In 1959 Barbie was introduced to the world. There was only one: tall, thin, Caucasian, and unrealistically curvy. She was mass produced, one type of doll for all types of little girls. The success of mass production created a One for All market; one item to fit all people. But consumers have changed. They want to be appreciated for their differences, not their sameness.
They want a Barbie that represents them, as an individual. In January, Mattel re-introduced Barbie in 3 new body types and an assortment of races. Mattel finally took notice of the changing tide and we want to make sure you also do. Here are 9 Trends in Marketing, from Sparksheet.com, that show consumers want more than what we’ve given them.
1. True Evidence
The era of the tagline may be over. For too long, the majority of marketing has dumbed down content and tried too hard to simplify our complex world. The most effective branding and marketing credits people with intellect and reason. It facilitates choice. In order to make the best choice, consumers want more and better information. That is because they are more discerning when it comes to content and desire true evidence of one brand’s claim over another. Longer form marketing is already increasing in importance and will accelerate.
2. United Individuality
For too long brands have lumped consumers into vague groups that serve corporate purposes more than reality. Studies show that individualism is growing more important and carries a subtle difference. Some of us will want to stand out while others will not. This trend is manifesting itself in interesting ways that challenge old school brand building. Even now Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Michael Kors are ditching logos because Millennials do not like them. Individuality also means customization. 48% of Canadian consumers would buy more from a store that personalizes the shopping experience. Recognizing consumers as real people with different desires is paramount to brands. We have to use the tools at our disposal rather than segmenting like it is 1955.
3. Authentic Stories
The third trend has consumers reevaluating the notion of heroes and heroism. Now consumers identify with sincere, real and relatable types of heroes. We have seen this with Dove’s Real Beauty work. It has to be the most discussed campaign in marketing for some time. This everyday hero celebration has continued with Always’ campaign, “Like a Girl.” What they have done is shine a light on what is possible while educating us on the fact that 72% of girls feel held back by society. Consumers are looking for inspiration, and brands know that presenting real people and their real stories can have deep impact in awareness and sales.
4. Positive Spin
A recent study found the most shared New York Times stories in the past two years were positive in content and tone. 73% of Facebook users believe the network exists to share positive posts. Clearly, consumers want to digest and share good news. Brands have responded with corporate social responsibility programs but these are developed in the same way as ad campaigns so lack a certain authenticity. Good deeds and the sharing of good deeds will become a normal course of events. This will be tough for brands and marketers who have been trained to think that all communications must be jarring, intrusive and deserving of recognition.
5. Growing Empathy
People check their phones every 6 minutes yet there is no evidence this is making us more intelligent, more efficient or more empathetic, for that matter. A study of college students found a 40% decrease in empathy in the past four decades, with the steepest declines showing up in the past 10 years. Is technology the culprit? Real-time, face-to-face conversations foster empathy, trust, discovery, democratic debate, patience, mentorship and self-knowledge. Clearly being plugged in does not equate to being properly tuned in. Over the next five years we will slowly return to real conversation and relationships by creating a balance with technology that winning brands will help facilitate.
Read the remaining 4 trends here.
If you need to update your marketing strategy, let the experts at Front Burner Marketing help guide you into the new age of content marketing. Contact us today.