Today's consumers can seem impossible to understand, and even harder to please. For instance, the average mall shopper will spend her $100, then leave when she hits that limit. She'll probably buy shoes rather than clothing, because she doesn't want to think about her dress size. And the store most likely to get her money isn't the one with the nicest display or the deepest discounts... it's the one closest to her parking spot.
In his research with dozens of leading companies, Michael J. Silverstein has interviewed thousands of customers, extracting fascinating patterns about what really drives their purchase decisions. His first book, the acclaimed bestseller Trading Up, has taught a generation of marketers about the "new luxury" phenomenon, and why consumers will happily pay a steep premium for goods and services that are emotionally satisfying, from golf clubs to bathroom hardware to beauty products.
But Trading Up only revealed part of the story of the new consumer. The same middle class consumers who are happily trading up at Victoria's Secret and Panera are going on treasure hunts at Costco and Home Depot. And they are often getting as much emotional satisfaction in the discount stores as in the luxury stores. Silverstein's new book explains how the new consumer approaches bargain hunting, and how even the most mundane shopping - for things like paper towels and pet food -- have become an adventure rather than a tedious chore.
It turns out that, in just about every consumer category, both the high end and the low end are growing and innovation rich. Many middle class consumers gladly spend $5.00 a day for a vente Starbucks latte; others spend 40 cents a day on home brewed coffee, feel good about their frugality, and save up the difference to buy Apple's newest Nano. Treasure Hunt explains the success of companies as diverse as Dollar General, LG, H. E. Butt, Ebay, Commerce Bank, and Tchibo.