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Emerging Tech, Brands & Consumers: 12 Consumer Trends for 2012 (Part 2)

(Part 2) 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.

Source: trendwatching.com

Idle Sourcing

What: Crowdsourcing, bringing people & businesses together in order to contribute to socio-economic issues.

Why: For many, its difficult & time consuming to help others. Technology & services allow innovative interactions to occur which are simple and helpful.

Brand Examples:

  • Street Bump App- Boston based app uses smartphones to give city officials a real-time map of road conditions.
  • Waze- Israeli traffic navigation app.



What: Brands are expected to make mistakes, honesty about their flaws continues to win the hearts of consumers.

Brand Example: Dominos- NYC launched a promotional campaign using a Times Square billboard which live-streamed good and bad customer feedback.

Screen Culture

What: Screens will be everywhere, allowing consumers to continue with their daily activities in different locations.

Brand Examples:

  • Sainsbury- UK supermarket chain partnered with Sky Tv allowing shoppers to watch key sports events whilst they shopped. iPad docks & speakers were used on the carts.
  • 8ta- South African mobile telecommunications brand installed touch-activated windows into their stores. Enabled catalog viewing and the “whispering windows” informed shoppers about product.


What: The resale of items.

Why: Craving new & exciting experiences, status boost & cash-strapped (spend less) consumers.

Brand Examples:

  • Decathalon- French sports apparel & equipment store allowed the exchange of used equipment in return for coupons valid for 6 months.
  • Levi’s Singapore- offered consumers SGD 100 for exchanging old jeans for new ones.
  • Amazon Student- enabled students to scan barcodes of books and see the trade-in price, if accepted, the students were rewarded with funds on a gift card.

Emerging Maturialism

What: There is a growing trend in mature consumer societies, people are more connected & spontaneous. Brands can push risqué ads in emerging markets with traditionally conservative customs.

Brand Example: Johnson & Johnson China, ad campaign for gynecological health featured a diary written by “V” (Vagina) which took users to a microsite which had info on relationships, sex, fashion and friendship.

Point & Know

What: Augmented Reality & QR codes—information about objects and people.

Brand Examples:

  • Google Goggles- image recognition app
  • Amazon Flow- access info about products and purchase them
  • Shazam- music recognition app.

Keep an eye out for more trends which you can integrate into your business strategy.

Filed under consumer trends emerging media emerging tech brands

8 notes

Emerging Tech, Brands & Consumers: 12 Consumer Trends for 2012 (Part 1)

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.

Source: trendwatching.com 

Red Carpet

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.

Brand Examples:

  • 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.

DIY Health

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.

Brand Examples:

  • 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.

Brand Examples:

  • 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.

Brand Examples:

  • 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.

Filed under trends consumers brands emerging tech emerging media Near Field Communication NFC

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Consumer Packaged Goods: Gender Targeting & The Power of Color in Marketing

In the world of marketing/branding “gender targeting” is not a new concept. Visually, men and women are divided by color. Think pink. Think black. The “Diet” category has, in the past, been more targeted towards women, however, the last few years have seen more products within this category shifting towards including men. Dark colors like Black are being used to lure men in.

Example 1

Dr. Pepper 10

Tagline: ”It’s not for women”

Demographic: 16-25 Male

The tagline does not beat around the bush, but the brand took things further by using a gunmetal gray can with illustrated bullet holes.

Example 2

Coke Zero

In 2006 Coke Zero was launched, it was a product created for “calorie-conscious” men, who may have been embarrassed about diet products. Black was used in the packaging to add some attitude, pride and power.

Example 3

Kotex U Brand of Tampons

Despite being a product for women, Kotex is not new to “thinking outside of the box” (pun intended). This is the brand that used a red flower, which looked like a spot of blood, on the front of their previously-white package. More recently, Kotex uses black boxes which I must say, are pretty cool looking. Why the black? Girlfriends/wives were asking their significant others to pick up their tampons from the grocery store; the black spares the men embarrassing looks. Really?

Colors are all around you, keep an eye out on personal hygiene products such as Nivea, Dove & L’Oreal, these big brands are flooding the markets and aisles with “man-friendly” darker products. 

Filed under marketing CPG Gender products Color brands packaging deisgn

10 notes

The Consequences of the "Like" Button: Brands on Facebook

Do you find yourself hesitating before clicking on Facebook’s “Like” button? You are not alone.

Brands on Facebook look for:

  • Social Media Fans
  • Brand Advocates

Facebook Users “Like” because:

  • Young Consumers- “Like” brands as a form of expression/identity. 
  • Older Consumers- “Like” brands with the hope that there will be a value-added reward.

The Sad Stats:

  • 54% of FB users expect brands to bombard them with messages or ads.
  • 45% of FB users don’t want to give brands access to their profile information.
  • 31% of FB users don’t want to push content from a Brand into their Friends’ news feeds.

Therefore, brand connections on Facebook are diminishing. The explosion of Social Media has brought with it so many positive aspects, such as, people are able to make connections on multiple platforms. However, invasion of privacy has become a concern which is causing people to build up barriers between themselves and Brands.

Consumers are beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the information that springs up on their screens, which begs the question, where should brands draw the line?

Do you have any great examples of a brand on Facebook, which has managed to inform, reward and surprise you without being a burden to your social status?

I’m still thinking of one.

Filed under facebook marketing brands like dislike stats social media consumers privacy