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  • 1. Beacon Guiding you through the ever changing world of communications2011 saw a plethora of changes to The year ahead will be no different, and weconsumer buying habits and a multitude curious folk at Finn have taken the liberty toof new communications platforms look ahead and pull together the must-knowblossom, offering us more opportunities trends. In this edition of Beacon, we look atthan ever to creatively engage with the hottest technologies, the latest consumer Powered byour audiences. quirks and give you a slice of insight about the campaigns, tools and news that have turned us on this year.
  • 2. 01 2012 Trends Finn PR 2012 Health & Wellbeing Corporate Volunteerism Food Health and wellness has long since Corporate The value that volunteering adds been a driving factor on food in- to the UK economy is in excess of novation and research by Deloitte £21.5billion and increasingly, busi- found that 77 per cent of top manu- nesses are playing a vital part as it facturers, retailers and food service becomes more central to the CSR providers thought it would be the mix. Despite the financial climate, primary trend shaping our palettes volunteerism, particularly stemming in 2012. More than half of shoppers from business initiatives is on the up are likely to read the food label be- and it’s increasingly done on a na- fore buying a product, so expect tional scale. This year, spending cuts more active promotion of health within charities, the government’s benefits on shelf. The quest for ‘five Big Society vision and the 2012 Lon- portions a day’ is alive and kicking don Olympics, a huge undertaking and remains the message that reso- that will require up to 70,000 volun- nates most strongly with consumers. teers, are all likely to give the sector This, coupled with tough new regu- a boost. lations, especially on childhood di-The World’s Local Larder ets, means that health will continue Real-Time Consumer Data to be top of the consumer agendaThe UK is one of the more gastro- this year. 2012 will be the year that real-timenomically adventurous nations, online decision-making comes ofand this year will be no exception, age. People are increasingly shar-with Peruvian cuisine likely to hit ing everything they do, buy, watch,the mainstream. However, when listen to and read, in real time,we’re not chowing down on Cevi- whether that’s through Twitter,Tumblrche, we’re likely to be going local in or social apps on Facebook (thinkan attempt to reduce our environ- Spotify and The Guardian). For busi-mental footprint, with authenticity, nesses, this means a big opportuni-provenance and localness being ty to align themselves more closelythe most important factors influ- with the needs of their customers.encing food choice. Leatherhead The challenge for marketeers is toFood Research, a global food re- make sense of this data mass andsearch company, actually predicts use it to make quick, smart businessa blending of these two trends, with decisions, identifying and predict-consumers demanding internation- ing upcoming trends to capitaliseally local ingredients. A food’s origin on them.will increasingly become a mark ofquality, so expect to see the likes ofMadagascan vanilla become pop- Functional Foodular. Functional food, those that come CSR with added health claims, will in- creasingly line our grocery shelves in Ethical business is now expected 2012. Why? It’s an age thing. The ag- and consumers are increasingly ing Baby Boomer generation, who looking for community benefits form the largest group of influencers when making purchasing decisions. in the food sector, will take an active The Food & Drinks sector is one of interest in maintaining a healthy, ac- the most scrutinised industries, and tive lifestyle as they hit retirement. We it’s brands that offer that feel-good can expect to spot more products factor that seem to be leading the with glucosamine to help strength- way. Take Innocent for example, en joints and omega-3 to improve who’s whole business strategy is brain health and help reduce heart built around sustainability and fair- disease. ness - sustainable nutrition, ingredi- Random Acts of Kindness ents, packaging, production and profit sharing. However, it doesn’tMood Food Increasingly open communications stop at food and drink; those that go between brands and consumers beyond simple ethical claims gen-Food can make us happy, ener- mean it’s simple to surprise and de- erally outperform their peers. Lastgised or even make us more pas- light your fans with a relevant ges- year’s World’s Most Ethical awardssionate in the bedroom, but it ture to brighten their day, help them honourees generated on averagedoesn’t stop there. New develop- celebrate or thank them for their 30 per cent greater returns thanments in science are revealing that opinion. Social media has prompt- other publically owned companies.everything we eat has the potentialto change the way we think and ed a lot of free brand-to-fan love,feel. Next generation foods will be but the power behind RAK is in itstailored to meet the needs and the selectivity. Last year, one of the mostdesires of an individual consumer, talked about brands was Interflora,whether they want to be woken up, who scoured the internet for thosecheered up or chilled out. Accord- having a bad day and offered toing to online food resource Food & send them a bunch of flowers. How-Drink Towers, 44 per cent of industry ever, the prediction for 2012 is thatexperts believe mood foods will in- campaigns will have to becomecrease in market value, with happi- more complex and personalisedness and stress foods expected to in order to provide that level of cut-be the main areas of growth. through and talkability.
  • 3. Finn PR 2012 2012 Trends 02 DIY Health Gamification Lifestyle Who needs professional health ad- Digital Gamification has evolved from buz- vice when there’s an app for that? zword to viable online strategy and Do it Yourself Health will naturally be it’s now being tipped as one of the driven by technology in 2012, with top tech trends for 2012. Based on novel apps and quirky devices in- the idea that rewards are crucial in creasingly letting consumers track, creating an engaging digital experi- manage and improve their health ence, the phenomenon involves en- themselves. Apple’s App Store cur- gaging people by applying game rently offers 9,000 mobile health mechanics, for example use of level apps and by mid-2012, this number progression, leaderboards, badges is expected to reach 13,000. One of and achievements, in an online our personal favourites is the Skin business environment. It all started Scan app, which helps early identifi- with Foursquare’s check-in based cation of malignant moles. badge system, but we’ve seen other innovative incarnations of late, such as Samsung Nation, a game-based website that allows users to earnSuper Premium Near Field Communications points and progress by reviewing products, watching videos and par-Despite ever tightening pockets, UK Soon every mobile device will come ticipating in user-generated Q&As.food lovers still like to treat them- equipped to handle Near Fieldselves with posh nosh from time to Communications (NFC), a technol-time. This year will see a divergence ogy that allows consumers to per-in food purchasing habits, with con- form seamless, no-nonsense trans-sumers looking to the extremes of actions and exchange informationboth discount and super-premi- wirelessly. Early use of NFC has beenum products, with centre ground about streamlining the shopping ex-brands feeling the squeeze. A pre- perience, such as a Starbucks appmium treat can be justified as an that allows consumers to snap upaffordable indulgence, particularly coffees through phones pre-loadedif it includes a feel-good health ben- with credit, and a register-free eBayefit and we’re likely to see this trend Stay at Home Dads shop where bargain-hungry bid-extend to 2012 and beyond. And If ders snap up deals with their smartyou don’t believe us, you may want This budding set of home bodies phones. However, being marketers,to note the success of Heston’s pre- is one to watch, particularly if you we’re also excited about the possi-mium Christmas pud that flew off work in the food, beverage and bilities for NFC to be used to pushWaitrose’s shelves over the festive FMCG sectors. Research by Aviva re- deals, coupons and messages toperiod. ports that there are now 1.4m stay consumers’ smart phones at rele- Smart Phones at home dads in the UK, 10 times vant times and locations. as many than a decade ago, with Up until recently sky high prices one in seven fathers now the main have kept the majority of the popu- childcare provider. The trend has lation out of the smart phone mar- been driven by increasing numbers ket but thanks to the emergence of of women earning more than their cheaper models, penetration has partners and reflects changing at- more than doubled in the UK over titudes amongst couples, with more the last two years. This year usage is men able to relinquish their the role predicted to reach a tipping point, as family breadwinner and instead with 50 per cent of consumers ex- take on more work in the home. pected to own a smart phone by the end of the year. For marketeers, mobile was once a way to reach those influencers that stayed ahead of the curve, but asSocial Commerce mobile devices become an ever more common touch point be-Social Commerce is about consum- tween brands and every day con-ers using peer recommendations sumers, there’s much more motiva-to make purchases through social Open Graph tion for brands to invest in mobilemedia, whether these be ratings, technology and campaigns.reviews or comments. For brands, Facebook’s Open Graph is a set ofit means harnessing the power of programming tools that make con-word of mouth to drive purchases nections between Facebook andand includes everything from group external objects on the web. Onbuying and check-in rewards on one level, it lets you take Facebook’sFoursquare, to selling limited edition social experience and integrate itproducts through a Facebook shop. within your website. Even more excit-2011 saw some of the more daring ing is its ability to take the platform’sbrands experiment with social sell- rich social data and turn it into aing, such as Starbucks and ASOS, personalised web experience. Thebut as user recommendations and thing to watch out for in 2012 is itsreviews increase their influence on addition of social actions over andconsumer behaviour, social com- above the now ubiquitous ‘like’,merce will stop being a “nice to such as reading, writing and watch-have” and will start to fuel sales ing, that will allow more dynamicvolumes on a par with traditional content sharing through the newchannels. Timeline profile.
  • 4. 03 2012 Consumer Finn PR 2012 In 2012, 23 per cent of the UK’s population will be over 60. The sig- nificance of this statistic is that the baby boomer generation is reach- ing retirement, meaning that many of tomorrow’s pensioners will be Collaborative consumption describes an more well informed, well educated, emerging economic model based not on health conscious, and discerning ownership, but on sharing, swapping, bor- than their predecessors. They’ll exer- rowing and renting access to products and cise twice as much as the previous services. If it all sounds grubby and socialis- generation and more will continue tic, it’s not. It’s set to be one of the hottest and to work. These seniors are interested far reaching trends of 2012 and is reinvent- in successful ageing, extending ing not just what we consume but how we their middle years by maintaining consume it. We’ve already seen it permeate a healthy, active lifestyle, sparking emerging sectors such as social lending demand for products and environ- (check out Zopa if you’re short on cash!), ac- ments that accommodate their commodation (with peer-to-peer travel pro- changing physical and sensory ca- vider CouchSurfing) and car sharing (Zip- pabilities. car), and you can expect a raft of imitators in 2012. Amongst 2012’s utopian vision of collabora- tion, gamification and random acts of kindness, there’s still an ever present undercurrent of auster- The mass of data readily available online, particular- ity looming large. Research shows that the num- ly through social media, has driven a mega trend in ber of British shoppers that feel they have little personalisation. Custom made, personalised goods or no spare cash has reached an all time high and services are growing in popularity among at 32 per cent. The average family has around consumers who desire completely individualized £2,000 less disposable income than in previous products and services, blending creativity with pur- years. 71 per cent have changed their shopping chasing power. Everything from customised online habits and 65 per cent of these have switched experiences, to personalised gifts, to large, custom to cheaper grocery brands, an acceptable com- built creations. Early instigators this year include Toy- promise that is set to continue even as financial ota, which is encouraging fans to create bespoke pressure eases. music videos alongside their ad campaign’s pup- pet characters, and airline KLM, which is letting pas- sengers choose who sit next to them based on their social media compatibility. While traditional coupons are considered tired, outdated, and cumbersome, and bar- gain hunting was once something to hide,We’ve already explored Near Field Communications (NFC) new and innovative uses of online deals, dis-and it’s that very technology that’s contributing to what counts and coupons are driving a new andis fast becoming a cash-less society. It’s not that far away. affluent breed of hagglers to seek out theWe’re serious! The initial lure of this system is convenience best prices in 2012 and beyond. Consumerand speed, but it will eventually open up a whole new world attitudes are shifting in a big way, and suchof payments, rewards and targeted, real time offers. We’ve frugalicious behaviour is now consideredfollowed this trend for a while and it’s been a slow burner smart, admirable and dare we say it, darnas the technology has been gradually made affordable right cool. The lure of attractive online tech-and available. While 2012 will not be the year that the UK nologies touting deals will ensure this is aadopts cashless paying en masse, we’ll see big boys such big trend in 2012, with 9.2 million consumersas Google, Mastercard and Paypall roll out cashless initia- expected to use online coupons throughouttives worldwide. the year. That’s a helluva lot of savings!
  • 5. Finn PR 2012 2012 Consumer 04 Alongside the renaissance in high quality home dining, consumers will also look to ex- Tightening pockets and the growing in- tend this premium food experience outside fluence of cookery programmes will fuel the home. Despite anxieties over the econo- a growing interest in entertaining in the my, many commentators suggest that where home, with consumers investing more there are cutbacks elsewhere in the house- time and effort into meal times to add hold budget, eating out will remain central to fun and theatre to the ordinary work- our lives. Dining out used to be a special oc- ing week. Original recipes and unusual casion, but research has shown that it’s now ingredients will be the focus for home- considered a regular treat. 70 per cent of us cooks in 2012, who will be influenced by now claim to visit a restaurant at least once a TV, foodie magazines, websites, social month and the market is expected to grow six networks and Smartphone apps. per cent to reach £36.6bn this year. Increasing- ly social media will lead decision making, with location-based deals, mobile couponing and group buying discounts dictating where peo- ple eat. Who said it was all doom and gloom? You’ve heard about crowdsourcing, employing the collective wisdom of consumers to help de- sign products, create content or solve business problems, but democratic buying takes things one step further. It bases product design and produc- tion entirely on the votes of the crowd. Take shop- ping website Shopping Forecast as an example. It lets you view, comment, vote on and share next season’s styles, with votes on each item affecting where and in what volume the piece appears in stores. The democratic buyer is not a passive voice amongst the throng of the bazaar, but an active contributor to the market place. Expect their voic- es to be heard loud and proud this year! Today’s consumer typically looks to Google before hitting the shops, a trend Over recent years, our ailing economy has ac- that has significantly contributed to the celerated the trend for locally sourced food, as decline of the British high street. While consumers seek to support the economy and total growth in online retailing slowed to local communities. In December last year, over eight per cent last year, there are now an half of shoppers claimed to buy local products estimated 37m regular online shoppers to support local producers, a quarter to sup- in the UK. What we also saw was massive port local retailers, and over a fifth to keep jobs growth amongst the under 45s who have in their area. Supporting British producers has adopted it as their primary purchasing now become the most important ethical con- point, a sign that internet shopping is cern for grocery shoppers, with more than four reaching maturity.This year we’ll see con- in ten consumers intending to buy more locally sumers embrace online shopping in new sourced goods this year. and innovative ways, such as through social commerce, mobile coupons and daily deals, which should breathe further life into the channel. Forget the regular weekly shop. Rather than stocking up on all the essentials, grocery shoppers are in- With group buying, there truly is strength creasingly hitting the stores on nar- in numbers. Last year, group buying took rowly focused missions. They may be off in a big way through sites like Grou- looking for a specific meal, they may pon, LivingSocial and MyCityDeal, who have run out of something, or could began offering huge discounts on prod- just be hungry for a snack. Shop- ucts once a certain number of people ping has not completely become signed up. Brands got on the bandwagon a spontaneous activity and the too, with campaigns like Innocent’s Tweet majority employ some form of plan- and Eat, which unlocked bigger and big- ning beforehand, such as making ger discounts as more people tweeted a a list, devising recipe solutions and hashtag. This year, we expect much more looking for deals, but we could see emphasis on geo-located deals through a shift from category management mobile devices, market consolidation as to mission management as retailers consumers develop preferred group buy- and brands seek out ways to capi- ing brands, and expansion into other sec- talise on the trend. tors, as media providers and others get on board.
  • 6. 05 UK Social Media Landscape Finn PR 2012 LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Youtube Foursquare Flickr
  • 7. Finn PR 2012 Things To Look Out For In 2012 06 F-Commerce QR CodesWhy do brands use Facebook? Generally because of its potential as a viral Will 2012 mark the tipping point for QR codes? They were everywhere lastmedium, its propensity to allow dialogue with consumers and increasingly, year – on products, posters, in magazines and shops – but questions stillits ability to house apps that provide engaging, interactive content. We’re remained about their usage and value. A study late last year found that de-now also seeing F-Commerce, the act of selling products through Face- spite their ubiquity as a marketing tool, only a third of consumers knew whatbook, start to take off in a big way. one was and how to scan one, but it’s still early days for this technology. This year we’ve learnt that Facebook is a great place to trial ex- The beauty of QR codes is that they enable brands to provide somethingclusive or new products. Heinz sold limited edition ketchup with balsamic exclusive to smart phone users with the knowledge to use them, but up un-vinegar through its page, creating a lot of talkability; and more recently, til now, they have largely been used as URL alternatives, driving consumersMagners started selling limited edition cider through its page. However, the to brand homepages. A novel way to drive traffic, but hardly revolutionary!primary goal behind these campaigns is to drive advocacy and conversa- However, we did start to see evidence of brands starting to use themtion, rather than large sales volumes. to add real value to the consumer experience. We saw Tesco create a QR There is mounting evidence to suggest that F-commerce is already code store in a Korean subway that saved time for busy commuters; Heinza viable retail platform. Around 50,000 retailers have opened an F-store used QR codes to let Americans show their appreciation to their troopsthrough the e-commerce platform Payvment and 75 per cent of retail- by leaving them personalised messages; and Victoria’s Secret launcheders plan to use Facebook for social commerce in the future. The top three a naughty billboard campaign with QR codes covering the modesty ofbrands on Facebook (Coca Cola, Starbucks and Disney) all sell directly nearly nude models. Phew! With smart phone usage expected to surpassthrough the medium and have reported healthy sales figures. Over 1m Star- 50 per cent of the population this year, there’s a real possibility that thebucks users are using the brand’s e-commerce enabled Facebook loyalty creative use of QR codes will become a real value driver in the world ofprogram and over 5,000 used Walmart’s group-buy Facebook app on the mobile marketing, so get your thinking caps on!day of its launch. The jury is out as to whether the average consumer is ready to adoptFacebook as a mainstream buying medium and it will be up to brands toprovide compelling reasons to use the medium over others in 2012. Social TV InstagramHow many of you have ever Facebooked while watching X Factor? Or An homage to the old Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras, InstagramTweeted your opinion during Question Time? Chances are you have. In fact, is a free app that allows users to take photos, add quick stylistic fixes like44 per cent of UK consumers say they use social networks to enhance their vintage hues and dream-like blurs, and then share them instantly with theirTV viewing. These days, the majority of prime time television shows already social network.have their own hash-tag to group together social media discussions and You’ve probably heard about it, the chances are you’ve used it ormany programmes, particularly faux reality shows like TOWIE, have their par- at least spotted a photo run through one of its array of filters. It was iPhone’sticipants tweet during air time to engage with fans. Whilst television owner- app of 2011, currently boasts 14 million users and before its year anniver-ship is in decline, ratings for live entertainment are creeping ever higher sary, a whopping 150 million photos had been uploaded.as viewers look to watch in real-time so that they interact socially through Its popularity is undisputed, but why do we think it rose to fame andthese channels. why should you keep an eye on it in 2012? We put its success down to a Up until recently, social media and television have been separate winning combination of quality, ease of use and people’s never endingmediums that just happen to be complementary, but we’re now seeing the appetite for sharing their lives visually. Essentially, it gives a mass of casualfirst forays into a fully immersive social TV experience, with second screen photographers the ability to produce images with some sort of artistic meritapps such as Unami and Zeebox (which you’ll learn more about later) without the need for any professional design skills, and at the click of a but-being released for the iPad. For those with smart TVs (TVs with online tech- ton, lets them share it amongst their peer groups to garner instant gratifica-nology), the possibility of having all this interaction all in one place will be- tion and admiration.come a reality over the coming months and make sure to keep an eye out We think this is just the tip of a booming mobile photo sharing trend,for Apple, as its launch of a television set this year could signal a complete and the increasing prevalence of high megapixel smartphones amongstreinvention of the concept. the population is only going to throw further fuel to the fire. Last year, the app made its first hint at welcoming brands by introducing a hashtag fea- ture for grouping content, but we wouldn’t be surprised if additional cam- paign-friendly features are added in 2012.
  • 8. 3,2,1 Share At the end of each month, we like to take the time to relax with a glass of wine and present 3, 2, 1 Share is three slides and two minutes on one topic area and in this final section, we’d like each other the content, ideas and campaigns to give you some insight into the topics we’ve that have been catching our attention. A show been pondering over. Below you’ll find a teaser and tell of sorts, it’s rather like being back in on each Finnster’s latest loved topic and if you’re primary school, in a good way. eager to find out more you can follow the QR code or URL to a blog post on our website.A suitably strategic topic for the boss, Rich Greg attended a Geo-location lunch as part of James likes grandiose ideas, so it’s no surpriseexplores the quandary of social media meas- Leeds Digital Festival and that got him thinking his topic of choice is “one idea that will changeurement and our fixation with big numbers, about, you guessed it, Geo-location. He explores the world”. He takes a look in more detail at thewhether this is reach, impressions, clicks or fol- the past, present and future of the technology, trend, or rather the revolutionary movement thatlowers. In the social space, this fixation can lead focusing on the countless opportunities there is Collaborative Consumption. He muses overto a skewed view of success, so in his post, he are for brands in this space. some of the most successful organisations thatargues the case for digital communications to are facilitating this new economic model andbe measured for quality, depth and nature of how all this swapping and trading is affecting usengagement http://bit.ly/bnsyndrome http://bit.ly/geofuture http://bit.ly/collabconsumptionJessica illustrated the mega trend of customi- A lover of all things social, Chris drills down into We love the idea of marrying brands with culturezation by looking at two stand-out campaigns the emerging world of social television, explor- to create credibility. Tom spotted an innovativelaunched last year: Heinz’s Get Well Soup ing the recently launched free iPod app Zeebox, campaign by Volkswagen Canada called ‘Thecampaign in which the brand gave its 80k Fa- which works in tandem with Facebook and Twit- Great Volkswagen Art Heist’, which effortlesslycebook fans the chance to send personalised ter to let TV chatterboxes get together around blends art, ambient activity and social media tocans of soup to their friends; and Nivea’s Christ- programmes they are watching, and even feeds create truly talkable content.mas campaign that allowed fans to send gift them relevant content about the people, placessets enveloped in wrapping paper made from and products they see on screen.their friends’ pictures. http://bit.ly/customking http://bit.ly/zeebox http://bit.ly/artheistRachel explores the continuing progression of Always the joker, Janelle took to a clever tongue Sophie dug up a fantastically useful iPhone appdigital magazines. She takes a look at a new in cheek campaign from Kellogg’s Rice Crispie called ‘Can I Eat It’. It allows food consciousfood trade title, Encounter Magazine, and uses Squares. Based on the idea that Rice Krispie consumers to upload their dietary preferences,it as a vehicle to weigh up the pros and cons Squares are in fact rectangular not square, the whether allergies, lifestyle choices or dislikes,of magazines moving into the digital space brash campaign catches people’s attention and use it to check the appropriateness ofand the opportunities for brands to gain added with outrageous lies, subverting the conventions products by scanning the barcode. A geniusvalue in this new environment. of traditional advertising while poking fun at the choice for those on a January health drive! industry. http://bit.ly/digimags http://bit.ly/squarelies http://bit.ly/canieatit www.finncomms.com Round Foundry Media Centre hello@finncomms.com Foundry Street 0113 394 4333 Leeds. LS11 5QP