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The accelerating pace of innovation in the consumer arena means everyone is now at times, if not constantly, a VIRGIN CONSUMER – unfamiliar with many of the products, services, apps, experiences or ...

The accelerating pace of innovation in the consumer arena means everyone is now at times, if not constantly, a VIRGIN CONSUMER – unfamiliar with many of the products, services, apps, experiences or brands they encounter every day. However, far from being coy, VIRGIN CONSUMERS lust after, try out, and experiment with all these new brands, products, services and experiences more than ever. As long as brands make them effortlessly simple, intuitive, and yes, fun.

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trendwatching.com’s VIRGIN CONSUMERS trendwatching.com’s VIRGIN CONSUMERS Presentation Transcript

  • February 2013trendwatching.com’s free Monthly Trend BriefingVIRGIN CONSUMERSConsumers are now enjoying endless first times, on a daily basis. With you?trendwatching.com/trends/viginconsumers
  • Definition The accelerating pace of innovation in the consumer arena means everyone is now at times, if not constantly, a VIRGIN CONSUMER – unfamiliar with many of the products, services, apps, experiences or brands they encounter every day. However, far from being coy, VIRGIN CONSUMERS lust after, try out, and experiment with all these new brands, products, services and experiences more than ever. As long as brands make them effortlessly simple, intuitive, and yes, fun. See the infographic » A 1 minute summary of trendwatching.com’s Trend Briefing on VIRGIN CONSUMERSw w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 2
  • NEWISM Driving the explosion of VIRGIN CONSUMERS The fundamental driver behind the VIRGIN (Sources: Company statements; Chinese State CONSUMER trend? NEWISM. Intellectual Property Office; Startup Britain, all Today, consumers from Dubai to Canada January 2013) can order pizza via a fridge magnet, 3D That’s NEWISM for you: thanks to the usual print their own homeware, and visit a virtual suspects like connectivity, globalization, grocery store on a train station platform. the demolition of barriers to entry and the They live in a world of Chinese luxury democratization of design and manufacturing, fashion brands, social credit cards, and the pace and volume of consumer-facing ultra-transparent sushi kitchens. innovation has never been higher. Which They must navigate through the insane levels means an explosion in VIRGIN CONSUMERS: of choice offered by the 19,000 new apps consumers who, no matter how experienced, that Apple says are added to their store every are inevitably (and endlessly) encountering month, the 18,000 projects on Kickstarter that tons of products and brands for the first-time. were successfully crowdfunded in 2012, the 1.2 Now, on to two things to keep in mind million patents for innovations granted in China when thinking about (and if you’re a B2C alone, or the 480,000 companies registered in brand or agency, catering to) these VIRGIN the UK in 2012... We could go on (and on). CONSUMERS:w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 3
  • 1. EAGER VIRGINS Why the lust for the new has never NEWISM is not only about the accelerating pace All that means more consumers than ever are of innovation, it’s also about fueling consumer convinced that the ‘new’ will help them improve been stronger appetite for the new, which has never been every aspect of their lives, and thus the rising higher. numbers of eager VIRGIN CONSUMERS, who Mainly, hyper-competition has led to the ‘new’ no want to dive in to, try out, experience and longer being seen as a tired marketing ploy from experiment with the new products and services old brands. Instead, new products and services being launched on a daily if not hourly basis. ARE now actually often more surprising, more Just look at the tech sector (the ultimate NEWISM convenient, more intuitive – and thus better – than posterchild): in mid-2012, the Ouya games established alternatives, if there are alternatives to console raised USD 1.2 million less than 24 begin with. And the ongoing megatrend towards hours after its launch on Kickstarter. Meanwhile, consumers demanding brand honesty too – which in November, the new iPad 4 and iPad Mini new brands uncumbered by legacy can embrace sold 3 million units in three days. But that was a more quickly and effectively than anyone – means whole three months ago: gadget-blogs are now that new brands are often more trusted or even abuzz with news of Panasonic’s Ultra-HD 4K respected than their familiar, historied counterparts. tablet, announced at CES in January 2013. Or On top of that, the usual risk associated with trying Samsung’s prototype smartphone with a the new is now close to zero, thanks to F-FACTOR flexible screen. Or the Huawei Ascend Mate recommendations and the TRANSPARENCY 6.1-inch phablet. And on and on it goes. TRIUMPH of countless reviews.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 4
  • 2. EXPERIENCED VIRGINS While VIRGIN CONSUMERS might be unfamiliar with a specific new product, brand or sector, they aren’t Why even first timers have high clueless or naïve. Au contraire: years of immersion in consumer societies means that even VIRGIN standards CONSUMERS are well versed in consumerism at large*. That means previous Trend Briefings relating to changing consumer expectations and attitudes still apply: VIRGINS know good service – or even better, SERVILE BRANDS – when they see them. And it should go without saying that they expect FULL FRONTAL transparency – on ethics, business process, even financials – from brands, and will embrace a GENERATION G(ENEROSITY) approach to giving back to society. EMERGING VIRGINS The exception is some VIRGIN CONSUMERS in emerging markets, who may be truly new (or nearly new) to many aspects of consumerism. According to Ernst & Young, 1 billion people in emerging market cities are set to join the global consuming class – defined as those with a disposable income of USD 3,600 a year – by 2025. We could (and will!) dedicate a whole Trend Briefing to these EMERGING VIRGINS: in the meantime there will be much more about them in our upcoming Asia-Pacific Trend Report and South & Central America Trend Report.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 5
  • NEXT For brands, how to think like a virgin Seducing a VIRGIN means adopting a VIRGIN mindset (enough innuendo yet? ;-) Anyone can do it, but it obviously comes easier to VIRGIN BRANDS: start-ups unencumbered by the weight of old ways. But of course even established brands* can always think like a VIRGIN. * As with every trend, think in terms of ‘as well’ rather than ‘all’. Are all consumers VIRGINS, all of the time? Of course not. Will brands need to constantly adopt a virgin mindset? No. The inevitable counter- trend means there will forever be a time and a place for established brands that deliver the same heritage product.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 6
  • The key to adopting a VIRGIN mindset: #1 Keep it simple: Cast off industry convention and (if you’re an established brand) previous product iterations, and reimagine your product from the ground up, so that it makes sense for the way consumers live now, and is intuitive to use right out of the box. See how VIRGIN BRANDS Lytro made photography effortlessly simple for VIRGINS by releasing a camera that could focus after taking the shots. Or learn from Nest, who made thermostats intuitive, sexy and sustainable. 2012 saw big brands thinking like VIRGINS, too: witness the Nike+ Fuelband, an end-to-end service – including wearable device and online platform – that finally made tracking activity through the day easy. While for Microsoft, ripping up two decades of user experience and pivoting to a touch-led tile interface in Windows 8, meant creating an interface that caters to VIRGIN CONSUMERS.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 7
  • The key to adopting a VIRGIN mindset: #2 Explain your brand: Think campaigns that answer foundational questions: who are you? What makes you different? What does your brand say about those consumers who choose it? This is a must for VIRGIN BRANDS, who are new to all consumers: see how new Welsh jeans brand Hiut Denim, launched in March 2012, used the ‘Story’ section of its website – and its ‘Our town is making jeans again’ message – to link itself to the history and heritage of jeans making in Cardigan, Wales. Brand explaining is of course crucial for established brands looking to EMERGING VIRGINS, too: see how Volkswagen connected with VIRGINS in China with no prior experience of the VW brand, with a website for its Phaeton luxury vehicle that explained VW’s manufacturing heritage and its ties to the Saxony region of Germany.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 8
  • The key to adopting a VIRGIN mindset: #3 Don’t ask for commitment: Where once VIRGINS may have wanted a long-term relationship, now many would prefer a one-night stand ;-) Indulge the joy VIRGINS take in playing the field by streaming and renting them products instead of selling. Learn from examples such as designer fashion rental platform thesixosix, or established brands like BMW’s DriveNow short-term car rental initiative, and think in terms of how to give VIRGINS access to your product, rather than just selling it to them. In short, whether you’re a startup or a heritage brand, remember: as NEWISM pushes consumerism to light speed, you simply have to start mirroring the VIRGIN mindset in your own thinking if you want to stand a chance with many consumers. But however you cater to VIRGIN CONSUMERS, remember: make it special. It’s their first time ;-) And if it’s your first time reading our Trend Briefings, please make sure you subscribe.w w w. t r e n d w a t c h i n g . c o m VIRGIN CONSUMERS 9
  • Limited- time offer WANT TO DELIGHT CONSUMERS IN ASIA available! Pre-order your PACIFIC AND/OR SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA? copy now! These new Trend Reports WILL surprise and inspire you to come up with world-beating innovations. Each 100+ page report features 40+ crucial local consumer trends, insights, examples and an apply section. Released March 28, available to pre-order NOW! regional examples examples featured & insights 40+ trends ASIA PACIFIC TREND REPORT SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA TREND REPORTCompiled by trendwatching.com’s Asia Pacific office Compiled by trendwatching.com’s South & Central(based in Singapore). America office (based in São Paulo).FIND OUT MORE (and view the Table of Contents) » FIND OUT MORE (and view the Table of Contents) »
  • NEXT Enjoyed this Trend Briefing? Want more? Click below and make sure you stay on top of all the trends, insights and innovations that matter: Previous Trend 2013 sign up Briefings Premium Service To receive our free monthly Trend Briefings Read all our previous free Trend Briefings, all the Need access to all the vital consumer trends, insights by email way back to 2002! and innovations? Our Premium Service is for you. Share tips Trend Seminars Share this Trend Briefing with your team, your Want to track and apply trends yourself? Click Find out what happened during our 2012 Consumer Trend clients or your friends, and make sure they’re Seminars in 13 cities, from August to October 2012. here for our top tips. in the know too. Look out (and subscribe) to the latest updates for the 2013 Trend Seminars.If you have any comments, suggestions or About usquestions then please do let us know. Just Established in 2002, trendwatching.com is world’s leading brands as clients, while our freeemail: the world’s leading trend firm, scanning the monthly Trend Briefings go out to over 200,000 globe for the most promising consumer trends, subscribers in 180 countries.PAUL BACKMANHead of Client Services insights and related hands-on business ideas. More atpaul@trendwatching.com Our Premium Service counts many of the www.trendwatching.com