Joel Bines, a consumer industry expert and managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners, has authored a new book titled “The Metail Economy: 6 Strategies for Transforming Your Business to Thrive in the Me-Centric Consumer Revolution.”

In the McGraw Hill-published book, Bines explains that retailers are failing to adequately perceive and react to an historic revolution in the consumer economy. Bines, who has 30 years of experience advising retail and consumer firms on strategy and operations, says that a power inversion has occurred between business and consumers.

Consumers are now apparently setting the agenda, and companies will be less able to unilaterally decide on what goods, services, and experiences to provide on what platforms and for what price. The reason for this shift is, of course, technology – but it’s not simply because of accelerated purchasing on Amazon and posting on TikTok.

AlixPartners' Joel Bines unravels changing consumer economy in new book
“It’s not what the technology enables us to do so much as what the technology has given to the consumer: information and access,” Bines notes.

Hugely expanded access to information and avenues for purchase has created a new class of “Me” consumers who are highly fragmented, individualized, empowered, and fluid.

“Companies that don’t adapt will struggle unless they understand this power-shift and how their organization is viewed and valued by their customers,” Bines adds. “If you think you’re already understanding this with ‘customer-centricity’ or ‘personalization’ programs, think again. Both of those dated practices are still from the company’s perspective, instead of being truly customer-first. Companies need to focus their investment, resources and energies in the right areas to maximize their relationship with today’s Me-centric consumer.”

In the book, Bines provides six actionable strategies for companies to effectively connect with Me consumers:

  1. Cost: Give Me a Steal
  2. Convenience: Make It Easy for Me
  3. Category Expertise: Show Me What You Know
  4. Customization: That Made-for-Me Feeling
  5. Curation: That Chosen-for-Me Feeling
  6. Community: Make Me Feel at Home

The book will be available for purchase starting February 2, 2022.

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