Trendwatching is a favorite pastime of the media. What B299 stories can we weave around current trends?
2010 consumer trend tips
2010 CONSUMER TRENDSA simple tool to understand changing consumer behaviour and inspire insights and ideas Marion McDonald, January 2010
The WHAT, WHY & HOWWHAT: A compilation of consumer trends filtered for the most relevant for Asia Pacific PR professionals. PR implications are given for each.WHY: Provide a guide to behaviour shifts that drive new target audience needs and opportunities for new communication approachesWHO: Sourced from trend watching experts - see credits slide. The full Trendwatching.com report for further reading is on Truffles nowHOW to use it: To drive insight generation and new communication ideas for your clientsBUT: Trends don’t apply to all markets equally or to all consumers, and still require your professional judgement
1. EXPECTATION ECONOMY2010 will see higher expectations – of salary increases leading toincreased spending on non-essentials and trading back up tobranded goods again (for those who tried private label/storebrands in recession). This raises expectations for branded goodsand for services we sacrificed in leaner times. We’ve learnt to lookfor value for money in recession. Now we’ll judge brandperformance as a measure of value.PR implications: highlight proof points and communicateaccountability. Prove your brand’s value & prove you deliver whatyou promise. Money back, peace of mind messaging andperformance guarantees will be powerful motivators.
.ON ‘Online culture is THE culture’ (Kevin Kelly quote). Its elected presidents, toppled celebs, exposed corruption, all in real time, and its all exponential growth ahead for Asia. The offline world is adopting online cues (eg. Ford Fiesta with wifi, @everything. Asia still has a huge gap between the developed markets at >70% penetration and developing markets at 7-25% penetration but mobile internet will be the driving force in Asia.PR implications: DI your brand in 2010 or give up, dinosaur!Design online communications for mobile access (eg. mobi-zines). Selectand support online brand ambassadors (in a fully transparent way), alignceleb endorsement deals with their social media presence, build andmaintain dialogue between a brand and its users in social media, supportfacebook fan pages.
3. URBANYWith >200,000 people per day movingto cities globally, a city the size ofShanghai is born every 2 months. Asiais one of the world’s most rapidlyurbanising regions, creating moresophisticated, demanding super-wiredconsumers wanting more daringexperiences.PR implications: messaging reflecting urban wired lifestyles, reflectaspirations to global megacity lifestyle, target new city migrants indeveloping markets, highlight city of origin where aspirational (especiallyfor beauty brands & those targeting non-urban consumers)
4. REVIEWING IS THE NEW ADVERTISINGReady-to-buy consumers now search or areautomatically alerted to a live online streamof advice from fellow consumers, largelyunmonitored by brand owners.70% of global online consumers trust onlinereviews (81% in Vietnam, 77% in China)second only to friend’s recommendation.(source: Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, 2009)PR implications: Brands must be responding to their online reviews usinglistening posts to pick up issues and thanking users for praise to buildloyalty. Launch/relaunch brands via select reviewers. Engage with onlinereviewers to share new news. Convert the most powerful negativeinfluencers via DI engagement.
5. (F)LUXURYLuxury in Flux. Luxury is now what you want it to be: time, escape,human-friendly, access, perks. Consumers are adjusting to new forms ofluxury like “real” food and designer brands’ second tier lines, securefinances for peace of mind. Balanced consumption is the new trend andbrands need to offer status without overt excess.PR implications: define how your brand offers status and everydayluxury, make ‘trading up’ to your brand a luxury, provide status to loyalusers through value add benefits
6. GET REAL!Grown-up (and online) consumers are over-exposed to urban culture, hypocrisy and rawhonest opinions. Brands need to be morehonest, edgy, daring and have mature, realconversations with increasingly unshockableconsumers who’ve seen it all online.PR implications: Storytelling is a must. Startconversations with consumers, don’t messageat them. Co-create with fans in an onlinetransparent environment (eg. Publiccompetitions to create a new product/ range/flavour). Use a more straightforward tone inkey messages - don’t talk like a TV commercial.
7. ECO-EASYCorporations and government now regulate to make it easyfor consumers to be more green. Sustainability has evolvedwell beyond tree planting & water recycling programs tobecome a senior management role in larger organisations.PR implications: Communicate improvements in packaging,shipping, water usage and carbon neutral programs. If yourclient has someone focused on this area, help them establishregular dialogue with customers and stakeholders.
Sources:PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONSUMER OPINIONS POSTED ONLINE ARE THEMOST TRUSTED FORMS OF ADVERTISING GLOBALLYhttp://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/pr_global-study_07709.pdfINTERNET WORLD STATS, 2009 http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia.htm
Practical Tips on How to Apply these Trends• Use these in your next insight generation meeting to check how they provide insight into your target market’s behaviour• Compare them against your next new project brief for relevance as idea sources• Pick the top 2-3 most relevant to your brand and brainstorm a story pitch for each. (We did this on Ford recently and developed 4 story pitches in 30 minutes)