Part of our jobs - no, let me rephrase that - part of our mission at andHow is to cultivate an understanding of the larger trends that are happening in business, marketing, pop culture, media and social movements so we can bring a perspective to our clients that both takes into account what's going on right now as well as inform future opportunties. This offers a context for discussion. It is a means but never an end. The only way to get to the "end" is to deeply understand your own customers and where their perspectives line up, or don't, with some of these larger trends.
Below is a small sampling of some trends that are making an impact right now. How can these inform how you interact with your customers? Understand and speak to very different motivations for the same shopping behaviors? Craft the questions you include in your next survey? How you can create more opportunities for your customers to create a more personal experience with your brand and share the results with friends, anyone, you?
Two great articles in the New York Times highlight two new counter-movements happening in consumer markets:
Read here to discover how a new breed of do-it-yourselfers have turned one of the most generic brands around into the ultmate expression of personal style.
An affinity for Made in the USA products used to be a hallmark of, shall we say the "red" states. This article explains how recent recalls from China and a concern for energy usage associated with imports is compelling the far left to check the manufacturers label before they buy.
In a controversial new book, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich slams the new trend of corporate social responsibility, and the heavy marketing of CSR to consumers, as a way for corporations and the government to avoid making truly meaningful changes. The Economist has an analysis here
Last but not least, Mark J. Penn, CEO of Burston-Marsteller and orginator of the "soccer mom" moniker (ugh), has a new, and much more appealing, book out called Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. In this Forbes article, he outlines why leveraging counter-trends can be so powerful for brands. Keep in mind that keeping up is key. One of Penn's top 10 Microtrends is the purchasing of second homes. Based on the 2005 data he cited it certainly makes sense but oh how far we've come...
Consider yourself caught up on some of the latest. Now do what many of your consumers are already doing - take it and make it your own.