Talking shop with Little & Co.’s Joe Cecere

Share this:
October 8, 2012 // UPDATED 8:31 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Jeremy Zoss & Sarah McKenzie
Jeremy Zoss & Sarah McKenzie

Joe Cecere, one of the city’s most astute experts on shopping trends, would like to see more unique retailers downtown catering to the thriving creative community — shops more likely appeal to Millennials, an increasingly important demographic in the marketplace. 

Cecere is president and chief creative officer for downtown-based Little & Company, which he refers to as an “insight-driven design firm.” The company recently came out with a shopping study tied to the 40th anniversary of the landmark study on consumer behavior by Dr. Edward Tauber.

“A lot of the motivations for shoppers haven’t changed much, but how we meet those motivations have changed a lot,” Cecere said. “Shoppers are much more savvy than they ever have been.” 

Consumers have an array of digital tools at their disposal to compare prices and search for deals. They also want useful and relevant information from retailers when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

“Good customer service is super important. It can make or break it,” Cecere said.

The Little & Co. study identified six types of shoppers in its recent report: inspiration seekers who value creativity; shopping socialites who love developing a sense of community; treasure hunters who chase great deals; brand worshippers; pampered guests who appreciate extra perks; and self-expressionists who want to show off their personal style.

Since women do the vast majority of shopping, Little & Co. recruited four groups of Millennials and Generation X female shoppers for its study.

“At a time when women buy approximately 80 percent of all household goods, the new study supports the existing fundamental research but provides the critical ways in which design-thinking can strategically help marketers better respond to shoppers’ motives — leading to better sales, deeper engagement with the brand, repeat customers, and a strong sense of loyalty,” said Mary Haugh, Little & Company’s vice president of strategy and account management. 

For more details on the study, go to