Today’s interview is with Michael Solomon, PhD who is Professor of Marketing in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the author of one of THE books, if not THE original book, on consumer behaviour. He joins us today not to talk about that book but a new one that he has just published called The New Chameleons: How to Connect with Consumers Who Defy Categorization, the difference between horizontal and vertical thinking, whether marketers really know their customers, whether there is a myth around the idea that customers want choice and other ideas that will help you build a better understanding of your customers.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – What the democratisation of artificial intelligence (AI) means for customer experience – Interview with Matthew Nolan of Pega — and is number 385 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Pega for sponsoring my podcast this month.
It’s almost time for PegaWorld iNspire, the annual conference from Pegasystems. Join them online for free on May 4 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (that’s 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. UK time) to learn how the world’s most impactful companies are driving digital transformation. They’ll have compelling keynotes, demos, and case studies in a highly interactive virtual format and a few surprises as well. Go to www.pegaworld.com to register for free and check out the full agenda. I’ve attended the last several PegaWorlds in person, and virtually, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, so go register today! That’s www.pegaworld.com
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Michael:
Michael “wrote the book” on understanding consumers. Literally. Hundreds of thousands of business students have learned about Marketing from his books including Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being — the most widely used book on the subject in the world.
Michael’s mantra: We don’t buy products because of what they do. We buy them because of what they mean. He advises global clients on marketing strategies to make them more consumer-centric, and he is currently directing Nielsen’s revamp of its global Brand Health Model. Michael is a Contributor at Forbes.com, where he writes about issues related to consumer behavior, marketing and retailing. His articles have been cited over 30,000 times, and he is frequently quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, USA Today and Adweek. His newest book, The New Chameleons: Connecting with Consumers Who Defy Categorization, was published globally by Kogan Page in February 2021.
As a Professor of Marketing (in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, U.S.A.), a sought-after keynote speaker, and an industry consultant, Michael combines cutting-edge academic theory with actionable real-world strategies. He helps managers get inside the heads of their customers so they can anticipate and satisfy their deepest and most pressing needs – today and tomorrow. An executive at Subaru said it best: “The man is a scholar who is current and street-wise.”
Don’t forget to check out his book: The New Chameleons: How to Connect with Consumers Who Defy Categorization, connect with him on LinkedIn here and say Hi to him on Twitter @mikesolo.