Following a ten-year study of hundreds of thousands of consumers across America, Australia and Britain, The Social Intelligence Group identified a group of individuals fundamentally different to the rest of society on every continent. Members of this group have a greater propensity to spend and tastes and preferences that mark them out as distinct from the population as a whole. We call them NEOs, short for the New Economic Order. NEOs, and their closely related subset Evolvers,...
Following a ten-year study of hundreds of thousands of consumers across America, Australia and Britain, The Social Intelligence Group identified a group of individuals fundamentally different to the rest of society on every continent. Members of this group have a greater propensity to spend and tastes and preferences that mark them out as distinct from the population as a whole. We call them NEOs, short for the New Economic Order.
NEOs, and their closely related subset Evolvers, add up to just 46 per cent of the American population, but together, they are responsible for an astonishing 77 percent of discretionary spending. We call the other 54 percent of the population Traditionals.
NEOs and Traditionals are so radically different that they might as well come from different planets. This discovery leads us away from the 'one world' view that assumes all consumers are fundamentally the same and toward a landscape where NEOs and Traditionals exist galaxies apart, divided by a space in which businesses can stagnate and even die.
This book describes the development of the algorithm that led to the discovery of this new model, independently evaluated by accounting giant KPMG, compared to standard U.S. research models like Yankelovich and declared the most robust and usable model available.
The distinct characteristics and spending patterns of NEOs, Evolvers and Traditionals are explained. The book then outlines the social and economic factors that contributed to the relatively recent emergence of NEOs and the development of the NEO Economy.
The unique understanding of these different types of consumers, backed by the research from the Social Intelligence Group, is used to explain the success and failure of many businesses. The white-knuckle ride of Apple's early years is retold against an increasingly polarizing consumer landscape. The preferences and spending patterns of NEOs and Evolvers, again backed by relevant data, is then used to account for the fluctuating fortunes of Starbucks.
The preferences and spending patterns of NEOs and Evolvers also has implications for the funding of start-ups, a point illustrated by the retelling of the story of PJ's, a UK smoothie company lauded as a corporate success when rapidly escalating post launch sales resulted in it being bought out by Tropicana. Management decisions were made that allowed PJ's to be outflanked by NEO upstart Innocent, however, and PJ's disappeared altogether.
NEOs and Evolvers have a radically different sense of what constitutes 'worth it', and this is explained with the success of Zappos and Patagonia used to demonstrate their values in action.
The untapped reservoirs of demand revealed by the discovery of NEOs and Evolvers suggests the potential to remake the American economy by developing businesses and investing in start-ups based on their distinct preferences. This will in turn create jobs and override the negative impacts of globalization. This point is illustrated by the growth in the US micro-brewing industry. This now employs two and a half times the number of people employed on American soil than technology giant Apple.
An extra one per cent of GDP is enough to help America out of its current economic crisis. The book then explains how this could be achieved by a three percent increase in NEO spending. The untapped reservoir of demand shows this is possible.
The book ends with a chapter outlining the new rules of the new road; an explanation of the essential foundations of NEO businesses and the elements that unlock the spending of NEOs and Evolvers.
Is the head of the Social Intelligence Group and CEO of Fingerprint Strategies. After working in finance for a number of years he built an espresso business in his native England, despite being told that no one would ever pay $2 for coffee in a paper cup by business experts. He then moved to North America and developed a thriving real estate company by applying the consumer insights that came out of the research from the Social Intelligence Group that led to the discovery of the NEO Economy. Chris took the discovery of NEOs and turned it into a blueprint for rebuilding the American economy and driving change on a massive scale by harnessing the spending power of 113 million people largely misunderstood by businesses, politicians and economists.
Ross is an internationally published author and social scientist. He became a recognized authority on the impact of a rapidly changing social fabric through his leadership role as a director at KPMG (Asia Pacific) between 1997 and 2001. Prior to KPMG he was a research director and business strategist, working with a number of large corporations. Ross developed the algorithm that revealed the existence of NEOs and the NEO Economy. He has previously written three business books, two narrative non-fiction books and is working on his sixth book, a novel titled Angel’s Trumpet.