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Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live by [Gerzema, John, D'Antonio, Michael]
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Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live Kindle Edition


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A much–needed optimistic yet realistic look at how the recession might be prompting behaviors that will change our society for the better. America, argue the authors, is undergoing a radical but positive shift in consumer values, away from the buying frenzy of the last few decades. Tracking purchasing and social attitudes in the U.S., Gerzema (The Brand Bubble) and D′Antonio (Hershey) observe that the recession has encouraged a resurgence of old–fashioned values––self–reliance, hard work, thrift, and community service. They present studies of such salutary developments as neighborhood revitalization in Detroit, job training in suburban Dallas, and increasing entrepreneurship in Brooklyn. According to the authors, as people adapt to the crisis by seeking greater balance and more fulfilling daily lives, they′re more likely to shift to supporting local businesses (ensuring tax dollars stay in their own communities), learning traditional DIY skills, and paying attention to the ethical and environmental practices of the companies to whom they give money. (Oct.) ( Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2010)

Through indepth observation, expert interviews and unique market data describes the new value–driven economy and what it means for business.   (Ethical Corporation, September 2010).

Spend Shift offers 10 take–aways spelling out the traits of the new America... It′s a handy list for marketers and business managers The Wall Street Journal

A timely look at how the economic malaise has affected how and what consumers buy The Washington Post

Nothing and Everything What Consumers Expect from The New Normal The Huffington Post

Is this the future of commerce? –– Fast Company

The post–crisis consumer is a much different person. Consumers are making amends for their sins of credit and have become disciples of debit. They re simplifying and spending money that truly empowers and adds value to them while shedding the glitter and the bling. –– Forbes

If you recognize that you might have made a Spend Shift, want to explore what values other than frugality are being embraced by your kindred spirits coast to coast, or want to know how various companies and brands are making a very intentional effort to prioritize values over profits, Spend Shift breaks these national trends down to a very relatable, human scale while still providing a heavy dose of education about this major change in our collective consciousness around consumption.   The Boston Globe

How We Shop A New Revolution ––CNBC

From the Inside Flap

New spending patterns reveal how massive cultural value shifts can be recognized in today′s consumer behavior and are remaking capitalism for the better.

In Spend Shift, John Gerzema, best–selling authorand expert on consumerism, and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Michael D′Antonio travel acrossAmerica to document a renewal of hope andenterprise in the post–recession economy. Guidedby exclusive data from Young & Rubicam′s vastsurveys of public attitudes, the authors find thathipsters in Brooklyn, entrepreneurs in Tampa, and veterans in Northern California are all returning to age–old values such as self–reliance, faith, and thrift

to redefine the "good life." These value shifts can be

seen in consumers as mindless consumption becomes mindful. Through focused spending, consumers are influencing a myriad of companies and hoping to make the world a little better with each purchase.

Packed with insights from global leaders in market psychology and communication, Spend Shift also features interviews with business leaders from over fifty companies who understand the changes now under way. At companies like Zappos, Ford, Etsy, SunRun, and RecycleBank, to name just a few, the authors find executives who are harnessing new technologies and old–fashioned customer–first practices to make their companies more relevant, more resilient, and more profitable. These examples, and many others, show that while the consumer psyche is changing even faster than the economy, companies can adapt and thrive. In the process, they may also feel a lot better about their impact on the communities they serve and on the planet they share with their customers.

Compelling and insightful, Spend Shift is essential reading for anyone interested in how societal values are changing and how businesses can connect with customers who vote with their dollars, every day.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1175 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSM28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,718,814 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Laura Biagini Review - Milan 8 Nov. 2010
By mary alice kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite John's analysis is focused on USA market It's really impressive that the same kind of evidence is definitely true in different (and distant) markets. I live, work and write from Italy but I think that the "spend shift" can be really seen as a common trait that sets new and challenging chances for brands throughout the world . Quite paradoxical (but probably that's why I like it!) that brands, whose loyalty index has been eroded on average over the past few years, could turn one of the the worst worldwide crisis of ever into a new exciting opportunity. And this wonderful book explains how it could happen. The fact is that the 2009 crisis was a double one: both economical and financial. As a consequence people didn't lose only purchasing power but also trust in institutions...and since we know that brands enjoy today the full status of institutions they have been stroke at their heart. That why John's formula is not about price cuts or good value for money but is about deep and positive values like trust, tradition, cooperation, community. A precious guide to business people, marketing and advertising students but also to common people to help them choose the brands that probably won't disappoint their expectations.
4.0 out of 5 stars The world it is a changing 7 Dec. 2012
By Amazon Customer Steve C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great insight into the changes in behavior in our rapidly changing world. Our clients and customers are changing and "Spend Shift" gives a us a look at just how important the recent changes have been and more importantly, that these changes are not a temporary trend. Important information for anyone trying to adjust their marketing to meet current attitudes. The changes that were brought about by the "great Recession" are here to stay.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading! 15 Nov. 2010
By Victor Fantauzzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really stimulating reading, that help to understand how the great recession affected and how it modified consumer's behaviors and values.
It brings a new look to understand the reality of today's economy, bringing innovation and an opportunity for the crisis.
Highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No more spendthrift? 19 Aug. 2012
By George F. Simons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here is a fresh paean to US American ingenuity and our can-do attitude. Gerzema and D'Antonio have written what appears to be a booster book for the US psyche and an examination of conscience for the US businessperson. The subtitle suggests in typical US hyperbole (language that promotes what it describes--the authors are, after all, business boys) that there is a values revolution in progress, a "revolution," not a "shift," not a "tendency," but the whole nine yards.

This claim is much based on the research undertaken with the BrandAsset® Valuator, which claims to show that "Over half the US population is now...seeking better instead of more, virtue instead of hype, and experiences over promises." This research tool is a proprietary tool of Young and Rubicam where Gerzema holds the title of Chief Insights Officer. In the end, it is a book about marketing.

Spend Shift appears apolitical in a sense that it tells stories of how US Americans in various cities around the country are taking charge of their lives in a variety of ways, in the face of the financial crisis. On the other hand, we could say that it is deeply political in the sense that it describes or perhaps promotes the "do-it-yourself," "bootstraps" approach to the revitalization of US life and community structures, while at the same time makes the assumption that there will be a sea change in consumer attitudes that will force organizations and coerce government to behave differently and more responsibly to their consumers and their citizens. This will usher in a whole new era of how money works and how the American Dream and US society will be shaped in years to come. Throughout the book there are parables told of both startups and established corporations who have adopted the new values or, having held such values even before the crisis, are now even more benefitting from them as consumer attitudes shift in their direction.

Is it a utopia leaning slightly to the right of the political spectrum, trying to create a new middle that embraces many leftist energies? Well, we shall see. Let's leave that question up in the air and look at what the book actually does and often does interestingly and well; it recounts how individuals and groups leverage optimism and hard work to improve the quality of their life and the lives of those about them. The stories are both inspiring and serve as models of what is possible on the micro level and how it may go on to both touch and create larger contexts. Written during what the authors call, "The Great Recession", Spend Shift is, given its timing, a present and forward-looking book. There is surprisingly little nostalgia here. Understandably it lacks the editorial retrospection of Studs Terkel's "Hard Times": An Oral History of the Great Depression (1970), and, of course, its marketing subtext makes it quite different from the populist journalism that Studs was famous for, though still a good read.

The types of stories told, are in the main urban, set in Kansas City, Detroit, Dallas, Boston, Tampa, Brooklyn, Las Vegas, Dearborn, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. By and large, whatever the level of hardship its protagonists' experience, one senses that they are as largely middle-class in terms of background, education and attitude, whatever the level of resources they access. The key messages are renewed entrepreneurship, building trust via customer service or serving others, and rebuilding fractured community. Critical behaviors are listening and responding and constant conversation in an era where the Internet, social networking that are the "fusion cooking" of a diverse USA that makes this possible in rich new ways. At the same time there is a sense of familiarity with what is being proclaimed-- the new values revolution is quite in line with what we have long identified as perennial US aspirations derived from national core values. It is an American book with Yankee perspectives.

There seems to be a sense that these refreshed attitudes are the essential building blocks to a bottom up restoration of the middle class that has been in decline no for close to half a century. We are left with the question of whether this "revolution" can overturn entrenched domestic and corporate attitudes in some definitive way, to the point where effective renewal will occur in both business and government at a time in history when we seem to have so definitively outsourced so much labor and imported so many products and services from abroad, and when much of the country is mired in poverty.

The last Chapter lists 10 takeaways, making it easy to summarize what the authors are trying to say:

1. We are moving from a credit to a debit society.
2. There are no longer consumers, only customers.
3. Industries are revealed as collections of individuals.
4. Generational divides are disappearing.
5. Human regulation is remaking the marketplace.
6. Generosity is now a business model.
7. Society is shifting from consumption to production.
8. We must think small to solve big.
9. America is an emerging market for values led innovation.
10. Everything will be all right.

Is this real or potentially real? Is this the contemporarily refreshed American Dream, a way of looking at hopes and possibilities that motivate us to start on a journey as immigrants to the future? One also wonders to what degree the Great Recession is itself receding worldwide and, especially with the USA currently swimming in election campaign hype where we are polarized into separate and seemingly incompatible versions of the American Dream. Are we really "post crisis?" Is what we read here "too good to be true?" Would this shift in values hold in better in the more economically balanced society that it aspires to create, or is it simply an unconscious strategic response, an adjustment to the environment shaped by the recent crisis? Would it be far-sighted enough to fix itself as a new culture that insists on corporate due diligence, financial honesty and governmental decision-making? Can it not only address planetary survival, but also lead us to thrive in new more humane ways? Is this book, in fact, also an entrepreneurial step designed to take us in the direction of the values shift it intends to identify? One turns over the last page of Spend Shift with many such musings, and with the disturbing personal question of one's role in what it describes as taking place.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Look At Culture's Impact On Spending Behaviour ... 1 Dec. 2014
By Rohit Bhargava - Author | Speaker | Nice Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
How people make decisions and their irrational behaviour at times is the focus of many books that have come out recently. What I liked about Spend Shift is that it tackles the all important question of culture and environment which so many books leave out. For Americans, the choices they make related to how they consume products is based as much on their own emotional state as the environment around them. In this book, John Gerzema and his Pulitzer prize-winning co-Author Michael D. Antonio use exclusive data from marketing agency Young & Rubicam's vast database of public attitudes to spotlight how people across America are returning to "age-old values such as self-reliance, faith and thrift to redefine the good life." In John's words, the macro trend is that "mindless consumption becomes mindful" - which is evidenced also by the rise of tools like Good Guide which help to shine a light on the practices of companies that we buy from. Spend Shift is an apt title for what is happening in the minds of these consumers, and for anyone who wants to get the inside scoop on how to prepare for this shift - Gerzema and Antonio's book is a great starting point.
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