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February 9, 2007

Mind Your X's and Y's

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Philosophy

02_09_2007MYXYsbook.jpgI just finished reading and sharing with the team in our weekly brown bag lunch about Mind Your X's and Y's: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Consumers. Written by Reach Group's Lisa Johnson, it's an excellent look at how the next generation will be interacting, interfacing, and engaging the world. I really appreciate the way Lisa organized the book into 10 different chapters--one for each of the cravings--and surrounded everything with excellent examples.

There are certainly redundant lulls in each chapter--as if I didn't get her point the first three times--but overall it was a quick and mind-stirring read. It didn't help that I read the book before bed every night. I had to keep my pen and pad ready for putting some of this stuff into action.

Lisa begins the book with five essential criteria that underlie each craving for the next generation.

1. Experience
I'm an active participant, testing my abilities, exploring my edges.

2. Transparency
I'm exposing shortcomings, demanding due diligence, and helping the community.

3. Reinvention
I'm seeing new possibilities, changing channels, and changing the rules.

4. Connection
I'm sharing who I am, sharing what I know. With others.

5. Expression
I'm trying it myself, buying fun tools and toys, and releasing my inner rebel.

These criteria are the lens with which the ten cravings are illuminated:

  1. Shine the spotlight:
    Extreme personalization gives marketing a new face.
  2. Raise my pulse:
    Adventure takes its place as the new social currency.
  3. Make loose connections:
    The new shape of "families" and social networks.
  4. Give me brand candy:
    Everyday objects get sharp, delicious, intuitive design. I think Lisa stole a page out of Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind for this chapter.
  5. Sift through the clutter:
    Editors and filters gain new prominence.
  6. Keep it underground:
    The rejection of push advertising and the rising influence of peer-to-peer networks.
  7. Build it together:
    Connected citizens explore their creative power and influence change.
  8. Bring it to life:
    Everyday activities are orchestrated to deliver a dramatic sense of theater.

  9. Go inward:
    Spiritual hunger and modern media find common ground.
  10. Give back:
    Redefining volunteerism and the meaning of contribution.

The last two chapters were especially encouraging for Personality™ because going inward and giving back are so much a part of our DNA. Many of the others were also encouraging because I see how we're fusing them into existing client campaigns and some of the stuff we're doing of our own.

The only big hang-up I had with the book is that Lisa gives little indication about the profitability or sustainability of any of the examples she uses. It's as if she used all of the great supporting stories to prove her 10 cravings rather than proving that the 10 cravings will result in bettering your brand/business. I know for a fact that some of the company examples she uses are not doing well financially and time will tell if they survive. Many of the stories are of upstart organizations which is an obvious vulnerability.

Overall, really good stuff. I'm sure we'll be referencing many of the cravings in upcoming client analysis and strategic planning.

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the quality of this review was so high that I signed up to read more of your thoughts.
- another fan
Kare Anderson, author, SmartPartnering

Posted by: Kare Anderson at February 18, 2007 8:23 AM

Awesome review. I am preparing a presentation brief and this really came in handy. I just may go buy the book...

Posted by: Dave C at August 28, 2007 9:01 AM