Macro Trends - A Summary
Macro Trends you need to know to stay relevant.
Here is a summary of the most important consumer trends from the perspective of Branding, Enterprise Management and Brand Relevance.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
"You’ve probably heard that American Idol garners more votes than the presidential election..."
The Internet, reality TV and new branding tactics have given consumers new ways to engage with brands and their products. Customers are no longer passive, but now they are active and empowered contributors.
Giving power to the people allows a brand to extend beyond its typical space and employ new tactics to connect customers together for a cause.
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”
One of the most important consumer behaviour trends will be about to make a difference and to take responsibility. Just a couple of years ago a company whose focus was not to maximize short-term profits (think Silicon Valley) was declared as naive.
In the future it will be the other way around. If your only focus is maximizing profit, you will be lost. You have to carefully balance the opinions of all your stakeholders including customers, shareholders, employees and society at large. ‘Good Karma’ will be a generic feature for brands and charity, the support of philanthropic or humanitarian causes will reach much bigger proportions.
THE 'THANK YOU' ECONOMY
"It’s about the humanisation of business. Success will come through out-caring everyone."
Indeed, search.twitter.com is the most important site on the internet today because it enables anyone to monitor and respond to what millions of people are saying about a particular brand, business or topic - in real-time. Don't delegate social media. In the future building a relationship with your consumers and offer them relevant brand experiences will be paramount. The power of listening. Consumer feedback gathered on the web is something C-level executives must personally monitor. You need to listen and respond and nurture a one-to-one relationship with the consumer. This is going to transform the way companies do business. Moreover, carefully monitoring and engaging in conversations with consumers is essential to implementing the kind of innovation that, paired with disruptive thinking, are most likely to succeed in today’s increasingly unpredictable market.
MODESTY IS THE NEW POWER
“Modesty is the highest elegance.” - Coco Chanel
Power is so Yesterday - For the first time, integrity and humility have been identified as the number one skill for the future. In fact, with the rise of smart machines and up to 40% of jobs in the next 20 years at risk of being replaced by AI, humility has new value.
Humility will be an important brand personality trait. Humble leaders are the leaders of tomorrow and this will be reflected in the importance of humble brands. It requires a shift from the pervasive command-and-control style to one of curiosity, collaboration and creativity. Humble brands connect with their customers at a human level. They’re open-minded, collaborative and listen. They create an atmosphere of trust, respect and equality. Humility connects people and it attracts customers rather than having to hustle for them. It collaborates, uses initiative and drives innovation and performance. Modesty is a subdomain of humility. Modesty makes people feel at ease in your presence; they know you’re not going to make them feel stupid. If you aren’t modest, people feel manipulated or inadequate.
THE RISE OF THE GEEK
"As a result of creativity in the tech sector, traditionally non-tech people have turned into absolute tech-freaks."
The creative geek is fusing technology with imagination to create products sought after by millions. The Geek is the new 'Hero'.
THE POWER OF TRANSPARENCY
"The future consumer will seek excellence both, concerning behavior and product."
The more sophisticated a market becomes, so the customers develops a more intelligent approach to brands. We think that in the future, customers will want to know about what is called the ‘back story’ – i.e. everything that happens before a product gets to the store. Overconsumption is no longer a signal of success. People start to experience mass consumption as depthless. It just doesn’t feel right to buy unnecessary things when people are starving. We see a new kind of responsibility that is evolving from the inside and therefore the expression of branding is definitely in the process to be redefined.
SAFETY AND SECURITY IN A VIRTUAL WORLD
"A place in the sun with no pollution, no crime and a great infrastructure - that’s the epitome of future consumer aspirations."
The ongoing rapid development of technology will change our world forever. The cutting-edge of consumer culture will find a new expression and there will be completely new demands for products and services. Safety will be the number one thing in our mind and our comfortable homes will work as hubs towards the surrounding world. They will be our base-camps where the information technology will be our premier tool to connect to and travel through the virtual world.
"There will be a great wish for authenticity in the future. The ongoing globalization is erasing regional specialness with the speed of a bullet."
Brand recognition will be as important in the future as today, but if we hold for true that a brand is a perception in a consumer’s mind, the physical deliverance of great products will be even more important. Moreover - If they are produced in faceless factories in China they will not be experienced as authentic and credible any longer. We will see a new 'Supreme Regionalism' grow as a reaction to the present standardization, were locally produced and controlled products will be preferred. This is a great possibility to differentiate product offerings and create brand substance.
"Health is the new luxury."
The healthy lifestyle trend is about everywhere. As a result, we’re seeing positive lifestyle changes impacting on all products, services and culture. Indeed, there is no product that I can think of, that doesn't benefit from a health spin in it's branding values.
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