GlobalShop 2016: Meeting of (Consumer) Minds

GlobalShop 2016: Meeting of (Consumer) Minds

GlobalShop 2016: Meeting of (Consumer) Minds 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Is there Life on Mars by David Bowie should have been the theme song for GlobalShop 2016. The song questions reality by juxtaposing pop/consumerist culture against the need for exciting change and it quickly became apparent as I sat in seminars and walked the tradeshow floor that brands are looking for disruptive change amidst a consumer driven market. How can we understand this new customer? How can we show we care? What entertains her? Let’s examine the three ways GlobalShop exemplified this:


Dr. Leon Alexander led a seminar titled “Why People Buy, A Window into The Consumer’s Mind.” He referenced the phrase “the future is now,” stating that we need to outpace our customers. Think new, big, and quick. To no surprise, consumers are evaluating brands and planning their next moves at a rapid pace. So I think we actually need to think that the future started yesterday in order to truly get ahead. To do this we need to understand a bit of psychology and sociology. As Dr. Alexander explained, only 5% of thinking occurs in the conscious mind. This all leads to a massive study in human behavior, not only technological advances. Imagine that. As he states on his blog “The real magic happens with people.”


New Creature (aka Walmart’s Wizard of Oz) is a Shopper Marketing Agency located in Bentonville, AR. The CEO, Anthony Bagley presented “The New World of Shopper Initiatives.” He spoke about the importance of transcendence, illusions of progress, relationships, education and the power of vulnerability as it relates to the B2C business, but it also held true for B2B. To appeal to consumers and clients, brands must manage themselves, transcend themselves and seek to truly know their audience, and most of all CARE. Asking questions is a great place to start.


Graphic and marketing agencies are fully aware of the power of those tiny screened computers. A little glow and Internet access on a handheld device has consumers’ undivided attention. However, there is hope! Ace Designs attracted customers to their booth by having everything from a tiny sign on their coloring wall that said “At Ace Designs we love what we do, and we wouldn’t be able to do that without you!” to a marquee lit, glitter, and foil wall with statements like “Make your own magic.” Static and lit graphics are getting more attractive, but graphics with motion are sure to delight customers. We saw rotating monitors, videos that layered both still and animated graphics, video shelving, and spinning objects on top of graphics. There was some magic going on so I stopped, talked, and asked about pricing. Check. Check. Check.

My hope after seeing and hearing all of this is that we do not put consumers on some endangered species list or treat her like she is in fact from Mars, as Mr. Bowie would sing. I’m a consumer, you’re a consumer, let’s get together and communicate, interact, and engage.

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