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Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Description

Understanding the post-crisis consumer

In Spend Shift, John Gerzema, world-renowned expert on consumer values, and Pulitzer prizewinning author Michael D'Antonio document the rise of a vibrant, values-driven post-recession economy. To tell the story of this movement, the authors travel to large cities and small towns across eight bellwether states, to examine the value shifts sweeping the nation. Through in-depth observation, proprietary data from Young & Rubicam, and interviews with experts, the authors analyze the changing consumer psyche, document the five shifting values and consumer behaviors that are remaking America and the world, and explain what it means to businesses and leaders.

  • Explores a movement in society where the majority of American consumers are embracing both value and values
  • Shows how post-crisis consumer expectations and behaviors will drive business decisions
  • Draws on interviews with CEOs and entrepreneurs to reveal how companies like Ford and Etsy are reconnecting with the post-crisis consumer

Compelling and insightful, Spend Shift is essential reading for anyone interested in how values are changing and how businesses can connect with consumers after the recession.

Portraits of the Spend Shift

Scott and Tom, Ford Motor Co., Detroit
Torya, Good Girls Go to Paris, Detroit
Tony, Betaworks' Chartbeat, New York City

See more portraits of the spend shift.

From Booklist

Gerzema is chief insights officer of Young & Rubicam (Y&R), a marketing company specializing in advertising, sales promotion, digital media, and brand identity. Y&R manages the world’s largest database covering consumer attitudes, preferences, and values, going back 17 years. D’Antonio is an award-winning author with experience in addressing social and economic trends. Even before the “Great Recession” wiped out $15 trillion of net worth of investment savings and caused the loss of millions of jobs, there was a subtle shift going on among consumers. This group of “spend shifters,” comprising more than 55 percent of consumers, has become increasingly aware of the emptiness of overconsumption. They save more and value quality over quantity, favoring companies that they believe have strong social values. A growing number of entrepreneurs are taking on risks to cater to this new demanding consumer in local markets across the country, where a quiet revolution of “deglobalization” is taking place. This encouraging report shows not only that there are positive aspects to the recession, but also that there are ways to succeed and even thrive in this environment. --David Siegfried
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470874430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470874431
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

John Gerzema is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new interests and demands. A best-selling author, columnist, speaker and social strategist, his books have appeared on "best of" lists at FAST COMPANY, Inc., and THE WEEK Magazine. His research, writing and interviews have appeared in The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, NPR, Forbes and many others. As a Fellow with the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, he is an expert on emergent leadership strategies and executive chairman of WPP Group's BAV Consulting. John oversees the world's largest database of brands and consumer behavior. His new book, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And The Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future with Michael D'Antonio. John's TED talk 'The Post-Crisis Consumer' has been viewed by over a quarter of a million people. www.johngerzema.com



Customer Reviews

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Through the real-world examples of entrepreneurs confronting the downturn, we can understand the emerging values important to consumers.
Jessica Green
We're moving to a world of mindful value - value that has deeper meaning - that is sensible and yet aspirational, things that just make sense.
Aditya Anupkumar
This book confirms that this recession has changed consumer mentality in Europe and the United States, and may have changed it permanently.
Simon C. Silvester

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Fonda on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Spend Shift described a hopeful scenario for America as it emerges from the Great Recession. Over the past two years the cavalcade of bad news on the economy and the state of our union economically and socially has been non-stop. In particular, this notion of the New Normal described by some of the savvier investing minds out there has given me the impression that we are a country in decline. What Spend Shift revealed was that the apparent decline was simply a re-shuffling of priorities and a re-engineering of business to align with those priorities. Rather than declining America was simply establishing a foundation for growth for the decades to come.

I did not purchase Spend Shift to be inspired, but rather to understand resonant marketing themes that I might tap into as I start my own business. However, I came away inspired by the entrepreneurs who were taking the risks and connecting with customers and building sustainable businesses by understanding that customers were connecting their product choices to their values. It is stunning to read about these success stories during one of the worst economic periods in economic history. It was also fun to discover businesses like Brooklyn Brin (based in the city that I call home) that I had never heard about and now feel compelled to patronize.

I came to Spend Shift thinking I would learn a thing or two about marketing in the recession and I left Spend Shift having learned that America can go on and in fact can thrive during a time of massive deleveraging. Spend Shift had the requisite marketing lessons, but it was the narrative style and inspiring examples that lead me to rate this a 5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bobka Family on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Spend Shift should be required reading for every business person. Everyone has been wondering how the economic crisis has changed us, and this book and its research spell it out. If you're waiting for the consumer to "come back" quit holding your breath. Gerzema and D'Antonio help us understand what's different and how we need to reposition our business to appeal to the new sense of value.Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Green on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Spend Shift is John Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio's antidote to recessionary gloom. In contrast to the tired narrative of American decline, this book offers a countervailing vision of innovation and opportunity. Through the real-world examples of entrepreneurs confronting the downturn, we can understand the emerging values important to consumers. This book is an essential primer to the new economic reality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George F. Simons on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Here is a fresh paean to US American ingenuity and our can-do attitude. Gerzema and D'Antonio have written what appears to be a booster book for the US psyche and an examination of conscience for the US businessperson. The subtitle suggests in typical US hyperbole (language that promotes what it describes--the authors are, after all, business boys) that there is a values revolution in progress, a "revolution," not a "shift," not a "tendency," but the whole nine yards.

This claim is much based on the research undertaken with the BrandAsset® Valuator, which claims to show that "Over half the US population is now...seeking better instead of more, virtue instead of hype, and experiences over promises." This research tool is a proprietary tool of Young and Rubicam where Gerzema holds the title of Chief Insights Officer. In the end, it is a book about marketing.

Spend Shift appears apolitical in a sense that it tells stories of how US Americans in various cities around the country are taking charge of their lives in a variety of ways, in the face of the financial crisis. On the other hand, we could say that it is deeply political in the sense that it describes or perhaps promotes the "do-it-yourself," "bootstraps" approach to the revitalization of US life and community structures, while at the same time makes the assumption that there will be a sea change in consumer attitudes that will force organizations and coerce government to behave differently and more responsibly to their consumers and their citizens. This will usher in a whole new era of how money works and how the American Dream and US society will be shaped in years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the worst year of the Great Depression Fortune Magazine was started by brave, risk-taking men who believed in themselves and their product and their country. Fast forward to The Great Recession and we see a new sort of risk-taker and rule breaker. We see the average person using the tools at his or her disposal --- very often a laptop --- and building a good life for himself and others and depending on no one, especially the government that has failed us yet again.

The authors interviewed people in many U.S. cities who are doing something unique to create new lives and who care less about money and the things money buys. Moreover, they tend to be people who form bonds with others and these people help one another to get through this crisis and to grow their businesses and lives.

In times like these, people tend to think as socialists. By that I don't mean the Karl Marx sort that is a tool of a self-empowering government. But socialist as in collective. They are less capitalist and generally, history shows this will affect two generations before true capitalism returns and before the tightness with money ends and creates a generation like the Baby Boomers.

I read this book because, as a marketer and advertising specialist, I have a keen interest in how people relate to money and the things they buy. While I was somewhat disappointed in the small amount of space that particular topic took up, I learned a lot. The Great Recession has changed how people relate to money. It has affected what they feel is important to buy and not buy. What they thought was a "necessity" only a short time ago is now considered only a "luxury." This is a shift. And that's what this book is all about.

Highly recommended.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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