After 18 months of virtual interactions due to COVID-19, market researchers and industry insiders reconnected in-person this month in sunny Pasadena, California, for SampleCon 2021. Held at the luxurious resort, “The Langham,” it was the best way to bring the conference back and regain a sense of normalcy. Key Takeaways from SampleCon From day one, you could hear and feel the excitement of new trends in the online sample industry. The consensus – business is good.
Prior to The Scientific Revolution and subsequent Enlightenment, most “Truth” derived from a higher power, custom, or superstition. The world was flat. Doctors didn’t need to wash their hands, and cats did the devil’s work. The Scientific Method dispelled those notions. We have benefited as a society from the progress that science and reason have enabled. Science and reason, however, do not have a monopoly on “Truth.” Appeals to emotion often feel like truth, and it turns out that we, as humans, are pretty bad at telling the difference between objective truth and emotionally derived “truth.”
Companies en masse stepped up in 2020 decrying racism in America. But have those public declarations resulted in systemic changes in their diversity and inclusion practices, and how are consumers responding to those changes? To answer that question, ThinkNow conducted a nationally representative survey of Americans to understand the impact of companies that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion and how consumers voice their approval or disapproval of those companies with their wallets.
At this point, the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion is a no-brainer. Not only is it a moral obligation, but research suggests maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce improves business outcomes and financial performance. So, essentially, implementing DEI initiatives within your organization is common sense and just makes cents, right? Yet, many firms fail to look at how DEI supports the overall business strategy.
The symbiotic relationship between data and storytelling has emerged as a powerful tool for diversity and inclusion initiatives within companies. Post-2020, organizations are now prioritizing D&I under mounting pressure from employees and other stakeholders demanding representation within the workplace, product and service offerings, and marketing and advertising. Storytelling is the catalyst for change. It creates intentional moments of intimacy that enable people to learn more about one another and appreciate similarities and differences.
If passenger volume at airports across America is any indication, domestic travel in the U.S. is rebounding from the pandemic, a hopeful sign that COVID-19 is in our rearview. But it’s not just air travel that winks at a return to normalcy. Millions of Americans are vaccinated, and the majority of states have lifted restrictions. Madison Square Garden, for example, experienced its first sold out concert since the onset of the pandemic when the Foo Fighters took to the stage on June 20th to play for vaccinated fans, an impressive feat considering New York’s struggle to contain the virus in 2020. Other industries are powering back as well, like the online sample industry.
This past year, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked discussions around racism and inequality in America, prompting calls for social justice. Social injustice, however, is not limited to the inexcusable deaths of unarmed black and brown Americans. Disparities in financial resources also poke holes in the American Dream and keep many Americans struggling to get above the poverty line. While exploring the ThinkNow ConneKt platform, we discovered the LGBTQ+ community is a victim of financial inequality.
Customer expectations are much higher in 2021. Today’s empowered consumers know who they are, expect brands to understand their needs, and use their social currency to influence perception in favor of or against brands. Enlightened brands listen, build intelligence, and use those insights to make products more attractive to buyers. Product Managers play a vital role in bringing new products to market. They work with R&D to develop the product and create strategy and oversee the tactical execution of that strategy.
It’s Pride Month! Every year, in June, LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide celebrate the freedom to be authentically and unapologetically who they are. City streets erupt in festive expressions of Pride as enthusiastic, and often costumed patrons attend parades, concerts, and festivals decorated with brightly colored rainbow flags, streamers, and confetti. But the celebration doesn’t just bring people together for a good party. Instead, it shines a light on an underrepresented community, like other minority groups, who have struggled to be seen, heard, and included for generations.
Miami is quickly becoming the next Silicon Valley. Fueled by the tech explosion permeating South America and corporate America’s waning interest in settling out west, Miami has become a bustling hub for upwardly mobile Hispanics. Tech companies looking to put down roots in the coastal city are either looking to secure tech talent or are scouting locations to set up shop, or both. The result, an empowered Hispanic base with the disposable income to buy what they want and need to support multigenerational households or, in some cases, extended family in their countries of origin.