Michael Solomon Profile

Michael Solomon partners with marketers and leaders to help them understand the minds of today’s consumers in our volatile economy. Nothing keeps business leaders up at night more than knowing how quickly their brand can be negatively impacted.

Regardless of the size of a company, fully understanding consumer behavior is paramount to not only surviving in today’s market, but also thriving. This is exactly why Michael is THE go-to expert when it comes to knowing the psychology of the buyer, he’s been studying consumer behavior for decades, across all generations. He understands that today’s buyer is NOT your cookie cutter consumer.

Michael’s presentations provide a visual excursion into the minds of consumers and what influences them to buy. Michael’s latest book, “The New Chameleons: How to Connect with Consumers Who Defy Categorization,” recently won the NYC Big Book Award for the Marketing & Sales/PR category.  The book  stitches the trends of today to the future of consumerism in a way that is both provocative and inspiring.

The marketing guru Philip Kotler summed it up when he stated, “Solomon has the mind of a scientist and the writing flair of a journalist.

Michael advises global clients in leading industries such as apparel and footwear (Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Under Armour, Timberland), financial services and e-commerce (eBay, Progressive), CPG (Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s), retailing (H&M), sports (Philadelphia Eagles), manufacturing (DuPont, PP&G) and transportation (BMW, United Airlines) on marketing strategies to make them more consumer-centric. He regularly appears on television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN to comment on consumer issues, and he is frequently quoted in major media outlets such as The New York Times, USA TodayAdweek and Time.

As a Professor of Marketing (in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia) and an industry consultant, Michael combines cutting edge academic theory with actionable real-world strategies. He helps managers get inside the heads of their customers so they can anticipate and satisfy their deepest and most pressing needs – today and tomorrow. An executive at Subaru said it best: “The man is a scholar who is current and street-wise.”

Michael Solomon Speaking Videos

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Michael Solomon's Speech Descriptions

The New Chameleons: Unlock Marketing’s Old Cages to Profit from Disruption

Fundamental categories that form the bedrock of marketing strategy and customer insights simply no longer exist. Today’s consumer is like a chameleon that changes its identity constantly, often with the help of the brands you (and your competitors) market. You need to understand “the new chameleons,” so you don’t get left in the dust. Unlock the cages that marketers try to keep their customers in, and let those chameleons run free!

In this program you will learn:
- How you can reach today’s consumers, who plug into a “hive mind” that tells them what to buy.
- Why the debate about “offline versus online” marketing strategies is useless.
- How to market with rather than market to your customers.
- Why the boundary between our bodies and machines no longer exists.
- Why your customers rely upon your brands to tell them who they are.
- How to develop new killer products and services by unlocking your industry’s cages.

Step on the G.A.S. (Gratification, Agency & Stability): Consumer Behavior in The New Normal

The Pandemic will change our world for years after the virus disappears. We’ll have to rethink and modify our purchase decisions, large and small. Some disruptions in consumer/marketer relationships that already were looming will come faster and more decisively. How do we define brand value? How should companies talk to customers? How do people function in an emerging gig economy where every encounter might be fatal? How do we redefine what it means to go to work or to socialize?
You’ll learn why you need to step on the GAS to modify your offerings in light of the new drivers of consumer behavior.

The Many Faces of AI: Persuasive Salesbots and Tomorrow’s Customer Experience

Everyone is buzzing about Artificial Intelligence these days, as well as they should. Machines that “think” for us already are transforming how we work, play – and shop. McKinsey tells us that some 29 million U.S. homes used some form of smart technology last year, and that number grows by over 30 percent a year.

Many organizations now deploy robots, avatars and chatbots to perform tasks we used to ask flesh-and-blood people to do. This suddenly makes the age-old question of what makes us human much less theoretical. Self-driving cars threaten to replace truck drivers. IBM’s Watson beats chess masters and veteran Jeopardy game show contestants. Movies and TV shows like Blade Runner, Westworld, and Humans that focus on the civil rights of synths, replicants and androids are center stage in popular culture. Alexa and Siri are our new guardian angels.

Walk a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes
The customer is king (or queen). Yet the best product or service will fail if consumers don’t have a positive encounter when they consume it. That’s because what you sell is NOT a product – it’s an experience that consists of the core offering plus everything that goes with it. This includes the physical or digital environment where shoppers find it, the people who sell it, and even how others react to the purchase. This experience is what attracts – or repels – the customer. With so many options available, he or she will quickly walk away from a negative encounter. But he or she also will reward organizations that provide satisfying experiences with long-term loyalty.

This fundamental insight is what is drives increased interest in customer experience management (CEM or CXM). A growing number of organizations now recognize the importance of tracking every interaction with customers as if it is their last – because it could be. You’ll get a thorough overview of today’s consumer, and the major issues we need to understand in order to create and maintain a positive customer experience over the long-term.

We Really ARE What We Wear: How The Psychology of Fashion Influences Consumer Behavior

That insight is crucial for any industry that touches consumers. Customers literally choose from thousands of options – and most of them have very little to do with functionality. However, that doesn’t make these decisions unimportant by any means. The selection of a watch, a bracelet, a pair of glasses or many other items reflects deep-seated values and beliefs about appearance and the consumer’s identity. We can think of the body as a canvas, where the shopper chooses from a “palette” of accessory items, apparel, footwear, cosmetics and other products to paint a picture s/he wants the world to see at a fixed moment in time. Marketers need to dig deeper if they want to sync their offerings with what their customers seek.

In this presentation, we’ll look at some of the powerful cultural forces that influence how consumers use a range of products to make “statements” about themselves.

The Young and the Restless: Capture the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Millennials

U.S. Millennials spend $600 billion per year, but their choices change faster than Lady Gaga changes her outfits. How can you adapt to connect with these “always on” but always changing shoppers?

What People are Saying about Seeing Michael Speak

Rating Entries

“I knew Michael’s presentation was a big success when our attendees took out their phones and started snapping photos of his slides! Michael’s presentation includes a mix of history, pop culture and statistics that kept the room engaged.”
– Karen Giberson, President, Accessories Council

“Michael was phenomenal at MARsum USA 2021! With rapidly evolving consumer behavior and demands after COVID-19, choosing Michael as our opening keynote speaker was a natural, obvious choice owing to his expert authority on this subject and of course, his treasury of effective brand-building strategies. Flawlessly eloquent, he completely reigned over the stage with his natural, engaging style and kept the audience hooked throughout his two keynotes which focused on building & sustaining fashion brands and the untapped potential of AI-powered salesbots. His content was loaded with actionable insights, well-researched stats, market predictions, AND he also managed to make us learn, think, and laugh at the same time! Getting him back for our next edition would be a no-brainer.”
–Sagar Sharma, MARsum World

“The Digital Summit team organized a virtual conference in the middle of a pandemic and knew we’d need a consumer behavior expert to talk about the significant impact on the business landscape. With years of experience in understanding today’s consumer, Michael Solomon delivered a wonderful talk that was educational & practical! He presented senior marketers with knowledge that’ll help shape their future marketing strategies and engage more authentically with audiences.”
–Kayal Rajendran, Content and Programming, Digital Summit Series

“Michael Solomon delivered a timely and thought-provoking talk on how we should all be thinking about the consumer in the new semi-normal, giving us a view that brought together his real-world experience through his consulting with numerous multi-national companies/brands that are all trying to navigate through the pandemic. He took a lot of disparate information and packaged it into digestible, understandable components and then told us how to apply the lessons learned to our businesses. He not only identifies the issue, but also delivers on the solution. We look forward to hearing from Michael again as the situation we all find ourselves in evolves.”
–Jeff Kaufman, President, Home Fashion Products Association

“Michael was a great speaker who shared his expertise in an engaging and thoughtful manner. He set the tone for collaborative conversation with other speakers and was wonderful to work with!”
-Kristine Englert, Director, Enterprise Marketing, True Fit Corporation

“Michael was one of the first speakers we contacted after deciding to organize a webinar for entrepreneurs, employees, and students, focusing on educating the companies on reflecting, planning, and rethinking their business policies in a COVID-19 world. We were ecstatic when he agreed to be our Keynote speaker as we knew his insight into consumer behavior post pandemics would be of great use to the audience. We were right! Attendees loved Michael’s lecture and we immediately received so many emails demanding that we share his presentation online. His talk was very informativ and he engagingly delivered highly relevant business content. We received many comments from the audience that his lecture has significantly helped them quickly adapt to the new market rules. We were so happy with him as a presenter, and we are already in talks about having him as our Keynote speaker next year.”
– Ena Radončić, Project Manager, Adriatic Branding Conference

“Michael was a wonderful speaker to work with this year as we moved our event three different times to different cities. Through the process, he stood by us and was easy to rely on. Michael enlightened our attendees on what to expect in the “new normal” now that Covid-19 has affected our lives and our work. Michael received great feedback and we look forward to working with him again!”
– Tinsley Flint, Meetings Manager, CONNECT 2020

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Books by Michael Solomon:

The New Chameleons: How to Connect with Consumers Who Defy Categorization

Consumers are changing but the marketing categories used to identify them have not. Engage with this new generation of consumers who increasingly take for granted that products and advertising will blend their multiple brand identities rather than market to them as a specific subculture.

Male or female, work or play, online or offline. These and other market categories are no longer relevant as modern consumers defy traditional boundaries and identify as members of multiple subcultures. The New Chameleons reveals how to engage with this new generation and how to stand out among the competition.

Global consumer behavior expert Michael R. Solomon directs marketers to move beyond their traditional categories and communicate with consumers as individuals rather than as a market segment. He explains how traditional marketing is based on the assumption of boundaries between us and them, the individual and the collective, producer and consumer, work and play, humans vs. computers, and editorial vs. commercial. He then shows how those boundaries are blurring: people identify with members of multiple subcultures; individuals seek collective advice before making a purchase; consumers no longer distinguish between purchases online or in-store; consumer-generated content becomes the norm; gender identity is fluid; gamification strategies turn work into play; and identity marketing becomes more popular.

Combining history, data, experience and examples, The New Chameleons is written for every marketer (or reader) who wants to offer products and services that resonate with consumers now and in the future.

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