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From Fear of Missing Out to Joy of Missing Out

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

In an ever connected world where some feel compelled to check into a location or check out of a retailer and even stay engaged in work and personal conversations 24 hours a day, there was bound to be some backlash to the tether that ties us to our phones and computers.

For several years, marketers have spoken of the “Fear of Missing Out”—a feeling that sometimes drives people to squeeze too many activities and obligations into their day. This year, a new term will populate the lips of marketers and leading edge consumers alike, JOMO, or the “Joy of Missing Out.”

JOMO is a response to the intangible obligation that many of us feel towards our phones, tablets, and computers. It’s an interesting build on some of the ideas we saw last year around ‘Nosocializing” (not socializing with the people you’re with because you are on your phone), but takes it one step further.

JOMO not only diagnoses the problem our myopic tech focus, but it implies a reward to us for breaking free from our tech addiction and encourages eye contact and some personal time to breath, think, and enjoy life.More info on JOMO can be found here.

But will this de-connecting change the way people shop?

If one’s phone becomes secondary to the experience at hand, will their phone still be a price checking/review seeking tool or will consumers come to rely more on POP signage, associate guidance and product displays? Will they be less likely to share unique retail experiences via social media and amongst their friends?

More importantly, we as shopper marketers must recognize the power of this trend and give ourselves permission to move away from social media tie-ins, QR codes, and other digital tools that have proliferated the aisles of retailers across the world.

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