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Gen Z Searches for Businesses on TikTok
The social media app isn’t just about watching videos. It’s increasingly about discovery, and that’s likely to have an impact on how businesses market themselves.
Here are today’s highlights:
A CEO says it’s time for business owners to take a stand.
A Massachusetts law blocking employers from requesting salary histories may have backfired.
Starbucks says it is closing locations out of concern for customer and employee safety.
Rising inflation and fears of recession are not reducing demand for air travel.
Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search: “The TikTok threat to Google’s business isn’t just limited to YouTube, as it turns out. Core Google services, including Search and Maps, are also being impacted by a growing preference for social media and videos as the first stop on younger users’ path to discovery, a Google exec acknowledged today, speaking at an industry event. Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organization, referenced the popular social apps in a broader conversation at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference about the future of Google’s products and its use of AI. In a discussion about the evolution of search, he somewhat offhandedly noted that younger users were now often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes.”
“‘In our studies, something like almost 40 percent of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,’ he continued. ‘They go to TikTok or Instagram.’”
“That means all the work Google did over the years to organize, curate and recommend various businesses — such as local restaurants — or its creation of discovery tools inside Google Maps — could be lost on these younger internet users.” READ MORE
Companies are segregating politically: “The genius of market democracies, as opposed to socialist or authoritarian regimes, is supposed to be their separation of the economic and political spheres. The free exchange of goods ties people together regardless of partisan affiliation, while political conflict is contained within institutions designed to manage it. That separation is breaking down, with bitter implications for markets and democracy alike.”
“The study found that political differences within management teams have meaningfully decreased. Firms are increasingly likely to be dominated either by Republican or Democratic executives.”
“This political segregation accelerated after 2016, and geography plays a role. ‘Executives in Texas and Ohio are becoming more Republican,’ the authors found, ‘whereas executives in California and New York are becoming more Democratic.’”
“‘Misaligned’ executives — Democrats on Republican-majority executive teams, or Republicans on Democratic-majority teams — are more likely to leave a company in a given year.” READ MORE
Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, says it’s time for business owners to take a stand: “I have a shotgun. I am anti-assault weapons. I grew up and raised my family in Highland Park. Assault weapons are not needed outside of the police and military. Before the haters say, Linkedin is a business site, not social. One, I’m not so sure that’s true anymore from all the posts I read. Two, supporting this legislation is business, and I’ll explain.”
“If our employees feel safe, they are better employees. Period. If they are safe, our business is better. Period. If we do what’s right as leaders, our people will respect us. That’s good business.”
“If business leaders don’t speak up when needed, what’s the point of being leaders?” READ MORE
Starbucks says it is closing 16 locations out of safety concerns for customers and employees: “The closures involve six locations in Los Angeles, six in and around Seattle, two in Portland, Ore., one in Philadelphia and the Union Station store in Washington, D.C. Although the spokeswoman declined to specify individual incidents that prompted the closures, on Monday, Starbucks executives acknowledged that workers have encountered a deluge of problems, some related to drug use, mental health and racism in the neighborhoods they serve.”
“It’s not unusual for Starbucks to close — and open — locations, although the reason given for shuttering such a large number appears novel for the company.”
“According to its latest annual report, Starbucks operates 8,941 stores in the U.S. It closed 424 locations in the last fiscal year, though it opened 449 and moved 19 stores in the same time frame.” READ MORE
A Massachusetts law prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their salary histories seems to have backfired: “Massachusetts passed an equal pay law in 2016 aimed at closing the gender wage gap. So far the opposite has happened. Census data indicates the gap has widened by two cents since the law took effect with women in Massachusetts making 81 cents for every dollar a man takes home.”
“There could be many reasons, but some advocates are pointing to a chief provision of that 2016 equal pay law, which prohibited employers from asking job candidates about salary history. The thinking was that women’s wages are historically lower than men’s, so asking about previous pay may perpetuate their lower salaries.”
“Instead employers began asking a different question: What are your salary expectations? You can guess what happened next. White male candidates tended to overestimate their earning power, while women and people of color underestimated.”
“[Megan Driscoll, founder of life sciences staffing firm PharmaLogics Recruiting], who now runs her own consulting firm, said the legislation originally included a provision requiring companies to show a salary range with job postings. That got scuttled during negotiations, and it’s something she’s hoping lawmakers will bring back in a bill on Beacon Hill this session designed to strengthen the equal pay statute.” READ MORE
Inflation and fears of recession are not reducing demand for air travel: “But higher expenses and staffing shortages are hampering the nation’s airlines as they seek to take full advantage of the rebound. Delta Air Lines is the latest to rein in its plans. On Wednesday, Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive, said that although demand was strong, the airline would fly the rest of the year at the levels it operated in June. The aim is to limit delays and cancellations, which have been problematic in recent weeks.”
“‘While the demand and revenue landscape is the best we’ve seen, the operational environment for the entire industry remains uniquely challenged,’ Mr. Bastian said on a call with industry analysts and reporters.” READ MORE
Brewers are being hurt by a shortage of cans—especially in California: “Cans are in short supply nationally, creating an unforeseen headache for brewers and driving up prices for drinkers. A variety of factors are driving the shortage, including pandemic lockdowns that curtailed manufacturing, supplier upheavals and a canned cocktail boom that increased demand for aluminum. Another reason: California’s creaking recycling system can’t collect enough cans, one consequence of a program that has been crippled by redemption center closures and out-of-date policies that have made it harder for people to recycle effectively. The chronic shortage highlights how an overlooked link in the supply chain — trash — can hamstring a beloved, and booming, industry.”
“Experts said the beer business could come to a standstill without a steady supply of cans, and smaller businesses are the most vulnerable.”
“Amid the shortage, one of the biggest can makers in the U.S, Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corp., said last fall that it would no longer handle small or even mid-size orders.”
“Ball implemented a minimum order of five truckloads, which is like 5 million cans,’ said Bart Whipple, supply-chain manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico. ‘[For] smaller places, that’s a lifetime supply.’ READ MORE
Big investors are making big bets on companies addressing climate change: “The newest wager is on a Nebraska startup trying to upend the burgeoning industry of clean hydrogen with a process that uses natural gas but traps carbon by producing an ingredient vital for everyday products like car tires. Investors including BlackRock and NextEra Energy are putting more than $300 million into Monolith, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. The investment adds to a summer flood of money that is trying to turn hydrogen into a pillar of the energy transition.”
“Pressure on companies to lower their carbon footprints and falling prices for wind and solar power have shifted the economics of green hydrogen. Fossil-fuel and fertilizer shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unleashed the recent frenzy.”
“The hydrogen industry is where wind and solar were several years ago, before technology improved and costs fell, Chief Executive Rob Hanson said. ‘It’s becoming a real sector now,’ he said. ‘It is the latest one that has gotten over that real initial phase of acceptance.’” READ MORE
The children of immigrants do very well in the U.S.: “A new book, ‘Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success,’ by two economists, Prof. Ran Abramitzky of Stanford and Prof. Leah Boustan of Princeton, should undercut some of the fearmongering. They linked census records to pull together what they call ‘the first set of truly big data about immigration.’ Using the data set, Professor Abramitzky and Professor Boustan were able to compare the income trajectories of immigrants’ children with those of people whose parents were born in the United States. The economists found that on average, the children of immigrants were exceptionally good at moving up the economic ladder.”
“First, the children had an easy time outdoing parents whose careers were inhibited by poor language skills or a lack of professional credentials. The classic example is an immigrant doctor who winds up driving a cab in the United States.”
“Second, immigrants tended to settle in parts of the country experiencing strong job growth. That gave them an edge over native-born Americans who were firmly rooted in places with faltering economies. Immigrants are good at doing something difficult: leaving behind relatives, friends and the familiarity of home in search of prosperity.”
“The economists found that native-born Americans who do what immigrants do — move toward opportunity — have children who are just as upwardly mobile as the children of immigrants.” READ MORE
THE 21 HATS PODCAST
How Would You Spend $10,000 a Month on Marketing? Shawn Busse, Hans Schrei, and Sarah Segal explain what they would do with an extra $10,000 a month to spend on marketing. As we all know, there’s a lot going on right now. No one’s entirely certain where the economy is headed, and no one’s entirely certain where digital marketing is headed. So it seemed like a good time to ask our regulars where they would place their bets if we offered them each an imaginary pot of money to promote their brands. Spoiler alert: Their responses gave us a good sense of what these business owners think is working right now—and it’s definitely not billboards.
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If you see a story that business owners should know about, hit reply and send me the link. If you got something out of this email, you can click the heart symbol, you can click the comment icon below, and you can share it with a friend. Thanks for reading, everyone. — Loren