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How business is capitalising on the millennial Instagram obsession
July 13, 2018 | Financial Times | Leo Lewis in Tokyo and Emma Jacobs in London 12 HOURS AGO.

Japan's 21st century’s burgeoning experience economy, which is being driven by millennial consumers and transforming the landscape for businesses everywhere. Japan is not only an innovator in this economy but is also seen as a bellwether for​​ the likely tastes of ​China and south-east Asia’s swelling middle-class consumers......it is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.....In Mori’s opinion — a view evidently shared by the customers currently queueing in the stairwell — it is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.......In their influential 1998 article “Welcome to the Experience Economy”, American consultants Joseph Pine and James Gilmore argued that a marketable experience occurs “when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event . . . ” These experiences were, they went on, “inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual or even spiritual level”.

This was seen as the logical next step from the service economy, itself an evolution from the industrial economy and, prior to that, the agrarian economy....In Japan, notoriously long working hours have made time-poverty one of the defining features of the country’s leisure sector. The market has responded, over many decades, by refining and packaging experience in the most efficient, deliverable way......The millennial generation — and the growth of social media — has taken this economy in some unexpected directions. Instagram is to thank for the birth of “Oshapiku” — a compound of “oshare” (fancy) and “picnic”, where the emphasis is on meeting up, dressing up and engaging in the most photogenic picnic imaginable......“Experiences are king,” the consultancy McKinsey stated last year in a report arguing that, “in recent years, faced with the choice of buying a trendy designer jacket or a shiny new appliance or of attending a show, consumers increasingly opt for the show and, more broadly, for experiences with their friends and families.”.......Japan’s experience economy has evolved along two distinct avenues. On one side an already fully fledged leisure, dining and hospitality sector has sought ever more inventive ways of packaging experience — from hotels staffed by robots and limited-edition Shinkansen bullet trains fitted out with Hello Kitty decor to many of the country’s aquariums offering the opportunity to camp overnight surrounded by the relaxing pulsations of bioluminescent jellyfish.

The other side, says Mori, has to an extent developed as a branch of Japan’s “otaku” culture. This originally referred to the obsessive focus on particular areas of popular culture such as animation, video games or comics but is now more generally applied to a tendency to single-minded connoisseurship......“There are actually three sides to the experience economy in cosplay,” says Eri Nakashima, the manager of the Polka Polka second-hand cosplay costume store in central Tokyo. “There is the basic passion for becoming a different character from the one you are in everyday life; there is the participation in a community that shares that; and there is the creativity of making the costume perfect.”

This notion of community has become a pattern of growth for the experience economy. .......Shopping remains a huge draw for these tourists: the country’s retailers continue to thrive on the high average spending (£1,000) of middle-class visitors from China, Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere. But, by the end of 2017, when the government’s target was obliterated and 28 million tourists arrived during one year, it was clear that Japan’s long history of perfecting short, sharp experiential offerings — from onsen springs to pancakes — had won a new generation of admirers from overseas....Japan’s tendency towards connoisseurship — part of the reason that queueing for an experience is often regarded as a necessary ingredient to enjoyment — continues to be a powerful part of its appeal. The country’s manufacturers have long made a fetish of monozukuri — the quality of “thing-making” artisanship — to actively encourage people to own more stuff. But today the instinct to collect and accumulate things has, she says, been replaced by a desire to collect and accumulate experiences — and, in time-honoured Japanese fashion, to building ever larger libraries of images......Japanese companies Canon, Olympus, Konica, Minolta and Nikon were some of the most successful camera makers on the planet: the passion behind them was not just about the physical machinery but about a recognition that picture-taking dramatically enhances the consumption of experience....Insta-bae became not just a description of something you had seen but an explicit target to seek out. The experience economy, says Harada, is increasingly built around people going in search of experiences that are insta-bae.
bellwethers  cosplay  experiential_marketing  experience_economy  image-driven  Instagram  Japan  Japanese  millennials  obsessions  novelty  self-absorbed  visual_culture  connoisseurship  end_of_ownership  Joseph_Pine  James_Gilmore  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts 
july 2018 by jerryking
How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis - The New York Times
By LAURA M. HOLSONMAY 11, 2017

Much has been written about the crisis in retail, with shoppers deserting department stores for e-tailers and fast fashion, if they shop at all. The beauty business, though, has not had the same fate. Prestige beauty sales in the United States rose 6 percent in the 12 months ending in February, tallying $15.9 billion, according to the market research company NPD Group. Makeup alone is up 11 percent, totaling $7.3 billion. But that industry, too, is in the midst of its own upheaval, driven in part by the success of stores such as Sephora, the No. 1 specialty beauty retailer in the world....Bloggers and YouTube stars, Instagram videos and virtual assistants are replacing department store sales clerks, whose customers now know as much as they do (or more) about mermaid eyes and ombré lips. Brand loyalty is out, replaced by Sephora’s try-more-buy-more ethos. Friends hold as much sway these days as trained experts....two out of five women between ages 18 and 54 wear five or more makeup products every day. “It defines the selfie-obsessed, image-driven culture of our time,” .... There are more voices. And we are trying to cut through the confusion,” in part by allowing customers to try before they buy.....“It is easy to kill time, play around with things and then spend more money than I should,” ...“I am experimenting a lot, trying to figure out what I like.” She doesn’t shop at department stores. “I don’t associate [Sephora] with makeup,”....In 2015, Sephora opened its Innovation Lab in a converted warehouse in San Francisco to experiment with ways to combine mobile apps and in-store shopping into a cohesive experience. As a result of their efforts, customers can have as little or as much personal contact they want in stores ...Now department stores are scrambling to follow suit.
Sephora  beauty  retailers  crisis  LVMH  Instagram  brands  millennials  social_media  digital_influencers  experimentation  time_sink  play  Macy’s  Bloomingdale’s  cosmetics  makeup  customer_experience  experiential_marketing  image-driven  self-absorbed  fast_fashion  in-store 
may 2017 by jerryking
There Are Many Things That Are Missing in Ferguson — Letters to the Editor - WSJ
Aug. 21, 2014 | WSJ | Letter to the editor by Richard Klitzberg
Joseph Epstein's poignant comments in "What's Missing in Ferguson, Mo." (op-ed, Aug. 13) compare and contrast today's absence of black leadership with the '50s and '60s when great and historic black leaders rose to give the civil rights era its direction. The real question from Mr. Epstein should not concern riots in Missouri or what and how much blacks have been given by government, or what their current leaders have accomplished for them, but why they need "leaders" in the first place. ...The black community doesn't need today's leaders who are completely self-absorbed. It needs values and standards, goals and objectives—all of which are within their personal control. And they need to aim high. Doing that, even if one doesn't quite make it, leaves one a long way above where he was.
Ferguson  Michael_Brown  leadership  leaders  African-Americans  ethnic_communities  personal_control  self-absorbed  values  standards  goals  objectives  '60s  '50s  civil_rights 
august 2014 by jerryking
Amazing Career Advice For College Grads From LinkedIn's Billionaire Founder - Business Insider
1. Competition.
What should I do with my Life? is the WRONG question--it's too self-absorbed. Instead, make it about everyone else, which means isolating your competitive advantage (assets, aspirations, market realities). In terms of making a positive difference in the world, ask "how can I help?"
2. Networks
Proactively build your network.Relationships matter as people control access to resources, opportunities and information. It's likely that someone I already know knows someone who could help me.
3. Risk
Actions, not plans generate useful lessons. Playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do--learn to take Intelligent Risks. Prioritize plans that offer the best chance at learning about yourself and the world. If the worst case scenario is losing a bit of time or money or experiencing some discomfort, this is a worthwhile risk. if the worst case scenario is the serious tarnishing of one's reputation, loss of all economic assets, or something otherwise career ending, don't accept that risk. The best opportunities can be the one with the most question marks.
advice  Managing_Your_Career  Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  career_ending_moves  entrepreneurship  indispensable  serving_others  Colleges_&_Universities  students  new_graduates  job_search  discomforts  action-oriented  self-absorbed  playing_it_safe 
may 2013 by jerryking

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