Consumer Behavior

Consumer Spending + EVs + Mickey Mouse + Burgers

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US shopping centre vacancies rise to eight-year high: FT reports, increase comes on signs of faltering consumer spending and pressure from ecommerce.

58.4 percent market share for EVs in Norway: In March, fully electric cars made up nearly 60 percent of the new-car market in Norway, a world record. A recent increase in the electric sales coincided with deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3 and Audi’s e-tron. The country aims to end sales of all fossil-fuel vehicles by 2025.

David Perell: What did Gutenberg’s printing press actually change?

Book prices fell. The raw price of books fell by 2.4 percent a year for over a hundred years after Gutenberg.

In places where there was an increase in competition among printers, prices fell swiftly and dramatically. Competition works. When an additional printing firm entered a given city market, book prices there fell by 25%.

Extreme loneliness or the perfect balance? How to work from home and stay healthy: More and more people are working where they live, attracted by the promise of flexibility, efficiency, and no commute. But does this come at a cost to their wellbeing? http://bit.ly/2K3BH4J

How Disney grew its $3 billion Mickey Mouse business–by selling to adults: Apple, Gucci, Kate Spade, Uniqlo, L’Oréal, and Maybelline are just a few of the companies that sell Mickey-branded products for grown-ups. Here’s how Disney made adults fall in love with a cartoon character. http://bit.ly/2K9n3c2

Inside the race to build the burger of the future: Trump says Democrats and environmental wackos are waging a war on beef. But corporations, not politicians or activists, are leading the post-meat revolution. https://politi.co/2K3tgGx

The heart of a swimmer vs. the heart of a runner: Regular exercise changes the look and workings of the human heart. And researchers are discovering that different sports affect the heart differently. https://nyti.ms/2Uwmw7W

It's important because it's getting the most attention....

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So 13 EU nations are supporting China's BRI, Britain can't sort out how to Brexit, and America is consumed with a scam where two C-list celebrities rigged the system to get their progeny into elite universities.

Seems right.

Currently, the US is all about personality trumping policy.

However, as a news story, this is Shakespearean.

This news demands we pay attention - it is simply hired-wired into the lizard brain cultural foundation of America.

It's no wonder the Feds led with Hollywood stars cheating the system and finding more support for children already given amazing support - this is the ultimate narrative and captures attention from the start.

For entrepreneurs and Hollywood stars who deal with sharks daily, the emotional ups and downs of performing, working, and living at the highest levels of America, they wanted a guaranteed process, they were taking no chances.

The pressure to buy academics and credentials in America is real. The idea that being in the right network and around the right alumni is reinforced daily in America.

So they turned to a college entrance professional with a secret sauce and “side door” process to help kids of the wealthy and powerful and connected into highly sought after universities.

This story will be with us for some time. This story is the ultimate narrative and will foster memes, pods, books, movies, and plays.

The charges will shake the high echelons of American academia.

Politicians on the campaign trail will weave this story into their campaign speeches reinforcing us vs. them and reminding voters of the advantages the ultra-rich enjoy in accessing the country’s best colleges.

Students will continue to feel intense competition where merit alone may not be enough to assure admission, even for students with perfect grade-point averages and stellar resumes, to the most sought after schools.

It's a heck of a story, but possibly not the most important story this week.

Your lizard brain is a heck of a news editor.

-- Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader strategy and management for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. He is the founder of Brigadoon (thebrigadoon.com) and Caracal Global (caracal.global).