“That's the lesson here: the businesses that figure out how to use technology to the best of their abilities are the ones that are going to be stronger and more resilient, no matter what happens.” – Dan Frommer
Dan Frommer (@fromedome) is Founder and Editor in Chief of The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their money. Dan has written for Forbes, The Atlantic and Recode from Vox Media, and he helped create Business Insider as its second team member. Dan’s Consumer Trends Report in collaboration with Coefficient Capital is a fascinating look into recent spending trends.
To listen to Dan’s bonus interview and learn more about his daily habits and routines, click here.
For more, explore the transcript of this episode.
Chapters in Part 1 of this interview:
- Dan’s background in journalism and technology, and how it led to The New Consumer
- What technology can unlock for brands
- Who is the modern consumer?
- How legacy brands fail to serve the consumer, and authenticity at scale
- How Target and other big brands have kept up with the modern consumer
- How small and direct-to-consumer brands can grow in today’s market
- On sweetgreen’s success and branding
- Why brands must embrace digital experiences to move forward
- The Consumer Trends Report with Coefficient Capital
Links from Part 1
- Connect with Dan Frommer: Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
- The Medill Journalism School at Northwestern
- Business Insider
- The Atlantic
- Vox Media
- Warby Parker
- Stratechery by Ben Thompson
- House Foods
- Consumer Trends with Coefficient Capital
- Fat Gold
- Diaspora Co.
- Whole Foods
- Procter & Gamble
- Trader Joe's
- Thrive Market
- Why Do American Grocery Stores Still Have an Ethnic Aisle? - New York Times
- Imperfect Foods
- Fridge No More
- sweetgreen's Outpost Program
- Shake Shack
- Band of Outsiders
- American Apparel
- Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report
- OpenTable State of Industry
- TSA Checkpoint data
- MTA Subway Ridership data
- Kastle keycard data
- Earnest Research
- Nike App
Dan’s research has shown that in order to woo and appease the modern consumer, brands must be digitally-enabled and keep up with tech trends.
It's not that every company has to create a new technology in order to be technology-enabled, but basically every business—especially as we learned over the last year and a half with the pandemic—every business should be technology-enabled to some degree, and it unlocks so many different opportunities, whether it's growth, speed, breadth of growth, or just a deeper connection with your customer. All of these things are possible because of technology.
There used to be this idea that the oldest brand was the most trustworthy because they've existed for this long. Their product must work. It must be good. But to me, that doesn't really fly anymore, because developments in science and tech say the company that has been formed most recently should actually be the one using the newest and best stuff. I think consumers are much more interested in and willing to trust new brands than they ever were before.