Survey Finds Brands Struggle to Connect With Gen Z Consumers


It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with Generation Z consumers as they move from store to web to mobile to social and back again with unprecedented agility.

A recent IBM study of 15,000 Gen Z shoppers, titled “Disruptive and Distinctive, Gen Z Shoppers Are Growing Up” found the following:

  • Despite living largely digital lives, 67 percent of Gen Z prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store all the time, with another 31 percent preferring to shop in-store sometimes.
  • 66 percent frequently use more than one device and 60 percent will not use an app or website if it is too slow to load.
  • Gen Zers demand highly personalized interactions, value quality over price and want to be engaged with the brand across all channels.

The study found that the cohort represents $44 billion in estimated buying power.

“Despite their young ages, members of Generation Z already hold unprecedented influence over family purchasing decisions and wield enormous economic power, ” reported IBM. “Retail and consumer products brands must engage the upcoming Gen Zers now to prosper tomorrow.”


In a separate customer experience study of more than 500 brands in 24 countries, IBM found that businesses are struggling to deliver on the expectations of consumers:

  • Only 19 percent of retailers can provide a highly personalized digital shopping experience
  • Only 17 percent can provide more than in stock/out of stock information.
  • 84 percent did not offer any in-store mobile services.

“In this new era of customer engagement, what will separate the winners from everyone else is a differentiated brand experience that delivers high impact engagements with compelling personalization regardless of where the customer is,” said Harriet Green, GM IBM Watson Customer Engagement, in a press release. “With Watson Cognitive Engagement solutions, IBM is working with retailers across globe to make these experiences a reality for millions of consumers.”

IBM Watson Customer Engagement is helping leading retailers such as HSN, and Ermes drive enduring brand loyalty with all generations of customers.

A growing force, Gen Z consumers number about 2 billion globally today, according to a new study from Kantar Millward Brown. “AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z,” the first comprehensive global study of Gen Z, found that “36% of Gen Z globally access Instagram several times a day and 24% access Snapchat at the same frequency, compared to 21% and 10% respectively for Gen Y (those aged 20-34) and 9% and 4% for Gen X (those aged 35-49).”

“Gen Z have grown up in an on-demand world of infinite choice, and this flavours their expectations of advertising,” said Duncan Southgate, global brand director at Kantar Millward Brown. “They are much more attracted to ads that allow them to co-create or shape what happens, compared to Gens Y and X, who have a higher preference to link to more information about the brand.”

We are sure the Teen B.E.A.T. Summit will become the bridge from brand to Gen Z consumer….Spring Break 2017, Atlanta GA.


The 2017 Teen B.E.A.T. Summit Is On The Way…April 3-9, 2017 Atlanta GA


The B.E.A.T. Summit will bring together the most creative young songwriters, performing artists, visual artists,future executives, djs, and music producers…for seven (7) days of captivating workshops, engaging experiences, provocative panel discussions, artist showcases, hands-on-training, daily business luncheons, celebrity appearances, new product demonstrations – a full range of exciting events!

Visit and sign up for updates, early registration announcements, special give-a-ways, and passes for exclusive pre-B.E.A.T. Summit events.

Email us at for sponsorship opportunities, group registrations, volunteer sign up, and media requests.




Hip Hop Community To Present Unique 24-Hour Event Aimed At Bringing Awareness, Sparking Action, And Delivering A Message Of Nonviolence 

(Atlanta GA – February 12, 2014) The Sweet Auburn Experience (SAX), an initiative dedicated to reflecting, respecting and revitalizing Auburn Avenue in Atlanta GA, announced last week that it will present the SAX 24-Hour Party for Peace on February 27th – February 28th at the Royal Peacockon Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue.The SAX team will partner with many of the biggest names and organizations in the hip hop community, such as the International Core DJsHoodrich DJs and RadioCoalition DJs, Team Bigga Rankin, and RocHarder DJs, along with numerous hip hop blogs, local radio stations and many more, to converge on Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue for an event aimed at uniting the next generation of leaders with historic civil rights organizations, local businesses, community groups and individuals against violence in our communities and bringing awareness to the alarming rate of homicides of young black males ages 15-24.

“Homicides are the leading cause of death for African American males ages 15-24,” according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The SAX team believes that merging the powerful voices of the hip hop community with this message of nonviolence will resonate most with the young people who so closely associate with hip hop’s music, culture and lifestyle.

Tony Neal, Founder/President of the Core DJs says, “I’ve lost both a brother and son to senseless violence. Because of this, it is my life long goal to help deter individuals from their participation in random acts of violence. My desire is to utilize my platform within the music industry to reach as many people with this message, as well as help create and contribute to programs, initiatives and events promoting this same message. I am proud and honored to be a part of this movement, and I look forward to helping ensure its success.”

The 24-Hour Party for Peace is not only an event that highlights the importance of ending overall gun violence, black on black crime, hate crimes, and unjustified/racially motivated police shootings around the country, but is symbolic in its location on Auburn Avenue, considered by many to be the home of the modern civil rights movement. Additionally, it is the location of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Center for NonViolent Social Change – where he is also buried.

There aren’t many issues that bind a global community, but here, there are two… the universal love of hip hop and the unfortunate fact that everyone has been touched, in some way, by senseless violence. The SAX team felt the 24-Hour Party for Peace should be the culminating event of the Sweet Auburn Experience because of this issue’s destructive impact on an entire generation of young people and the need for immediate action in communities around the country.

More details will be announced leading up to the event on February 27th.

For more information and/or to get involved: or Follow and Contact SAX on Twitter@SaveAuburnAve

For media inquiries: Contact Kimberly Wilson via or 404.484.5538

The Sweet Auburn Experience Announces 24-Hour Party for Peace on Historic Auburn Avenue

Today, to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s lifelong commitment to nonviolence, The Sweet Auburn Experience Announces their 24-Hour Party for Peace, in association with the International Core DJsHoodrich DJs, Sirius/XM – Hip Hop Nation, Dead End Hip Hop and more at the Historic Royal Peacock on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta GA. This event will be held during Black History Month –  February 27-February 28th 2014 with a full schedule of entertainment aimed at bringing unity within the fight against violence in the African-American community and promoting the prevention of homicides against young African American males in this country.

The Sweet Auburn Experience to Launch with Human Rights Event

We are Proud to Announce the 1st Event of the Sweet Auburn Experience!


Less than a month ago, a young dynamic group of professionals launched a social media campaign to present a series of events during Black History Month aimed at saving Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue. On February 1, 2014, the Sweet Auburn Experience launches with “Justice for Girls:  A Sweet Auburn Journey to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking”, an exciting 1-day adventure bringing awareness to this very serious social emergency and providing life changing opportunities for young girls.

A team of concerned community groups including the Sweet Auburn ExperienceSCLC’s Justice for Girls initiative, Mamie Till Mobley Foundation and the Apex Museum among others will unite to present girls, ages 10 – 17 and from diverse demographic and geographic backgrounds, to a vast array of historic, cultural, ethnic and social themes as an avenue to help tackle current problems that expose our young girls to child sex trafficking.

Child sex trafficking and exploitation is a major human rights violation affecting more than 100,000 Americans under the age of 18 in the United States. The average teen is lured, coerced, or forced into this billion-dollar sex trade between 12 – 14 years of age.  Many victims are runaway girls who have been sexually abused or vulnerable to self-defeating behaviors and environments.  Atlanta, Georgia, along with other metropolitan cities, has been identified as a major hub for this underground world, which is responsible for the exploitation, demoralization, and theft of innocence of our young girls.

Components of the Justice for Girls: Sweet Auburn Journey event include walking and guided tours of significant historic locations on Auburn Avenue and surrounding areas, informative discussion sessions, and an engaging lunch session among many other planned activities.

Victoria Pannell, a 15-year-old Emmett Till Ambassador and staunch youth advocate against human trafficking, who is also participating in this event, states, “Trafficking is so lucrative because you can sell a girl over and over again but drugs you can only sell once.”  Watch Victoria’s PSA for

In the coming days, the Sweet Auburn Experience will announce several more events in the areas of Civil and Human Rights, Technology, Business, Education and more and are urging the community to get involved and join in these efforts as they strive to make a difference through their various initiatives.

For more information, to join the Sweet Auburn Experience, and/or to become a sponsor of this event, Please  or Email: 


10 Day Campaign Countdown: Why It’s Not EASY Giving Back and “Doing Good”


10 Day Countdown: The Good, Bad & Ugly

So, yes I had planned to write to you everyday from the beginning of the Sweet Auburn Experience (SAX) campaign which launched right before Christmas (bad idea)…but there was no time and very little to talk about, almost from the very beginning I found  that giving back and “Doing Good” isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.

The GOOD, BAD & UGLY of SAX with 10 Days to Go in the Campaign:


Well let me start by saying it’s always a GOOD thing to give back no matter the outcome! And many good things have come from launching this campaign. We’ve found ways to incorporate many causes and initiatives within the Sweet Auburn Experience – things that will change and affect the lives of many people and a whole community throughout this campaign and beyond.

I’ve been immensely uplifted by the words of encouragement of my friends and family, people in the community, the many business associates I’ve worked with throughout the years and definitely from everyone on the SAX Team.

What is also GOOD is that I’ve found that ultimately most people enjoy giving back and supporting the thousands of great causes out there – which can be very overwhelming in itself – so we’ve gotten a lot of “We Applaud Your Efforts” – which is nice, but ultimately people simply ACT on causes, ideas and initiatives that MOVE them.


Unfortunately, what moves me to action may not be what moves YOU. I have to admit it is difficult when others don’t share your passion for your cause – and I know, it’s not like people don’t care – they do, but maybe just not enough to be moved to action!

With no action….No matter how much GOOD you want to do the BAD thing is….you will have a big problem! After all, it can be expensive and very time-consuming to do GOOD!

I mean, who pays for the website so people can see the full vision of your passion, who designs your logo and promotional outreach for the folks who don’t know about your website, who pays the many people on your team who share your passion but can’t afford to work for free? For that matter….how do you pay yourself when all of your time is devoted to making something GOOD happen with no guarantee on a return.

It’s also BAD when you work in the entertainment industry and see entertainers (who you know) spend $5,000 on a bottle  at a club and shirk when you ask them to spend $200 to help save a community.

(If you’re reading this said  “entertainer”… I’m still waiting on the call back!)

I’m gonna leave this alone for now…. it may be worthy of it’s own blog post!


Trying to make GOOD things happen can sometimes be UGLY.

I’ve lost a friend or two trying to put together the Sweet Auburn Experience Campaign – often times you are at the mercy of those working for your cause since they are working for free or working because they are your friend…and this situation can cause a lot of loud talking, long texts in all caps, and many unanswered phone calls that have yet to be returned to this day!

Misunderstandings and hard decisions about the direction of the campaign were the very first obstacles of launching SAX. But sometimes you must weigh appeasing a friend with fighting a cause…this meant a few sleepless nights for me but ultimately you have to let it go for GOOD of the campaign and hope that your friend(s) will understand.

(Hey”friends”! If you’re out there….I miss you!) 

Did I mention sleepless nights – Well, since funding is an issue, staffing is an issue… so much of the work falls on a very few. With 10 days left, I can tell you that we’re NOT SLEEPING – if you were to see me right now… I’m writing this…UGLY!!

But I will end this on a GOOD Note: We’d like to welcome and thank our many new partners, friends and associates who have joined the campaign and are helping to make the Sweet Auburn Experience happen despite our obstacles!

Please visit Sweet Auburn Experience to find out what we are doing and if you find yourself “moved” in the next 10 days…Join Us….your small contribution will go a long way towards the many causes we are supporting.

Tomorrow I will tell you guys about a few of our events! Stay Tuned!

[Sad Note: As I’m writing this blog post, I just learned of the passing of my dear friend, business colleague and fellow publicist – Dee Dee Cocheta. I thought about not posting today about the campaign out of respect for Dee Dee, but then I could hear her saying, “Are You Crazy – I taught you better than that!” She was there for me when I moved to Atlanta and launched my youth program but knew no one in the city, she believed in me and she helped me even though she was struggling herself. She never stopped believing in the good of all people and never stopped inspiring people even in the last few weeks of her battle with cancer…..even when it seemed there was no more hope – she remained positive and continued to fight, and today…SHE WON! She is now resting in eternal peace! Thank You Dee Dee I’m so proud to have called you my friend. Keep Shining Mama…I hope one day my light will shine as bright as yours! RIP]

Campaign Launched!

Yesterday, myself along with several other super professionals in various industries launched the SWEET AUBURN EXPERIENCE campaign!


Setting Up the Campaign – It actually took almost a year to decide to actually move forward with this campaign (my first major campaign that is not client-related) – but not because it wasn’t needed but because of everything involved in launching a global campaign……..the required daily motivation, the necessary research, the enormous amount of organizing, the humbling task of asking for contributions and support, the trials and tribulations of building the right team, the fear of failure, the fear of success, the lack of sleep, the positive attitude your supposed to always have, the unfortunate lack of a social life and then the ACTUAL work involved for success!

So basically….super exciting and emotionally draining at the same damn time!

But I read an article about the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the Country and right there on the list was Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue –  the place many people consider to be the home of the civil rights movement, it’s also the birth and resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the community was once known as the center of African-American leadership and so much more!

As a publicist, my first inclination, after reading the article, was to spread the word and TELL everyone about Auburn Ave’s situation – but as a young African-American woman who has benefitted enormously from the struggle and sacrifices of those who fought during the civil rights/human rights movement and as a female business owner in this community….I simply felt something should be DONE!

So here we are!

And I’ve decided to share my journey with all of you….the ups, the downs, the successes and yes, the failures (hope that will be the shortest paragraph!) – but anyway, check out the campaign!!!

I’m open to your thoughts and ideas on how to make the Experience Sweeter!

You Can Go Directly to the Campaign and/or any of our social media sites in the document below!

And if you’re able to support the campaign in any way….I’m sincerely thanking you RIGHT NOW!

Thank you!