Companies increasingly complain about a new band of “mysterious” consumers whose behavior is challenging the very foundation of modern consumer economies: materialistic aspirations. There is less interest in “things”. Designer labels are not the turn‐on like they were a few years ago. Despite significant means, many shoppers are passing up Lord & Taylor for Wal‐Mart. An especially valuable resource for these and other changes in consumer behavior that are altering the rules for successful marketplace engagement is the annals of adult development psychology. Epochal changes taking place in leading consumer behaviors owe much to the common midlife shift toward to self‐actualization.
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