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Cracking the Code: Reaching the New Consumer, Sponsored by Akcelo

By 5 October, 2023News

Cracking the Code: Reaching the New Consumer – Insights from the CACC Vancouver Roundtable Discussion, Sponsored by Akcelo

The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) hosted a roundtable breakfast discussion that brought together over 30 business leaders throughout the province of British Columbia. The event, titled “Cracking the Code: Reaching the New Consumer,” delved into the evolving landscape of consumer behavior in a fast-moving, globalized world driven by new technologies. This event was generously sponsored by Akcelo, who were well represented and engaged throughout the event.

Exploring the ‘New Consumer’

The central theme of the discussion revolved around how brands can effectively connect with the next generation of consumers. This ‘new consumer,’ experiencing an increase in personal wealth through generational transfers, exhibits distinctive habits in engaging with brands and navigating emerging media platforms. Their media consumption and brand expectations markedly differ from those of their parents, posing unique challenges for businesses. They demand readily available and hyper-personalized communication and products.

The panel of experts leading the discussion included Shayna Wenger (Creative Lead North America, TikTok), Allison Butula (Chief Marketing Officer, Kit and Ace), and Aaron Gillespie (President, COBS Bread). Lauren Shelly from Akcelo did a superb job moderating the session and challenging the audience to think about the future of consumer behaviour.

PICTURED (left to right): Mel Wharton (CEO, CACC), Lauren Shelly (Moderator, Akcelo), Allison Butula (Chief Marketing Officer, Kit and Ace), Greg McNab (CACC Director), Shayna Wenger (Creative Lead North America, TikTok) and Aaron Gillespie (President, COBS Bread).

Key Insights from the Discussion

One of the pivotal takeaways from the event centered on the distinction between entertainment and social media. Shayna Wenger provided an illuminating overview of TikTok’s positioning as an entertainment company rather than a traditional social media platform. The statement “Social media is dead, entertainment is king” succinctly captured this shift in consumer preferences. The discussion also delved into TikTok’s strength in personalizing user feeds through proprietary algorithms.

AUSTRALIAN BAKERS DELIGHT: COBS Bread made Vegemite scrolls for guests in attendance, a favourite treat down under!

Allison Butula emphasized Kit & Ace’s commitment to community building and nurturing relationships with micro-influencers (<100K followers). She stressed the importance of creating storytelling buckets to build and maintain content consistency with their brand ethos.

Aaron Gillespie provided valuable insights into the dynamics between traditional retail and e-commerce in COBS Bread’s operations. Notably, how their bread is baked fresh daily and the importance of their high-volume locations. Aaron also discussed the group’s investment into their loyalty program played a significant role in the group’s success. Finally, it was noted that COBS gives back to communities by donating their unsold baked goods to local charities across Canada.

PICTURED: Invest Vancouver & Creative Fire

In conclusion, the CACC’s roundtable discussion illuminated essential strategies for businesses to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of consumer behavior. As the ‘new consumer’ continues to shape the marketplace, understanding their preferences and expectations is paramount for sustained success.


Acknowledgments and Future Updates

The CACC extends its gratitude to all attendees who engaged in this thought-provoking discussion.  Special thanks go to the event sponsor Akcelo, moderators, speakers, and Dentons for graciously hosting the event in their beautiful downtown Vancouver office.

Please stay updated with the latest news and upcoming events from the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce by following their website and social media channels.


The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) is a non-profit, volunteer based organisation that aims to bring businesses together to facilitate a strong environment for economic trade and investment between Canada and Australia. 

Written by Brock Freeman

CACC Western Canada Committee

Melissa Wharton

Author Melissa Wharton

More posts by Melissa Wharton
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