The No Traction Reaction

Looking ahead when we’re back where we started

June 18, 2012 – Digit #12

Recently a Federal Reserve report confirmed what just about every American already knew: the average family’s net worth has fallen back to where it was almost 20 years ago in 1992.

While the Fed report covered only the period from 2007–2010, and the current first quarter 2012 figures show the greatest quarterly increase in families’ net worth in seven years, the psychology of loss is very much with us. Most Americans have an uncharacteristic sense of backward movement in our onward and upward culture.

What we’re hearing now…

We’ve just completed a round of our new SCANLabs, in-depth qualitative discussions with Americans, and our first ever online SCAN values survey.

In the SCANLabs around the country, the sentiment we hear most often is, “I’m just trying to get traction.”

And the survey data provides the roadmap to traction…First, you gotta have a plan

2 out of 3 Americans now agree strongly that “in today’s world, it’s essential to have a plan”

What else do you need on the road to traction?

  • Hard work
  • Good social skills
  • Independent thinking
  • Creativity
  • Self confidence

Stay tuned for all the news from our 2012 SCAN results, but here’s an example of the Traction Reaction among Generation Y (age range 25-36)…

In the face of a very tight job market and their parents’ worry that “young people today will not be able to live better than their parents”…

“We hope to buy a small house near where I grew up. It feels like a concrete accomplishment…a sign of adulthood” (Gen Y woman, SCANLabs, 2012)


Business Implications:
Companies and brands need to think through how to help consumers get Traction in our still unresolved economy.  Is it in your brand’s message of optimism or commitment?  Is it in your pricing strategy?  How does your brand fit in with the consumer’s plan for getting Traction?Sounds to us like Realism, Pragmatism, Optimism and Determination to get Traction!

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