Communicating value of product will help in today's still-tough economic climate

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Retailers are worried about rising gas prices, and apparently for good reason — while consumers aren't scrimping at the pump, what they are spending on more gas means less is spent elsewhere. And value continues to be a key decision influencer — 1-in-5 consumers are holding out for the "big" Memorial Day weekend shopping spree as they trade the traditional beach volleyball for blowout deals; and 4-in-5 consumers are on the look-out for rebates in making their purchase decision.

(THE NEWS: Survey: Consumers still cutting back, just not on gas, pharmacy or grocery. For the story, click here)

What does this all tell you? Nothing new, really. It's still a tough economic climate. Consumer shopping behavior continues to reward value-oriented promotions. They still are making lists at the kitchen table and using the Internet as a pricing equalizer. They are still cutting manufacturer coupons and doubling them against a retail promotion. They still are penny poor and dollar conscious. And it's still all about communicating the value proposition to today's consumer so it's not your product or service that's getting cut out of the household budget.