Michael Solomon

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Biography

Michael is at the forefront of marketing thought that emphasizes the strategic importance of understanding how products and services ranging from clothing to credit cards are actually experienced by the people who buy them. His current research program, centered on developing new online methods to study consumer behavior, is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. His book the Psychology of Fashion is regarded as the seminal work in the field. He is often quoted in national magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, the New York Times, Self, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. He frequently appears on television and radio to comment on consumer behavior issues, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, Channel One, Inside Edition, Newsweek on the Air, the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, the WOR Radio Network, and National Public Radio.

Michael has published research on such topics as consumer behavior, fashion psychology, branding, retailing, and marketing research in numerous academic journals, and he has been recognized as one of the ten most productive scholars in the field of advertising and marketing communications. He is the author of several leading textbooks, including Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being (now published in its eighth edition by Prentice Hall), which is the most widely-used book on the subject in the world. His trade book, Conquering Consumerspace: Marketing Strategies for a Branded World was praised by marketing expert Philip Kotler as "the best book I have read for deciphering today's new consumers." His newest book, the Truth about What Customers Want, was recently published by FT.

Speaking Topics

Getting Consumers to Consume in Tough Times: How can Marketers Motivate Relucant Buyers?
This presentation will review emerging techniques to ramp up consumers' reliance on the brands that matter to them -- even as they jettison the ones that don't. These approaches involve changing the way marketers think about their customers -- elevating them from pawns to partners. Some specific ways to do this include social networking, mass customization, open-source marketing, engaging shoppers in immersive 3D computer platforms, and integrating lead users into the product design cycle. Attendees will benefit as they take away new ways to think about enhancing the value they deliver and in the process calm the nerves of anxious customers.

Finding Gold in the New Green Economy. Is there gold in green marketing?
We are witnessing a global revolution as the ethic of sustainability seeps into more and more industry sectors. Environmental and economic changes dictate that we must develop and successfully market sustainable products. Ironically, business leaders often are several steps ahead of their customers. Many consumers are slower to embrace the value of sustainability -- particularly if they think they need to pay more for it. The worldwide recession also muted the growing drumbeat for a green economy.

The Brave New World of Consumerspace
Evolving trends in technology and lifestyles are fundamentally changing the ways relationships between consumers and companies are formed, maintained -- and dissolved. Many people now feel empowered to choose how, when, or if they will interact with corporations as they construct their own consumerspace. In turn, companies need to develop and leverage brand equity in order to attract the loyalty of these consumer "nomads."

  • What are some significant changes in consumers' values and lifestyles that influence how they search for product information and evaluate alternative brands?
  • How can we better understand consumer/product relationships -- from the consumer's vantage point? We need to appreciate how products and services are used in the enactment
  • of daily rituals, the animistic qualities of products, and the role these goods play in defining consumption communities. How are firms innovating to optimize their presence in consumerspace? Reality engineering strategies such as social networking, product placement, advergaming, virtual Internet communities, and guerrilla marketing are some alternatives for penetrating consumer awareness.
  • How can firms perpetuate consumer satisfaction by transforming passive buyers into active partners? Mass customization, personalization of shopping environments and Web sites, open-source marketing of lead users into the product design cycle have the potential to let producers and consumers work together to map the brave new world of consumerspace.

Welcome to the Metaverse: B2C and B2B Applications of Virtual Worlds
From Second Life to World of Warcraft, Habbo Hotel to MTV's Virtual Pimp My Ride, today millions of consumers live a parallel, digital life in virtual worlds that make up the Metaverse. A virtual world is an online representation of real world people, products, and brands in a computer-mediated environment (CME). To many mainstream consumers and advertisers, this is largely an unknown or underground phenomenon -- but it has real marketing consequences. It's estimated that by 2012, 53 percent of kids and 80 percent of active internet users will be members of at least one virtual world. Indeed, the Harvard Business Review predicts that within the next five years virtual worlds are likely to emerge as the dominant internet interface.

Consumer Trends 2009
Today's consumer is a moving target. Learn how trends such as product simplification, disintermediation, time poverty, hedonism, ethnic diversity, and Generation Y will impact your bottom line.

Consumer Behavior and the Marketing Mix
Understand fundamental marketing strategy from the perspective of the consumer. Explore how shoppers infer product quality from such signals as price, place of purchase, product design and packaging, and marketing communications. Learn how firms around the globe have successfully used these elements of the marketing mix.

Why We Buy
Learn how firms have successfully used modern-day consumer rituals and magical beliefs associated with activities and products from bathing to blue jeans to drive their marketing communications and positioning strategies.

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