4 Trends to watch in 2011

The world is changing every second. The economic reality is changing. Consumers are changing. So the relationship between companies and their clients should also change. How? Check these four trends that we selected as the most important to develop a better relationship with your customers in 2011.

Consumers are active on social media; brands should keep up with them. Even more, today’s technological possibilities let produce and explore new horizons. Thus,

brandscan find new ways to propose exciting experience for their consumers. The creation of new stories around brands could inspire consumers, increase their desire for a brand and product. Brands can take inspirations from artists, their consumers’ lives, ethical and ecological fields…It’s all about expanding a brand’s identity, giving more desirable and emotional role to it.
See the Dell laptop decoration. This is an example of how a company makes its products more exciting and more personalized. Brands and their products can then become more visible, more “hearable”, more human and more connected to consumers.
So, how many “likes” are you ready to receive this year?

A magic new word? The same old market research term? Not exactly. The trend? Absolutely. Insights mean consumer motivations and attitudes regarding your brand and products. With new digital possibilities, companies can more than ever before get rich consumer insights. Consumers are connected, are participating in online discussions, they share their own textual or visual creations. For companies and market research firms this means the new horizons of information, meaning, signs, that can be interpreted and transformed into global strategies.

Social co-creation
Consumer engagement in the value creation process is becoming more and more common word. According to trend watcher, consumers “will talk more about brands this year than ever before, and opportunities for brands that create engaging content that consumers want to share (…) will also be bigger than ever”. The co-creation means not only consumers but also brand’s engagement. There is no more hierarchy in the relationship brand-client. It’s all about working together.

Do consumers really want to participate in brands’ lives? Definitely. See GAP’s example: GAP decided to change their logo unexpectedly. Immediately, GAP’s fans loudly expressed their dissatisfaction on Facebook: how could GAP forget to ask for their advice before changing such a fundamental attribute of their favorite brand? After two weeks, the brand acknowledged the feedback, apologized and reverted back to the old logo. Would GAP have engaged the same group early on in the process, they would maybe have realized such a change was maybe not desired.
When we talk about co-creation, we also mean innovation. Asking consumers “How do you perceive my Brand?”, “How do you use my products?”, “How should our new product look like?” by engaging them is a way to open to a change. More and more companies are seeking for innovative solutions related to a brand, products, services, and consumer relationship techniques. The question is “how to innovate?” As Henry Chesbrough says, “we need to be innovative in the area of innovation itself”1. And co-creation can lead to more innovative ways of innovation.

Made for China
Where is tomorrow’s consumption power? We can agree that it is coming from Far East.
In the past, Western brands could distribute existing products in the Asian market without any change. Today, before launching a new product, any Western brand should ask itself if it really fits with Chinese consumer’s needs. Adapting products to the Chinese market can have practical reasons related to shape, size or features, but it can also be based on the “deep-rooted desire for recognition as cultural pride, heritage, lifestyles”2. Incoming brands should then elaborate an expertise of the Chinese market and better understand Chinese consumer aspirations. Tomorrow, global brands will need to go further and adapt their offerings to a different social and cultural Chinese context.

About indre

As Marketing & Evangelization Manager, Indre was one of the thinking heads of eYeka, and allowed us to be on the forefront of co-creation and Innovation topics. Indre studied sociology and communication, is a keen jazz musician, and now works in qualitative market research in Paris.
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