The Zero Moment of Truth

At what point does push come to shove?
At what moment does a dedicated small business owner throw their hands up in the air and beg for community mercy? We are right now at ground zero and most of you don’t even realize. Whatever has happened to helping our community as a whole, whatever happened to our pride of place, our relationships with the butcher, the baker, the coffee maker??
There are only a few things in life that affect us all; birth, marriage & death…however we all still have to shop for food. The ‘zero moment of truth’ is the critical moment consumers realize that they need something; you know where you are going and what you are going to buy. The ‘first moment of truth’ is when you are ready to make a purchase, but start to second guess what you are buying. It is the ‘cloud of doubt’ that hangs over us due to; shelf placement, labels, colour, specials. This is due to the shop wanting your business, needing your business, and engaging your presence in that particular shop. The ‘second moment of truth’ is you have made your purchase, you are home and using that product and evaluating if it was worth it, does it represent what you were looking for, does it meet or exceed your expectation. This is a sentiment…a feeling… is there quality here, did it cost too much?

The ‘Ultimate moment of truth’ shapes your experience, what are you saying of such experience with friends and family, so where and why does the relationship between consumer and community break down? Why are the businesses on the mountain suffering when they provide so many experiences and incentives to shop locally?
Small business is wanting, needing and trying to engage you, business owners try to walk a day in the life of those who they want to build relationships with, and will try any means of obtaining just a fragment of ‘something’, but not gain a whole lot of anything. That’s why free wifi, shop apps, coupons, loyalty cards, discounts, complimentary chocolates, are out there, small business need influence on the ‘zero moment of truth’, it all starts at this moment.

Why is the community making the decision to shop outside the local square? Why is it easier to shop in one shop where prices are inflated and the specials are on products that we don’t need; chips and chocolate not bread, rice, or onions. Why are we choosing to buy shop branded products? Why do we whinge so loudly and let our actions continue to feed this behaviour?

An awakening for me was after my yearly visit home I was stunned at the huge momentum to be a part of the wider community, all at least while being anonymous. The culture, the effort, their pride of place was almost crushing. I wondered why this was so evident here….with this place being known for its economical hardships, with the jobs leaving the state and never coming back..Along with the people.. But yet they are vigilant, and determined to see at least one thing succeed; small business. It’s all due to the rolling influence of Generation C. C stands for connected, community, contact. The biggest demographic of all; cross generational, multiple age groups, this is where human nature becomes one. Everyone can be a part of this. There is a shift here that sees the Gen C community going back to the local corner grocer, buying fresh ham off the bone, purchasing fruit and veg from the independent, and buying their wine & cider with the stamp of “Made in Tasmania” approval. It’s not about what price is best, for this state it’s about sticking together, because they know if they don’t they will lose to the big stores and lose the essence of what Tasmania is all about. Everyone should have the chance to open something special, purchasing brands that are niche, trying something different, spoiling themselves with quality, for there is not much else going on.
I found this not just in Tasmania but other country towns as well, recently in Bathurst, I came across the same aura of Gen C shopping locally with pride.. the local food co-op, the many fruit shops, the beautiful butchers with lovely deli lines, condiments and accompaniments, the grocer where you can buy French cheese, locally grown figs, walnuts, quinces and the freshest seafood and artisan breads.

Take a deep breath business owners, because until the community here comes together to embrace the new Generation C, you will still be competing with the goliath up the road. Short of giving the customers cash for coming in, there is not much else they can give. So engage your local businesses, bring the Generation C to the front of our minds; connect, community, contact. Gen C is not about the group, it’s about the actions.