problem.

Any insight they offer can be found in better detail for free elsewhere.

As for the rest, I agree on Newegg and Amazon and other reviews, but only if it's a major purchase (household appliances mostly).  At whatever given price point, most products are the same shiat from the same factories with different logos glued on.
 
2014-03-09 10:08:07 AM

Deneb81: Gary-L: FTA: "Despite spending roughly an hour a day on retail websites, tech savvy millennials also require more brand interaction opportunities than advertising, said Jason Baker, a principal at Houston-based retail consulting firm Baker Katz.  "

As a Gen X-er who has worked in I/T for the last 20+ years and is working on a BA, I would like to say that the statement in bold is a far from the truth.  Just because some twits surf teh Facebook and lol with their BFF on Twitter does NOT make them tech savvy.

/Was in a presentation when one such twit couldn't understand why his Quicktime presentation would not work on Windows Media Player
//Said twit gave me constant shiat for not having a Facebook account and also not having a smartphone
//The Deer in the Headlights look, when his presentation failed, was priceless

I would wonder why you were using Windows Media Player and not a decent one.

And a 'non-tech savvy' millennial is still infinitely more 'tech savvy' than a 'non-tech savvy' member of an older generation.

If you have to include a basic Windows tutorial when you're trying to explain to a co-worker how to use Office or a basic web tool, you're likely not talking to a millennial.

Yeah, they're not all writing code. But they all know how to close a damned window and don't take 30s to mouse to the 'X'.



It was a presentation for class, on the college's machine.

Again, so sorry to disagree, but being tech savvy doesn't mean writing code.  Even a Gen-Y/Millennial commented, "Just because some idiot can post on Facebook does not make him or her tech savvy."
 
2014-03-09 10:23:22 AM

unlikely: To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.


This.

Companies decided that tricking consumers into buying shiat products was more profitable than making reliable products as an investment in a loyal consumer base.

Hot dang am I tired of the constant generalizing of all members of a generation without any discussion as to what may have caused a generation to trend in that way.
Hint: fark you, boomers. The world will vastly improve when you all die.

/not even a millennial, just not blinded by egomania.
 
2014-03-09 10:25:13 AM
Reap what ye sow, MF'ers.
 
2014-03-09 10:35:26 AM
I don't get the article: I am 42 and I have never had this "brand loyalty" thing. I went from iPhone to Android, VW to BMW, etc etc in the last year alone. The only thing resembling loyalty is my choice in dining establishments. Once I buy a brand, I'll try them next time first out of laziness, not loyalty. In the IT world (yeah why are the yoots the "tech savvy" ones when all my co-workers are my age?) we see HP all over the place not because of "brand loyalty", it's because of technical needs/pricing deals with C-level execs/switching-vendors-is-a-pain more than "HP IS TEH GREAT!". I don't get the assumptions in the article.
 
2014-03-09 11:09:01 AM
I usually never have brand loyalty, unless a company makes a really good product.  I do have brand hate though.  When a company burns me once, I will usually never buy their product again.

Also, what the hell is wrong with using social media to help with purchasing decisions?  I guess for people that are too cool for school it might be dumb, but I know which of my friends can be trusted in their opinions when I ask them if a product is any good, and I know how to filter the idiots and shills out of customer feedback on sites.  What the hell are the cool guys doing?  Believing advertising?
 
2014-03-09 11:10:22 AM

mutterfark: Loyal consumer? That must be one of those antiquated phrases like "employee pension".


Employee pensions would go a long way toward restoring consumer loyalty.

When everyone sells the same widgets for the same price - the only variables are location and quality of shopping experience. Happy long-term employees will almost always provide a better shopping experience than minimum-wage no-future "associates."
 
2014-03-09 11:13:35 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: I don't get the article: I am 42 and I have never had this "brand loyalty" thing. I went from iPhone to Android, VW to BMW, etc etc in the last year alone. The only thing resembling loyalty is my choice in dining establishments. Once I buy a brand, I'll try them next time first out of laziness, not loyalty. In the IT world (yeah why are the yoots the "tech savvy" ones when all my co-workers are my age?) we see HP all over the place not because of "brand loyalty", it's because of technical needs/pricing deals with C-level execs/switching-vendors-is-a-pain more than "HP IS TEH GREAT!". I don't get the assumptions in the article.


With the exception of Apple, I don't think brand loyalty has ever been very strong in the PC world compared with other items.  It's all commoditized anyway.

You still see it with cars to some degree, especially with full-size pickups ("I only buy Fords!") and mid-size sedans ("I only buy Hondas!").

I think they're talking more along the lines of consumers not being loyal to (say) Craftsman tools or Maytag washing machines.  The problem, of course, is that Craftsman tools are no better than the shiat you can buy in Wal-Mart for five bucks less these days.  But a lot of folks among the older generations -- not so much Gen-X, more Boomers and especially Silent Gen'ers (and what few Greatest-Gen'ers are left) -- stick to Craftsman, because Craftsman used to mean something (and many still think it does).  Millennials and X'ers have come up knowing Craftsman is shiat.

So basically companies have driven their brands into the ground by churning out commoditized garbage, and now they're outraged that younger consumers treat their products as...commoditized garbage.
 
2014-03-09 11:26:07 AM
Brand loyalty?  Speaking as a generation X'er, it's not dead- if anything it's stronger than ever.  But it's only stronger than ever  when you don't sell us crap.  My wife's Subaru is getting near the end- 200k miles, 15 years.  I'm pretty sure she won't even look at a different model because that Subaru has been a tank.   I'll buy old HP calculators off of Ebay just because Carly destroyed the modern models.  We went back to the same furniture maker for kid #2 because kid #1's stuff was so nice.

But manufacturers don't seem to get this.  In their relentless race to the bottom in price and quality they routinely take brands with good reputations and substitute junk and assume we won't notice.  We're going to need a new washer and dryer soon: I'm starting to have to replace parts in our 16-year-old Kenmores.  But the modern ones are garbage- folks who got them in the past few years have told us to avoid.  The racks in our 6-year-old Maytag dishwasher are rusted out and will have to be replaced.  I had a Gigabyte motherboard and video card- until both of them blew up after less than 2 years.  I'll never buy them again.
 
2014-03-09 11:49:36 AM
Bullshiat

99% of all millennials own an Apple device and they will forever be beholden to that.

How do I know that 99% of millennials own Apple devices? My gut told me so I had to pull it out of my ass instead of reading a book
 
2014-03-09 11:51:38 AM
Brands are for cows.
 
2014-03-09 11:55:59 AM

Shakin_Haitian: I usually never have brand loyalty, unless a company makes a really good product.  I do have brand hate though.  When a company burns me once, I will usually never buy their product again.


This exactly.

It's easy to get me to try something new.  It's damn near impossible to get me to try something again.
 
2014-03-09 12:00:59 PM
Retailers share a large share of the responsibility here.  Once you realize how few corporations own how many product names and lines, you realize how much of your money is spent on advertising rather than quality ingredients or parts.  Brand loyalty is dead because the corporations killed it, not us consumers.
 
2014-03-09 12:02:20 PM
Who makes Twinkies now?
 
2014-03-09 12:21:16 PM

RickyWilliams'sBong: With the exception of Apple, I don't think brand loyalty has ever been very strong in the PC world compared with other items. It's all commoditized anyway.


One of the reasons Apple has brand loyalty outside of the traditional techie community is that its willing to invest in its customers. The Apple Store doesn't care that you bought the iPad or iPhone from someone else, they will still answer questions on how to use it and give you the time of day. That support used to be commonplace with other sectors (your local car dealership would do the same) but its now an added expense and customer loyaty doesn't go on the balance sheet.
 
2014-03-09 12:23:09 PM
I suppose I still have it to an extent with consumer electronics. I'll check out video equipment from Sharp and Toshiba and compare from there... Canon makes camcorders with the features that matter to me... Sony still seems to think their logo is worth an extra 15% at the register... And Sennheiser headphones always sound great.
 
2014-03-09 12:44:59 PM

unlikely: To be fair no one is doing anything worthy of loyalty any more.


And we're done here.
 
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