Sermon Illustrations

America split into three financial camps last year that came sharply into focus at Christmas. 1-The Hunker-Down crowd cut back their purchases, uneasy about dwindling dollars and rising debt. Traffic in non-discount retail stores was sluggish as a result. 2-The Full-Speed-Ahead crowd did business as usual. God bless 'em! They chose not to participate in a recession! 3-The I'm-Too-Rich-To-Worry crowd spent somewhat more on Christmas than ’06, almost enough to offset the thrifty Hunker Downs. While the total number of transactions was down for December, the average sale was slightly up, due to the largeness of this group. In '08 we're going to see an increasing number of purchases influenced by the head instead of the heart. Service and selection are taking a back seat to quality and price. In the language of Myers-Briggs, we're shifting from an F (feeling) mindset to a T (thinking) perspective. In advertising, both the Hunker Downs and the Full Speed Aheads are looking for clear statements of benefit. The I'm-Too-Rich-To-Worries are looking for exclusive brands. Efficiency providers like Sam's Club and Costco will continue to thrive, as will sellers of never-discounted prestige brands. Retailers who have built their businesses on service and selection will feel pressure to reinvent themselves. (MondayMorningMemo 1/7/08)

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