The ever-changing media and technological landscape has created opportunities for creative brands and entrepreneurs to deliver on consumer needs.
This is the summarized version of consumer trends for 2012. Most of these are well known to some of you, for others, this may be eye-opening. The examples are brief but inspirational, click on the link for a more detailed report.
What: Consumers will be showered with lavish attention & tailored services.
Who: Chinese (in particular)
Stats: Chinese residents made over 30 million overseas trips in 2011, a 20% increase since 2010.
- Hilton- “Hilton Huanying” (Mandarin for “Welcome”) tailored guest assistance such as check-ins, tea, tv channels.
- Harrods- 70 Mandarin-speaking employees.
- Australia- Committed millions of US dollars in marketing themselves to wealthy Chinese.
What: Apps providing services for consumers to monitor, prevent, examine, improve and manage their health.
Stats: Apple’s App Store has more than 9,000 mobile health apps and the number is growing. Health applications market will reach USD 4.1 billion by 2014, up from 1.7 billion in 2010.
Why: Less intrusive/embarrassing trips to the doctor & increased communication between doctors and patients.
- Jawbone.s Up- Wristband personal tracking device that tracks moving, eating & sleeping patterns. Syncs with iPhone app and involves competitions with friends & real life rewards.
- Lifelens- Malaria diagnosis, this app can analyze a magnified image of a drop of blood & identify malarial parasites (Hectic!).
What: Deal hunting is fashionable, its no longer shameful to find discounts.
Why: More is less, promotions, best price for best product/service.
Brand Example: American Express- “Link-Like-Love” social commerce program gives cardholders relevant deals & experiences based on what they like, interests & social connections on FB, Twitter etc…
What: Brands helping consumers recycle by taking back old items. Sometimes this “recycling” is due to legislation.
Brand Example: Nike- Reuse-A-Shoe Scheme (since 1990) old shoes are collected and grounded up into “Nike’s Grind”. This is then used to create athletic & playground surfaces and some products.
What: Cashless societies & Smartphone use is increasing. Brands like Google & Mastercard are offering cashless incentives: convenience, data-capturing, rewards, purchase history & deals. Near Field Communication (NFC) makes this possible. It can be defined as encypted data exchange between 2 devices in close proximity, for example, phone payments.
- Google Wallet- 2011 Gap stores rewarded customers with a % discount to anyone who used Google Wallet to purchase their items with.
- PayPal & Android
- Square- electronic payments service enabling users to accept credit card payments. This comes from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. It’s one of my favorites.
- iZettle in Sweden.
Bottom of the Urban Pyramid (BOUP)
What: BOUP consumers require innovation tailored to their unique circumstances, for example, health issues, lack of space.
- NCR the Pillar ATM- Biometric technologies for illiterate & semi-literate populations. By placing their thumbs on a sensor & pushing a color-coded button cash can be dispensed.
- PepsiCo India- Experimenting with beverages suitable for consumers in rural areas. These beverages will provide benefits from ingredients such as electrolytes, glucose or iron.