McCracken: The Changed Consumer
In the opening talk of the PSFK Conference New York, Grant McCracken spoke about ‘pattern recognition’ and explained the importance of gathering a wide selection of ideas to help inspire business. At one point, he talks about how ‘just in time’ thinking combined with the attitude of an economist can help us find ideas and highlights his thoughts on the new consumer:
Consumers aren’t consumers any longer. The point of goods and services isn’t to indulge or satisfy the consumer, it’s to enable them. We’re moving, in a new way, more instrumentally from consumer goods, and less satisfaction, less indulgence. Maybe that’s the new bargain. Consistent with the stuff we get form a lot of popular fiction, William Gibson. We’re becoming more virtual, more distributed, less about appetites – leaving our physical bodies and entering into networks and a distributed world. There’s new urgency to pattern cognition. We’re the generation that got to see what continual and ferocious change was gonna look like. To choose your historical moment, we were lucky enough to see the world changing and we make our adjustment.