Our clients usually have reliable resources for tracking key indicators like sales reports, store traffic, leads, online analytics, surveys and research benchmarks. But a great marketing plan requires much more. They ask Ramey to help develop long-term marketing strategy by assessing the competition, industry dynamics and consumer insights. One of the valuable techniques we use to inform brands is our knowledge of the slow-moving currents, called macro-trends, that underly our society. Macro-trends move at a glacier’s pace and are part consumer behavior, part sociology and part technological advancement, but are key to planning for the future.
Consider these macro-trend insights and how they might affect your brand:
- Status seekers have produced a reactionary group of status deniers. An element of status has long been a constant in all consumer purchases. However, this new wave of status deniers looks for brands that will serve other values, such as aesthetics, quality, a unique story or sustainability. Regardless of how your brand is positioned, incorporating an element of authenticity into your communications strategy will appeal to this group.
- Technology has advanced the consumer’s ability to learn from personal data. The 2009 Fitbit success was an early indication of consumer desire to track and monitor physical activity in an effort to improve fitness levels. Today, mobile communication advancements allow consumers to connect with mentors. For examples, Rise, the app that connects users to a nutrition coach, or GOQii, a wearable fitness device that connects to a personal trainer. This technology opens up an opportunity for brands to develop mobile mentorship for their customers.
- Customization reigns supreme and adds value. Consumers are drawn to products that allow them to create environments reflective of their personal taste, and now to create personal ecosystems. The successful Nest thermostat, which optimizes home temperature based on the homeowner’s behavior, is partnering with Mercedes-Benz to put Nest access on the car’s dashboard. The personalized transportation service Uber is partnering with Amex to offer double rewards points and Spotify to offer a personalized music experience. The message here, even for small brands, is to provide so much value to your customer that they will never want to leave.
There are many other macro-trends constantly evolving and influencing groundbreaking marketing strategy. Even if your brand does not have the resources to make shifts that will create worldwide impact, you can learn from the underlying motivations they reflect and sharpen your focus for the years ahead.