Farnaz on New World Strategies, Uncategorized, Women, Emerging Power
Happy New Year! Yes, I know….I am late for both my happy new year wishes and bimonthly blogs. Truth is, I’ve been busy finalizing production details with my publisher and gearing up for a busy season of consulting and speaking. But I wanted you to be the first to see the layout of my book cover: “The New World Marketplace – how women, youth and multiculturalism are shaping our future.”
I am super excited and will be rebranding my social media platform once the book is in the market in a month or so. I will also provide updates on book signing events and speaking gigs, and hope to see you in my travels.
In keeping with my commitment to share a New World Marketplace update in each blog, I’d like to tell you a bit about how constant cost cutting during economic challenges can drive new product innovation and quality of service into the ground. While cost cutting is an important discipline in any business model, it should never be at the expense of quality and service—which are the revenue drivers. You can choose to drive profits from the front end, or the back end. Your call. But if you choose the latter, remember your competition is putting new products out in the market faster, and offering better quality and service. At the very best, you’ll end up as a mediocre company with mediocre products and services.
And how long do you think that will sustain you during a recession?
Earlier this month, I decided to end my 7 year love affair with my Audi TT and get a hybrid car. So you can just imagine the pushy sales tactics that I had to overcome online, and by phone just minutes after a click, before I even entered a car lot. I ended up with a Lexus hybrid CT 200h. Sure the product and price was the best fit for me, but it was the service that sealed the deal. Lexus products and prices are not that different than other high-end competitors, it is the service that is their strategic differentiation. Think about this: what type of price or cost do you allocate toward great service? OK, Audi didn’t have a hybrid, but I left because of their inferior service to begin with. Do you think I’m really that unique? And what if low-mid price brands offered luxury service? Wow…that will be one recession-proof brand….!!!
Gen Y’s strong affiniy for hybrid cars are leading us away from traditional vehicles. They also prefer cars that are an extension of their social media and digital lifestyle…and willing to pay for it. This is good to know regardless of what products you sell. It’s about keeping up with the pace of the New World Marketplace.
I can’t believe 2011 is almost gone and behind us. We say that every year, yet this year went by faster than usual with mixed blessings for many. With only 11 days left in 2011, holiday shopping craze, intense polarizing political debates, and global economy tougher than ever, we should stop to think what type of new path forward we want to manifest in 2012.
I didn’t send out my regular New World Marketplace update this month, because I was busy finishing my book. It was a long process, gratifying yet difficult at times, for a first time author like me. My challenge was writing about what hasn’t been written about, directing attention of the minds where it hasn’t been, and saying something new. Thanks to you, and so many of my loyal readers, I had great responses to my blogs all year. I’m excited to tell you that I finally finished my book and sent it off to my publisher Sunday night. We are now in final editing phase, will go into layout and design phase early January, and you should have access to my e-book in February, and published printed copies shortly after.
The title of my book is “New World Marketplace.” This is a phrase I coined to interpret and translate three major macro trends that are rapidly shifting and shaping the values and cultures of our new global world: the growth and influence of the multicultural society, the shifting roles and rise of women, and new values and ideological power of the youth culture. There are other books about multicultural marketing. Many sources to read about Gen Y. Many great feminist writers and speakers. But I felt there was a hole in clearly defining the business and social imperatives of embracing all 3 for growth and success.
My book is more than just a branding strategy textbook. I have poured my heart and soul into something that I’m hoping will open eyes to new possibilities for new social models, leadership, cultural shifts and shared values that we need to lift us up and onward to the new path in 2012 and beyond. I will provide updates on my social media links on a regular basis. Please join me.
I have learned many lessons through this process. As 2011 ends, I try to reflect on lessons learned, letting go of certain aspects of the past, and integrate the rest with the future I want to manifest. I learned that starting a business is much tougher than I could imagine. I gained a new found appreciation for all entrepreneurs. I learned new values that I want to adhere to. I learned that now, more than ever, it’s all about leading from the heart, not the mind. I learned that understanding my purpose in life is far more important than professional tasks. I learned that as water is to a flower, so are loving family and friends to the heart.
What are some of the lessons you learned? And what are the values you want to embrace in 2012?
I wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, peace, love, fun and laughter. Let’s bring in 2012 with optimism and hope for a greater, happier and prosperous world.
I was thinking about the spirit of 4th of July celebration this past weekend. An American holiday to commemorate declaration of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain that was made on July 4, 1776. To me, it represents spirit’s deep desire for freedom and self-expression. I love Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
I took some time to reflect on what all this means in the multicultural society that we live in, where “we” is getting trickier to define in terms of race, ethnicity and collective identity. Is it “freedom of,” “freedom from,” or “freedom to”? It’s certainly not about every man, woman, and child for himself or herself. But it is the right to think, believe, value, speak, worship, and behave….freedom to choose….so long as it does not infringe on another person’s freedom. It is a shared value, securing to everyone an equal opportunity for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
In a multicultural society, this typically means both celebrating the uniqueness of each culture and navigating relationships with cultural differences. I think multiculturalism should neither be a demand for special rights for minorities, nor a threat to protecting one’s own cultural identity and safety. It is a phenomenon of resolving differences and building on commonalities based on values of freedom, trust, respect, equality, dignity, open mindedness and mutual happiness.
Shared values are much more important in any relationship than skin color or demographics. Good, happy relationships – personal and professional – have a lot in common across all cultures, and challenges are all the same as well. To read the full article on how to make multi-and-cross-cultural relationships work, click here.
You have heard quite a bit about multiculturalism recently from me, and other media sources in light of the recent 2010 census data. But are you leading your businesses and personal lives with the New World Marketplace mindset?
And I’m not just talking about how companies leverage the power of social network or provide latest tools and technologies. This framework should use this emerging technology with new ways of working, relating and engaging with people across all generations and demographics. Without a deep meaningful understanding of this New World Marketplace, the greatest technological tools can misfire your messages.
Work place of the future is being morphed and shaped today. Family dynamics and gender roles are changing. What is “personal” is also changing – but it still mirrors human dynamics and the multi-dimensions of each individual’s life. So, yes, leverage the digital world to help connect and drive higher levels of engagement and motivation, but do it in a personal way. You have to be and act personal. Whether you are talking to your customer, your stakeholder, or your family and friends, responding to concerns, needs and aspirations drive engagement and emotional connection with each experience. So, perhaps the good old saying of “think global, act local”, should really be “think global, act personal.”
Today’s leadership should have the ability to influence and lead through persuasion and attraction, by co-opting people through commonalities, rather than coercing them through power differentiation. The New World Marketplace leaders breed trust, set the pace and shape the new path. Today’s Gen Y is learning to become our future leaders by experiencing the world through travel and cultural understandings. What a great way to start bridging the cultural gap.
In keeping with my commitment to share latest trends, here are a few facts that support “women” are the next global emerging market:
- Women control 65% of global spending, more than 80% of US spending
- By 2014, the World Bank predicts that the global income of women will grow by more then $5 trillion
- Globally, women consumers control $20 trillion in consumer spending. They make the final decision for buying 91% of home purchases, 65% of the new cars, 80% of health care choices, and 66% of computers
….and yet, women continue to represent such a small percent of C-executives and board seats, where all the decisions are being made. I can’t figure this one out, can you? (also read Women Are Entrepreneurs, Working Women, Working Force and Economic Impact of Women Owned Businesses)
As always, please forward to anyone on your list who may benefit from my content. And, if you are seeing micro or macro trends in your business that you would like to discuss, I’d love to hear from you.
1. Value should really be defined as the ability to exceed the needs and expectations of your changing customers….penetrating the built-in resistance to commit.
2. When it comes to innovation, customer is not always right. Let’s face it…do they really know what they want next?
3. Use research to better understand your customers and how they interact with your products – not asking them what they want or what should come next. Do you really expect them to tell you that they want you to make lots of money from them?
4. Don’t use data to replace insight….data doesn’t tell you what to do, insight does.
5. Deliver a kick-ass product, and be honest. Authenticity is the branding era of the New World Marketplace.
6. Be clear on your product differentiation…. Zappos primary product is service, not shoes.