A Repeat Performance of What’s Happening In The Marketplace

It really is not complicated to understand what’s happening in the marketplace.

I encourage anyone reading this blog post to also read the post before this one. In some ways, this is just an updated extension of the commentary posted back on May the 25th.

As many readers, clients and business leadership know, I am very passionate about the human perspective of the marketplace actually running it and not the banks and not Wall Street and not the algorithms the tech-geeks create.

Yesterday, the Dow sank below 30,000 to close at 29,927 with high tech stocks posting a 30%+ decline since January 1st of this year.

Yesterday, the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. set a new record high too.

Two days ago, the Feds posted one of the largest increases of the Prime Interest Rate.

The media is truly running around screaming that the sky is falling… the sky is falling…

The sky is NOT falling!

Thanks to the Mainstream News Networks — digital and broadcast and combinations of both — they are grasping right now for something … anything … to boost back up the ratings to the initial highs of the first wave of the Pandemic.

As I expressed in the previous Blog post, the Millennials are in command… not the players cited above.

A couple of readers contacted me and questioned the role of the Millennials.

Specifically, they asked how, if the Millennials are in control, how then can retailers like Target and Kohl’s be in a crisis of having to unload merchandise that they stocked for Spring and cannot get sold.

I immediately told the readers that what Target and Kohl’s did is not different at all than what the Fed did with the dollar as well as the release of funds to revive the economy.

“Pivoting” became the hot buzz word among businesses — large and small — during the Pandemic. Being positioned in pursuit of one approach and changing course based on new insights.

Many speak of “Pivoting” only from the perspective of business and brand leadership response.

Few think of “Pivoting” from the perspective of the consumer marketplace doing it!

The Millennials are “pivoting” right now to manage not just inflation, but also a shift into couplehood and making babies!

There is a great editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal that cites a similar historical time not radically different from what is happening right now in the U.S.

It took place in the very early 1980s just as I started my career.

Richard Vigilante is the author of the editorial titled, “We Need to Remember What Reagan Knew About Economics.”

The insight that drove the 1980s was not Economics, but simple sociology and market statistics.

Vigilante notes, “orthodox economics — monetarist and Keynesian alike — assumed that answer to inflation was to control the money supply… but the actual control was beyond anything that the government enacted… instead, people which made up the marketplace were the ones in charge.”

He talks about how the 1980s exploded in growth and how over that course of time the marketplace drove American economics.

The Baby Boomer generation — at that time the largest in the U.S. — was coupling and starting to have kids and forming households and establishing a home.

In the middle of a theatre performance there is a break called “intermission.” In sports games, they call it “half-time.”

The stars may not have aligned in the best way, but we are in the midst of a break in the marketplace right now as the first half of the performance ends and the next half is about to premier.

Yes… technology has reached a level of market maturity. Yes… Internet retail has reached a reality check of just how much investment goes into the Kool-Aid stand. Yes… the Pandemic has played a role. And Yes… the channeling of manufacturing and production off-shore is affecting supply.

However, as noted in Vigilante’s editorial, what happened in the early 1980s that drove the economics was a factor that few understood or had prepared for to take place… even though it was a Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious.

As Vigilante cites in the editorial, the Baby Boomers took over control and drove the largest growth spurt ever seen in U.S. economics.

Move the early 1980s now 40 years forward to where we are today in the early 2020s.

The Millennials — even larger in size than Baby Boomers — are taking center stage.

They are now coupling and starting to have kids and forming households and establishing a home.

Also running in the Wall Street Journal today and positioned right on the front page is an article titled, “The Summer of So Many Weddings — Glut of Nuptials is Tying All the Guests in Knots.”

A Millennial is quoted in the article as saying, “every one of my friends is getting married and right now I have 18 weddings to attend before the end of the year.”

Those coupling at the weddings next will be making babies and buying furniture and yes… even buying homes!

Here at EXPERIENCE we do not see the sky falling… but instead see market opportunity knocking in flashing neon lights.

Will the digital agency be your solution and engineer the means to capitalize on it?

Absolutely not. Linear logistics and rational approaches are out.

Creative innovation that brings human perspective and the “irrational model of being humans” will.

Those linear logistics has Target and Kohl’s and Gap and Macy’s and Walmart unloading what has not moved off the floor as well as Amazon rethink how it balances investments between websites and storefronts.

There is a story about Amazon also in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Watch how many brands suddenly step back. If you are in C-level management, give me a call. I will be happy to help you take on the role as the “change-agent.”

Expanding on how I closed the last Blog post…

It ain’t Wall Street nor Madison Avenue nor Pennsylvania Avenue nor the Silicon Valley that will drive the future of the U.S. economy… but Main Street!

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