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W H I T E   P A P E R
to connect to
21st century’s
Digital Zappers

by Shombit Sengupta
“Grab the
diverse world”
Disruptive 21st century
Are we ready for the totally new departure the 21st century’s digital erais bringing to human society?
  21st century innovation
20th century innovation   Innovations in the 19th century had come about every 20 years; today,we experience innovation every 20 days, particularly via the digital mode, throughout the world. In this
innovation explosion, the role of
psycho-socio diversity has taken
centre stage.

To understand this diversity and measure its impact on the 21st century market, we have found that the highly effective tools and metrics we used in the 20th century to be quite inadequate in today’s context. When even the parameters
to be researched have become drastically divergent, the old methods would definitely not be relevant any more. Let me take you through our psycho-socio-behavioural discoveries that have led us to new codifications. How should we grab
the diverse world that’s presenting us nothing but the“shock of the new?”
At Shining Consulting, our global interactions with different people for different brands have shown
us that living in this disruptive century are 3 distinct generations in 8 socio-behavioural clusters:
We have identified these 8 socio-behavioural clusters:
Low key
Simple living
with quality life
Low key Vertical divider Value

Gets involved
when a worthwhile
is seen
Value Vertical divider Flamboyant
Exhibitionist to
grab attention
Flamboyant Vertical divider Critical
and not easy
to satisfy
Vertical divider These clusters
were spun off
from Digital
Zap but are
common to the
Compromise and
Retro generations
as well. And they
exist irrespective
of income, age
and geography.

Curious for
the new
Novelty Vertical divider Sober
Goes in quiet
Sober Vertical divider Gizmo lover
Likes gadgets which
define him/her
and goes for
Gizmo lover Vertical divider Techy
Goes for the
digital mode
of life and
whole heartedly
  Connecting to Digital Zap
  Venturing into Paris at age 19 to fulfi ll my childhood dream of becoming an artist, I found a huge difference with
other 19-year-olds who were French, Italian, English, German, Swiss, Belgian or American. That was in 1973, and as
I was coming from a low profi le, poor refugee colony home in West Bengal, India, I was bound not to connect.
But I later discovered that even among people of the same generation in Europe and America there was disconnect.
I’ve read Winston Churchill mentions that it was not easy to call European and American youth of the Allied nations to take part in World War II. In contrast, the leaders of the enemy Axis powers had thoroughly impassioned their youth
to fight for their new-found ideologies. So with careful communication the Allies managed to align their youth to go
to war against the enemy.

My business travels to different continents makes me realize today that the youth in every country have more or less
the same understanding in how to live life. There is a coherency of the trend. This is the real globalization, the globalization of the mind. But management decisions in corporate houses across the globe are often made by the
Retro generation followed by the Compromise generation. That’s why Digital Zap, born after 1986, has a huge disconnect to many industries today. A few exceptions w would be Google, Apple, Nike, Microsoft and Cisco, companies that Digital Zap connects to.
3 Centuries: From change to disruption
and convergence

Total disruption & convergence in 21st century Digital eras
iPod   The process of change from 19th century’s mechanical era to 20th century’s electronic era was big, but evolutionary. For example, you will not fi nd a radical difference in the looks, mechanism and functioning of the 19th century’s mechanical gramophone with its horn and the 20th century’s electronic modern turntable with electronic advancement.

But in the 21st century came the iPod, breaking every known system
for operating a musical player. iPod and the MP3 players are disruptive in every sense, the change they’ve rushed in is entirely revolutionary.
It’s an absolute and massive disruption in the way of thinking, acting
and behaving with digital technology. Convergence is the name of the game now.

The iPhone incorporates several industries & functions; it’s a camera & photo album, a bank & data bank, post & telegraph offi ce, writing pad
& pen, audio & video player, calculator& alarm clock and much more.
Do you know how to grab this diverse world of disruption &
convergence in the 21st century?
Revolutionary impact
Using the music player, let’s illustrate how innovation came every 20 years in the 20th century. From the tape recorder invention, several years passed before the Walkman hit the market. In comparison, 21st century’s innovation every
20 days is represented in newer and newer versions of mobile phones, software and digital products, among others.
Even the fashion industry has experienced this century’s unsettling detonation. Look at it, decade-wise from the 1950s
to the 1990s, the fl ow of change was harmonious.
Fashion advertising - 1950s   Fashion advertising - 1960s   Fashion advertising - 1970s
Fashion advertising - 1980s   Fashion advertising - 1990s
Then arrives the 21st century’s fashion communication with a bang. The Diesel brand, for example, says “Smart has the brains, Stupid has the balls. Be stupid.” In one of their ads, a boy almost tumbles over a bus window to kiss a girl on the street. Dolce& Gabana shows a woman on the floor, body arched, and 4 men around her suggesting group sex. An
Ungaro woman is sensually enjoying hedonistic pleasure with her hand inside her dress. Tom Ford has two nude couples strewn on the floor; and Calvin Klein jeans portray an orgy as it is happening. Such distractions are pervading almost
every aspect of life, and throughout the world. What was considered appropriate to stay hidden yesterday is out in
the open today.
Diesel Diesel   Dolce & Gabbana Dolce & Gabbana
  emanuel ungaro emanuel ungaro
Tom Ford Tom Ford   Calvin Klein Calvin Klein
Digital Zap at the cusp of the century
When the 1986 born Digital Zap reached the age of 5 in 1991, they were conscious of, and using, digital technology
that had started overwhelming the world. Digital waves were the primary impact for even those born from 1980. That’s why I’m considering everyone below 30 to be Digital Zappers. Tomorrow there may not be Compromise or Retro generations because Digital Zap will continue to drive future generations. It may become Digital Zap Mature, Digital Zap Ripened and Digital Zap Youth.
Century storm
A century storm is what Digital Zap represents, theirs is not a generation change. Engulfed in 21st century’s rapid
change proliferating every societal area, these Digital Zappers have no attachment to anything in any sustaining way.

The Internet, mobile phones have democratized people to people communication globally. Earliers real time continuous communication was a privilege of the few who could afford it and educated enough to use it. Today no cow is sacred; there are no barriers to reaching out, to finding information. Differences in attitude are clearly visible: to get the news Retro reads a newspaper at home, Compromise uses the Internet at offi ce and Zappers stay in touch with an iPad while on the go. To communicate, Retro writes letters, Compromise phones and Zappers text messages.

The more you think, act and align with them, the more you connect to the happenings in the world. Irrespective of whether they are spenders, Digital Zappers are the real inflfl uencers for decision making for every purchase in the family. They are a new civilization of digital connectors; don’t ever consider that they have any gap.

The way the Baby Boomer generation has dominated the second part of the 20th century, Digital Zap is set to revolutionize the 21st century, dictating terms in every sphere.
Reads a newspaper    Writes letters
at home
Gets the news via         Phones
Internet at offi ce
Stays in touch with an  Just texts
messages iPad while on the go
Why are Digital Zappers not connecting to most ads; is the problem the media or the message?
Digital Zappers do not like advertisements. They like symbolic provocation. Advertising of general mass products today is
still largely done in 20th century style. Using new media does not make much sense if the content is not relevant to
Digital Zap. Repetition of advertising with the same message as the classic advertising architecture irritates them. Digital Zappers would rather love to see a single content with changing messages that provoke.
Why brands fail to engage Zappers
Making all business decisions today, Compromise and Retro generations continue to drive 20th century culture in the
21st century.
Like zapping TV channels, Digital Zappers are most comfortable with change, change and rapid change in every aspect of life. Their text messaging is phonetic, and giving vowels a miss is accepted script today. The above 30s may fi nd it jarring, yet their mentality is to co-opt Digital Zapper trends because clearly, discrete numerical form is ruling this digital century that’s become totally Zap driven.

The establishment and its doctrines do not work anymore today. Take the world of high fashion. Chanel, the French
haute couture design house Coco Chanel founded in 1909 had maintained a classical tradition upto the 1990s. Chanel’s rectangular shaped perfume container was so coveted that it was impossible to think it could be disturbed. But even Chanel had to bow to the Digital Zap generation. Their recent perfume called Chance broke Chanel’s classicism by having
a round bottle.
Chanel 5 communication   To contemporarize its brand, Chanel radically changed its dresses, and now stitches jeans for Zap girls. Levis Strauss had popularized the cowboy logo for the jeans back pocket to sport, now Chanel’s “CC”
logo also adorns back pockets of jeans. From archetypical French haute couture to jeans is indeed a daring step. By doing that Chanel has not reduced its brand value, rather it’s been extended to the youth.

Industries that use disruption as a weapon in strategizing for brands, industrial products, retails or in corporate structure design, welcome
the “fresh, young” perspective as a point of differentiation. That’s because such 21st century disruptive strategies help their cash
registers to ring.

Although the century gap is a real, tremendous and visible
phenomenon, it seems to have totally passed certain global brands
by. These are brands of mass daily usage such as Heinz, Coca Cola, Cadbury’s, Mr. Clean, Colgate, Evian and Laughing Cow among others.
They may have very good quarter-to-quarter results, but do the brands keep up with the breakthrough trends the 21st century’s Digital Zap is dazzling us with?

The brands can argue that they are sustaining some old
value, but do the disruptive Digital Zappers connect to
them? Digital Zap may require these products by necessity,
but their aspirational attachment to these products
is questionable.

But cherishing nostalgia is a different subject altogether and always good. There are certain brands and products such as olive oil, whiskey, camembert cheese, or preserves that have better value when they carry the deep-rooted, traditional authenticity. People will always be nostalgic for gourmet or connoisseur items, I’m not questioning that at all.
market research
techniques for 8 socio-behavioural
  It’s socio-behavioural clusters that apply today as we at Shining Consulting have
identified, and created a master research methodology for. Historically, social
stratification from feudal agrarian to socio-economic classifi cation followed
an evolutionary process.

But socio-behavioural clusters that defy all predictable segmentation parameters
is the revolutionary way of researching to measure people’s attitudes, behaviour, motivation and aspiration in the 21st century.

Using Shining’s proprietary tools to fi nd the 8 socio-behavioural clusters, we
have studied this phenomenon every year for the last 10 years and fi nd they
are common to the 3 generations.

We have some non-conformist techniques too, such as suddenly calling for
customer interaction in a coffee shop or the marketplace, without any bias or preparation, to spontaneously identify different socio-behavioural clusters. Quantitatively we have verified the existence and accuracy of such segregation.
Ideation for finding an
individual’s behavioural cluster
Economic condition covers lifecycle, livelihood & lifestyle
Education covers lifecycle, livelihood & lifestyle
Basic drink   Telephone covers livelihood & lifestyle
Food   Automobile covers livelihood & lifestyle
Sex   PC / Laptop covers livelihood & lifestyle
Financial security   Transport covers livelihood & lifestyle
Living shelter   Entertainment
Health   Garments
Hygienic habits   Living style
© Copyright Shining
* Lifecycle (Psychological) : Individual need, desire and action
** Livelihood (Economic) : Connected to making a living
*** Lifestyle (Sociological) : Infl uence of society in living style
Women accessories
Men accessories
This is the way Shining does research in uncommon
areas to unearth the shock of the new
Anuradha researching
in the retail store
with shoppers
  Renee defi ning the
latent trend in the store
with shoppers
  Satchidananda observing
rural india
  Interacting with the children at a school gate in Germany to
understand their trendy desire
  We even spend time in entertainment areas to evaluate behaviour of the three generations
  We observe shopper behaviour
inside a Singapore mall
At the Apple store in Soho, New York, we study how the three generations get involved with digital technology
We observe
how even
a woman
who carries
Louis Vuitton
bag interacts
in Apple’s
5th Avenue,
New York
In Tokyo,
we watch
how techies
with wi-fi
access in
front of a
large electronic store get engrossed
in the digital
How do the 3 generational groups fit with the
8 behavioural clusters?
Digital Zappers supremely infl uence everything, so connecting to them is crucial for the future. The Compromise generation tries hard to follow Digital Zappers to be trendy and “with it” but don’t quite get there as they are a bit “stuffy.” They also feel compelled to satisfy their seniors, so they are truly Compromised in their attitude.

The Retro generation is generally
quite “stiff.” Their complaint is that their grandchildren have lost the
human touch, they are always equipped with ear phones, in front
of computers, never talk even on
the mobile phone, they just send
text messages.

The open minded among the Retro would love to co-opt some infl uence of the Digital Zap, but this number is very low. You may not find many Retros in the Flamboyant, Gizmo lover and Techy socio-behavioural clusters.
Is income a factor for audience segmentation?
For any business, if you follow the traditional socio-economic stratifi cation of customers, you will not go far today. That’s because the 8 socio-behavioural clusters are prevalent across all age groups and generations, all income groups and across all countries and cultural systems. Income is no longer a key factor for purchase of mass products.
The world is moving towards a situation where, at any price point, there has to be cost, quality and aspiration in the selling proposition. Today, even low cost products have trendy aspects. Expensive luxury brands that low income groups cannot
afford should not be advertised in mass areas.
In fact, when luxury brands advertise like mass products, they lose their coveted worth.

Every brand cannot attract every socio-behaviour cluster. For a brand to address all the 8 socio-behavioural clusters, it requires a huge magnifying glass. It has to very clearly unearth the customer behavioural clusters and drive strategic planning accordingly.

There will be immense pressure from low cost trendy brands that is affordable by everybody.
Nike for example would connect to the Critical, Flamboyant, Novelty seeker, Techy and Gizmo lovers. On the other hand Nivea and Nokia would address the Sober, Low key, Value seeker clusters. But the strategy that Swatch watch has created
in the West has been so brilliant that it enviably touches all behavioural clusters. I am sure
Swatch will follow the same path in developing countries too.
Every brand cannot attract every socio-behavioural cluster
NIKE Connects to Critical, Flamboyant, Novelty seeker, Techy and Gizmo lover
Nivea Connects to Sober, Low key, Value seeker and Critical
Nokia Connects to Sober, Low key, Value seeker and Critical
Swatch Swatch watch addresses all 8 socio-behavioural clusters
A few brands corresponding to different clusters
Cost, Quality, Aspiration
Developed countries bulldoze per capita consumption
Nicole is confused with multiple
offerings in food benefit

  In developed countries the consuming base is small. So customers are bulldozed by industry for increase in per capita consumption. Just look at how many types of product benefits the food industry can offer, from functional food to low salt, low fat, organic and sugar free among many others. Does this not confuse Nicole as a customer?

It is amazing that when technology is zipping change through so fast, there is absolute paucity in creative thinking in the digital world. Digitalization is commoditizing every aspect of business. If you take flat television sets, all the brands look more or less the same; so do DVD players and microwave ovens.
These industries are suffering lack of differentiation also because the thinking process of Compromise and Retro generations is not connected to the Digital Zap mentality.
Different brands of TV sets   Different brands of DVD players   Different brands of microwave oven
Nightmare of how to penetrate in developing countries
An illustration using the India market
The over-riding phenomenon in developing countries is how to achieve penetration for a product or service. As population is huge in these countries but infrastructure readiness generally poor, the nightmare is how to reach the billions in remote places. Another challenge is to understand and cater to the vast cultural differences of customers at large.
Unscanned open market   Scanned market
Unscanned open market, all unbranded products,
high conversion
  Mall: Scanned market of branded products
with low conversion
  From one joint family structure to
7 different living conditions

  Young couple
  Young couple

Bachelors living alone
Bachelors living alone
Bachelors living alone

Nuclear family: Only
husband working
Nuclear family
Neo-joint family
Neo-joint family
  Joint family
Joint family
  Nuclear family
  Nuclear family: Retired
couples Husband-wife
working with children
Retired couples
  Retired couples
The behavioural cluster statistics of India
Income group can range from Euro 80 (Rs. 5000) per month to any amount
End-customer percentage in sample size of 1000. Tracking since 1999  
Family composition in India determines multiple things that are very
significant for business growth
  Family size cues the quanity / size of the product
  It clarifies SKU size for efficient supply chain management
  It indicates the price band and sharpens the inventory
  It gives an idea of what products to bundle as special offers
  It helps to maximize space at he retail as per the catchment requirement
  It provides high proximity to different family size buyers and the retailer
Connect human micro detailed behaviour to business
In the 19th century’s geo-political defi nition, the world was divided into developed countries and their many colonies across the globe. The social stratifi cation was feudal, agrarian classes in society. The 20th century saw developed
countries releasing their hold over others whom they called third world countries and later changed semantics to
emerging countries.

For conducting market research to understand customers, socio-economic classifi cation became the prevalent norm. Suddenly in the 21st century, digital media has spread rampantly and impacted to have globalization become the order
of the day.

People and businesses are traversing around the world. This great, global social cauldron has stretched its tentacles to almost every country. The result is that people of all classes and income groups have developed attitude and behavioural stances. So business and research agencies can no longer gauge a person’s spending capacity based on the old parameters of income, education or geography.
Grab the diverse world resume
You can’t use the same research dough
to create different pasta shapes
What do researchers have to do differently because
of socio-behavioural clusters?
esearchers should always have a movie camera in the pocket, and observe and absorb how customers act in different occasions. In customer interactions, researchers have to act as though they are stupid. This way they
can get the customers to talk and explain at length and extract the real essence, instead of just conducting
preconceived, structured research.

At Shining Consulting we have defi ned research to be in 3 steps: Exploratory, Orientation and Convergence. Experiential research with any product or service very strongly gives the socio-behavioural dimension. I have
very often seen researchers go to the market for validation with very strong preparation. So before customers talk, they already establish what they want
to find. This is not right.

Let me reiterate that without delving into the psycho-socio-behavioural context, the diverse world of the 21st century will certainly pass us by. With a global mindframe we need to achieve local proximity to deliver extra benefi t. Research cannot be like the wheat pasta dough that you can put in a machine to get a variety of different shapes of pasta or noodles as per your expectation.
...Just mine
shock of the new
...Global window,
local mind,
latent desire
Research stimuli have to be visual and riveting to extract the latent, and not just be marketing blah, blah... Just remember, the shock of the new is here to stay with us as our constant, every moment companion in the 21st century.
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  The tech-born Digital
Zap generation

(born in 1986 onwards: the span can
go back to 1980 to all below 30 years)

The Compromise

(born after 1965 upto 1980: 30 - 45

The Retro generation
(born before 1965: 45+ years)
  Emerging from Digital Zap, and
existing all across the world are
the 8 socio-behavioural clusters of
Low key              Value seeker
Flamboyant               Critical
                      Novelty seeker
Techy                       Gizmo lover
  Our clients speak on our disruptive platform approach  
Jacques Vincent Azim Premji Keshub Mahindra Harsh Mariwala   Theodore Smyrniotopoules   N C Venu Gopal   Gunender Kapur
Jacques Vincent
Vice Chairman
& COO, Danone
Azim Premji,
Keshub Mahindra
Former Chairman,
Harsh Mariwala
Chairman & MD,
  Theodore Smyrniotopoules
CMO, Delta,
  N C Venu Gopal
Gammon India
  Gunender Kapur
TPG Wholesale
Prince Augustin Sooraj Bhatt Rajesh Jejurikar Vineet Taneja   Vineet Agarwal   Gautam Nagwekar   Prahalada Rao
Prince Augustin
Sr. VP, HR
Sooraj Bhatt
Brand Director,
Allen Solly
Rajesh Jejurikar
Vineet Taneja CEO,
  Vineet Agarwal President, Wipro Consumer Care   Late Gautam Nagwekar
Fmr CEO, M&M
  Prahalada Rao
MD, Sssangyong Motors
Contact us:
Shining Consulting
Phone: +91 98452 09568