|What's Ahead | |The Company's Microenvironment | | |The Company | | |Suppliers | | |Marketing Intermediaries | | |Customers | | |Competitors | | |Publics | |The Company's Macroenvironment | | |Demographic Environment | | |Economic Environment | | |Natural Environment | | |Technological Environment | | |Political Environment | | |Cultural Environment | |Responding To The Marketing Environment | |Chapter Wrap-Up | |Review of Concept Connections | |Key Terms | |Issues for Discussion | |Marketing Applications | |Campany Case | |Comprehensive Case |
|[pic]|What's Ahead |
As we hurtle into the new millennium, social experts are busier than ever assessing the impact of a host of environmental forces on consumers and the marketers who serve them. "An old year turns into a new one," observes one such expert, "and the world itself, at least for a moment, seems to turn also. Images of death and rebirth, things ending and beginning, populate . . . and haunt the mind. Multiply this a thousand-fold, and you get 'millennial fever' . . . driving consumer behavior in all sorts of interesting ways." |[pic] |[pic] |
Such millennial fever has hit the nation's baby boomers, the most commercially influential demographic group in history, especially hard. The oldest boomers, now in their fifties, are resisting the aging process with the vigor they once reserved for antiwar protests. Other factors are also at work. Today, people of all ages seem to feel a bit overworked, overstimulated, and overloaded. "Americans are overwhelmed . . . by the breathtaking onrush of the Information Age, with its high-speed modems, cell phones, and pagers," suggests the expert. "While we hail the benefits of the wired '90s, at the same time we are buffeted by the rapid pace of change." The result of this "millennial fever" is a yearning to turn back the clock, to return to simpler times. This yearning has in turn produced a massive nostalgia wave. "We are creating a new culture, and we don't know what's going to happen," explains a noted futurist. "So we need some warm fuzzies from our past." Marketers of all kinds have responded to these nostalgia pangs by recreating products and images that help take consumers back to "the good old days." Examples are plentiful: Kellogg has revived old Corn Flakes packaging and car makers have created retro roadsters such as the Porsche Boxter. A Pepsi commercial rocks to the Rolling Stones's "Brown Sugar," James Brown's "I Feel Good" helps sell Senokot laxatives, and Janis Joplin's raspy voice crows, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?" Disney developed an entire town—Celebration, Florida—to recreate the look and feel of 1940s neighborhoods. Heinz reintroduced its classic glass ketchup bottle, supported by nostalgic "Heinz was there" ads showing two 1950s-era boys...