retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There has been a lot of discussion here on MNB - and in a lot of other places - about the changing American demographic, and what that means to marketers.

It was therefore interesting to read the other day that the film rights to the book "How Starbucks Saved My Life," by Michael Gates Gill, have been acquired by The Weinstein Company, producer of films such as The King's Speech. The book was the true story of how a child of privilege fell on hard times and found himself working at Starbucks, and how doing everything from cleaning bathrooms to making lattes reshaped his world view and sense of self-worth.

At one point, the Gates book was supposed to star Tom Hanks in the leading role. However, that may not happen anymore - Hanks instead made the similarly themed but utterly execrable Larry Crowne, and so he likely won't want to return to that particular well, since not only was Larry Crowne awful, but nobody went to see it.

But what was interesting was the way that the film website Deadline.com described the demographic context in which the story takes place:

"It’s Gill’s account of how falling on hard times and actually having to get a job and work for a living gave him a new perspective and generally saved him from a life of behaving like an entitled goon. Suddenly he has to answer to someone who is younger than him, has darker skin, and is equipped with lady parts; he has to actually do manual labor in order to receive a paycheck, and once he gets said check he has to put real thought into how to make his meager wages sustain his life.

"It’s the sort of situation that’s bound to teach someone how to be humble, how to respect others, and what’s actually important in life."
KC's View:
That's a passage worth paying attention to, because it speaks volumes about how businesses and customer are changing...

Suddenly he has to answer to someone who is younger than him, has darker skin, and is equipped with lady parts; he has to actually do manual labor in order to receive a paycheck, and once he gets said check he has to put real thought into how to make his meager wages sustain his life ... It’s the sort of situation that’s bound to teach someone how to be humble, how to respect others, and what’s actually important in life.

Welcome to America, circa 2013. Tougher for some, and more diverse for all.