Today consumers are no longer just looking for social networks to broadcast their ideas, connect with people, and share their experiences but also want a deeper online and offline experience for satisfaction. In light of the recent economic upheaval, there has been a shift in the average consumer, and they prefer those experiences over products.
Marketers have to focus on these trends, which drive consumers from a socially based consumption model to experience.
The following are the top five trends that help to shape such experiences:
It began as a trend in the education industry to help improve learning and retention. In recent times it has evolved and is being used as a strategy tool by marketers and management firms to help clients find a solution to complex problems and map them out via large-scale visuals.
It’s the use and exploration of images as tools for communication and can be applied to any subject matter to augment a change in any demographic or audience.
The London-based firm Group Partners has constructed the most comprehensive visual thinking experience, allowing solutions to be co-created and applied to essential conversations “which transforms the way people think and act, and quickly,” says Founder John Caswell.
The company applied this technique to more than 2,500 businesses, including Coca-Cola, Estee Lauder, and The BBC. With a move towards thinking in terms of pictures and graphics, the visual thinking framework is becoming more compelling.
The New Aesthetic
The term coined by “technologist” and London-based writer James Bridle refers to the blurring of the digital and actual. This was experienced in the retail industry in September 2011 via Sweet Shoppe by The Future Laboratory and Campaign during the London Design Festival. Through a hyper-real, personalized, and technology-enabled production, it allowed people to see, smell, touch, and taste the retail experience.
The Sweet Shoppe is intended for future consumers who will not know life without the internet. There won’t be any distinction between the digital and accurate. People will seek experiences that seamlessly integrate their online and offline life.
Another example of such technology is the Louis Vuitton Kusama Studio iPhone application. However, this concept remains highly fragmented and incoherent to explain to allow a marketer to grasp its full potential.
It refers to applications that cut down digital noise to get only information that helps them focus on a task. Founder Mark Weiser is considered the father of “ubiquitous computing,” another name for the technology.
According to him, digital technology should make our life easier and help reduce distractions in workflow and make it calmer without disruptions, thus blurring the life between digital and real life.
One example is the Facebook Ticker, which moves the real-time update to the periphery without moving too quickly for the average user. It’s also gaining popularity with curation and social product discovery sites like Buyosphere, Svpply, and Discovered. The whole idea is to reduce the flow of information and streamline it.
It is a research aspect of marketing wherein studies are conducted to understand the consumers’ cognitive response to marketing stimuli. Companies are now using science and a better understanding of the human brain to help make websites more memorable so that the consumers are manipulated into purchasing the products.
The concept is that the consumers make their buying decisions on an impulse and in the emotional part of their brain. Hence, the goal of Neuromarketing is to blow the consumers’ minds with products that they desire, thus driving their purchases. It came out as a study of participants in the “Pepsi Challenge.”
Game Theory is a critical component in this theory encompassing singularity. According to this concept, technology is becoming more intelligent than humans. Once that happens, we will enter an era that we cannot fathom, as our human brain is incapable of doing so.
The argument put forward by marketers is that having multiple people make the same action at once in ways that are redeemed safe by them to drive massive change. According to Gartner’s 2011 study of Gamification, “the opportunities for businesses range from having more engaged customers to creating more brand narratives.” Thus, overlaying game theory with current trends, marketers can see that singularity is a bridge between real life and fantasy.