The Flight To Quality — and Value

The Flight To Quality” is an investment term for when investors move their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. In The New Normal I write about, I believe we are seeing a flight to quality across a broad spectrum of business: media & marketing, retail, entertainment, sports and more. And I believe it takes the form of a a “Flight To Quality…and VALUE“.

Sometimes it is truly about quality and less about price…Take for example the recent case where a package of bed linens bargain-priced for $35.00 at Kmart sold significantly LESS than a quite similar package at Pottery Barn that was priced at $129.00. Was this because upper middle class shoppers at Pottery Barn are spending more freely in the recession than lower middle class shoppers at Kmart? Maybe — but actually I believe it was because the Pottery Barn product was higher quality, longer lasting and therefore ultimate a better value.

Similarly, look at what has happened to the live entertainment industry in 2010. (See WSJ article.) A shockingly large number of high profile, major tour dates were canceled by some of the world’s best selling music artists: The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, The Dixie Chicks and others. The reason? Low ticket sales. The reasons cited were (i) the artists were touring too much (over-saturating their market) and (ii) they weren’t releasing any new music (no new albums). So the public said: “These tickets are expensive, really. I saw this artist last year, and he/she doesn’t have a new record.  It’s not worth it.”

“It’s not worth it.” The attitude and outlook of the New Normal is defined by the question: “Is it worth it?”

  • In Sports: “Is it worth it to re-up and continue being a season ticket subscriber in the face of my team’s lousy management and escalating ticket prices?” see NY Times piece on personal seat licenses
  • In Media and Marketing: “Is it worth it to re-up and spend lavishly on traditional (read: expensive) media buys like radio, TV and print? Or should I shift my focus even more to measurable media online and in the mobile space, where I can calculate my ROI?” WSJ 9/23/2010

The margin for error has gotten smaller. And whether you’re buying sheets, tickets or advertising, these days you are going to buy:

  1. what works
  2. what lasts
  3. what provides the most VALUE

Sometimes it is about lower price, sometimes it’s not. But making sure you get what you want and need has never been more relevant.

Sir Richard Branson. “Our businesses need to be innovative, maintain a certain quality, be value for money and have a sense of fun.

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About samkimball

We are living in a transitional period where the Internet, now established, is going through adolescence. No longer the new kid on the block, the web is now central to the world of media and marketing. And yet traditional media, though in decline, is still important. It still reaches and influences many millions of consumers. Those who succeed in Marketing 2.0 will skillfully combine digital with traditional. There’s a lot of game yet to be played… About Me I am a veteran of the digital media world and have also spent time working for traditional media giants. In 1999 I left BMG Entertainment and joined a web startup called NextAudio.com. One of the original developers of Internet-delivered, personalized radio. From there I did stints as Director of New Media at Clear Channel and VP, Strategic Sales at Internet Broadcasting/NBC Television. In 2006, after 4 years as head of Business Development at Emmis Communications in New York (where I tripled the sponsorship business), I spun off the company’s concert and event division into Marquee Concerts. 6 years later Marquee is a leading regional player in the concert industry, producing 70 events per year. I now head up the Advertising and Brand Sales business at Livestream, the market leader for real time event coverage. With simple to use technology, our platform allows anyone to broadcast live to the web, as well as being the top destination for live content from around the world. Our content partners include Facebook, The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, Associated Press, HBO, AT&T, PepsiCo, Electronic Arts, Adidas, The Academy Awards, Warner Bros. Records, Paramount Pictures. Livestream operates with over 120 full-time staff members in 4 offices—in New York, Los Angeles, Bangalore, and the Ukraine. The service is available for free (advertising-supported) or as a feature-rich, monetizable, premium subscription for business. The New Livestream (in beta as of Oct. 27, 2011) is an innovative new platform, that combines live event coverage with real-time photos, text, and video clip updates posted using web browsers or mobile devices. The technology supports live blogging, live and on-demand video, and real-time posting tools. CONTACT 347-931-4340 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/samkimball Twitter: http://twitter.com/SamKimball
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