Be-$witched: Converging, Diverging & Submerging
So there I was, flying down the supershop aisle (combo grocery, pharmacy, auto dealership, dentist, movie theatre, wireless store, ashram, B2B, concrete factory, NASA-outlet, steak restaurant, police department, HR-Block, post office, McDonalds, Saks Fifth Avenue and asphalt dealer) and was thinking how convenient everything is due to "convergence". I never stop to buy asphalt. When you've got a broom like mine, it's an SKU I have no "intent to buy".
I have to say, I've learned alot from my husband Darren and his former boss Larry, especially from the 21st century high-tech new media ad campaigns they produce down at The Bureau. It's nice that they have stayed friends even though they each work at the two competing firms. I do wonder though if it's having a much bigger effect on me personally and our culture. Of course, they used to call their company an agency. However, they changed the name last year; the reasons of which I will go into later. Plus, lately they've been making a big thing out of each brand's "inter-national security".
As I was saying, their work-related performance has had an effect on me which relates to my shopping habits. Having had my lifestyle experience recently analyzed based on my search usage, it indicated that I'm an early-adopter. My Psychiatrist/home furnishings rep tried to no avail to help me better understand the value-prop I get from the insights I've learned, though I'm reluctant to say if it has all be worth it.
As a result, I still have some reluctancy to adding on my new behavorially segmented purchase-funnel tool kit into my skills set. This is part of what I'm told I now have to overcome. Apparently, my degree of unaided awareness shows a higher than average usage skew to using marketing expression-ism. I used to think "divergence" was where my consumer behavior was heading, though I have realized that convergence simply makes my life easier.
It's now filtering down to Tabetha. In the morning, when I used to ask what she wanted me to make her for lunch before she went off to her Montessori school/Car wash center, she repeatedly asked me, "Mom, what's the consideration set?" I've grown tired of providing a menu of choices, so I focus on the products she has a higher conversion rate to; where shes moved from a Brand-Advocate to a Brand-Lover.
I simply now pack her lunch into her wrist-watch with lunchable items that I know will incent her to have a repeat meal experience after school ends. That is before her piano/wood carving/knitting lessons begin. She seems to like the potato-chip flavored vitamin filled, tofu concentrated, naturally grown, organic orange juice. It goes well with the whole-wheat-fed, free-range, sweet and sour ostridge salad, which stays fresh in the Cuisinart single-item beverage freezer dispenser.
I feel bad for those audiences who are not as fortunate as I am; to be born with a nose for actually converging products. There's still so much convergence needed on the planet. It frustrates me to no end. One consumer category which is very challenging is with lactaid-based beverages. I wish it was less diverged. It's a topic that Mother agrees with me on for once.
For example, recently I was in the store and needed to buy a single unit 1/2 gallon milk container, I had to make sure that no one was looking when I twinkled my nose and converged the milk the way Darren likes it, submerged with his stomach-coated, de-caf naturally flavored Columbian/Brazilian strained coffee/shake.
Darren has brand loyalty to a special mix I make for him. It's a well-textured and rich half & half, 2.7957%-fat, calcium-based, naturally pasteurized, butter-flavored milk. He has a high index of favorability to it.
Here's what happened, which added to my frustration. While I made it just the way he likes it, I got nervous and accidentally converged the Uniform Product Code on the container. It was only when I was using the hand-messaging self-check-out scanner that I realized my mistake.
How embarrassed was I when my milk-converged reconfigured unit crashed the supply chain management-based scanner. Right before, it mis-read the container and mistook it was a 20 gallon industrial-sized Johnny Walker Red barbeque sauce--which I thought about buying but had reservations--and thus, delayed my purchase. I didn't know what to do, so I just smiled while the manager/chef told me he'd ship it.
So now, instead of doing my shopping in the store, I just call my groceries into the quality-controlled customer service rep recording focus-group tested automated interface. It's certainly easier, especially with my ear-pilot ultra-sound earings with the lazer-free microphone attachment which changes color and goes nicely, conforming to my daily selection of lipstick. All that aside, once the world converges completely into a one stop shop, I won't have to use my special magic anymore when equipping my household with appropriate product inventory.
Down at the Ad Bureau, Darren and Larry say they are doing everything they can to bring in the new era of marketing. However, I must agree with him that convergence has not had a very positive effect on Madison Avenue yet. After the entire business was consolidated into 2 holding companies, it created a fair amount of negative buzz and sarcasm in the halls of both consolidated publishing companies.
Mother told me that in both global stockholder meetings she was in and out of, Redstone and Parsons began making jokes that were not particularly favorable to both agencies. Given the federal case they made, Martin and Maurice got together and decided they should contemporize the industry, to be what both companies really are: "bureaus of consumer lifestyle investigation". I think their solution really solved the problem.
The new name tested much better than the old one and reduced the flack that Redstone and Parsons were making. By doing so, one might say that Mother had a part in saving Darren's business, which she brings to his attention every chance she can. Darren is grateful to her though. The name change really did the trick. No one could make jokes anymore about Darren and Larry's shops being "central-ized intelligence agencies". There's still one thing I need Mother's help on. Maybe she has a way to converge the milk through the mic, so Darren can have his coffee just the way he wants it.