Monday I went to Gravity Summit at UC Irvine. I’d first heard about Gravity Summit when I went to the Tweetup after the UCLA conference. I got to meet one of the founders, Rodney Rumford, as well as some of the speakers, like Angie Swartz, as well as some other interesting people. So when I received an invitation to attend their UC Irvine event, I was excited to head down and learn more.
There was a great morning keynote by the author of The Brand Bubble, John Gerzema, who talked about the way consumers’ mindsets have shifted with the economic crisis and how brands are responding. His presentation had tons of great examples, and I’ve embedded it below (you can click on the slides with tiled images/logos to get to the examples). He discussed the shift toward do-it-yourself, consumer empowerment and a liquid, streamlined life. He also talked about the recent shift in focus to modesty (or at least the appearance of it), and value and ethics consciousness among consumers.
Another great talk was Domino’s Pizza franchisee Ramon De Leon (@dpzramon) who talked about how he has used social media to boost sales in his 6 Chicago stores. His story goes way beyond posting specials on Twitter — this guy is a social media machine, connecting with local universities and clubs on Facebook, posting 12 seconds videos about the potholes around town and just generally using his infectious love for people, pizza and connecting to create more sales for his stores. He also likes to add a personal touch and goes to deliver pizzas himself, or brings his managers and cooks along, too. He’s always thinking about how he can leverage an opportunity to sell pizza, and he’s completely available to his Chicago community.
There were other presentations about how Twitter changes the game of business marketing, how to create a passionate community, analytics tools to help find, reach and influence your market, and more. In all, it was a great day, and I met a lot of wonderful people.