And although the focus of the article — and the SMART Show in Chicago – is on sales, I was struck by how many aspects of the retail business are interrelated. It’s tough to discuss sales without discussing marketing, display, customer service, advertising and ambience, for example.
Bruce Freshley, president of Freshley Media, is one important source for the article; when I contacted him, he was in the process of analyzing the results of his focus group study called the Engageables.
Participants were all active, young adults from 24 to 32 from all over the country who are currently living in Charleston, SC. One of the goals of the study was to understand this generation’s perspective on the engagement-ring-buying process. Other goals were to look at their view of media, understand their language and humor, and craft an appropriate advertising campaign for Freshley Media’s clients.
A few results:
- A Gen-Y woman is likely to have picked out a designer, style or brand on the web, which is the first stop for most shoppers. But she will want to go to a store to see if she likes it as much as she thinks she will.
- While women want to be unique they usually are drawn to the same brands or styles their friends are talking about, but they want their own version. They want to be an individual while still fitting in.
- Naturally, having a “killer web site” is essential for retailers and their brand partners.
- No one surveyed wanted to buy a diamond engagement ring online. It’s not a commodity, they say. Finding the ring is still a very personal, romantic journey and an important part of the engagement process.
- The group doesn’t care for loud and boastful ads, but say they prefer ads with dry humor and straight delivery.
- To reach Gen Y through advertising, then, Freshley suggests appealing to both men and women, focus on humor and celebrate individuality rather than conformity.