A Look Inside Bain's 'Consumer of the Future' Report
If you're like me—in your early 30s and struggling to find opportunities hidden in our current grizzly bear of a market—yesterday's remarks by President Obama sounded sweet and promising. Yes, we can “restart the engine of our prosperity” while transforming the U.S. with “bold action and big ideas!”
Mercifully optimistic, the President's promise that we “will emerge stronger than before” sought to pacify the news that U.S. consumer confidence "tumbled in February to its lowest level in more than 41 years, partly because people are increasingly discouraged about job prospects."
While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke holds out hope for an economic recovery by 2010 "even as new signs emerged that the recession and financial crisis are feeding on each other in ways that worsen both," the devastation already wrought on our fragile consumer psyche threatens to compromise even the most established companies' relationships with their best and most loyal clients.
For this reason, I suggest taking a look at a recently published report by Bain & Co. In its inaugural "Consumer of the Future" report, the consultancy measures the effect of the global economic downturn on consumer trends. Not surprisingly, changes in purchasing behavior have already emerged, and Bain's look into future spending habits warrants careful consideration.
Consider the risk that companies now run as they wrestle with controlling costs, retaining customers, and managing cash flows: squandering "years' worth of brand equity for a few quarters of sales." The consultancy raises an interesting idea: that today's economic demise impacts current trends, but does not necessarily initiate new ones. In this light, the consumer experience will become even more important coming out of the recession. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely that today's damages to consumer confidence can be healed any time soon, and one must begin to wonder if the days of brand loyalty are in fact coming to an end.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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