This time of year, articles about marketing trends start to appear. From what I’ve read so far I think everybody agrees on one thing: connecting with today’s consumer is more challenging than ever before. Brands must engage in ongoing two-way dialogue with their target audiences. The brand experience has now evolved into something driven by engagement and share-ability.
Best selling author Rohit Bhargava has curated a list of new business trends to watch in the coming year. Here are two trends that will impact marketers in 2014. To find out more, check out Rohit’s website: 15Trends.com
#1: Branded Utility. Companies are starting to create content that incorporates meaningful solutions for consumers, essentially combining marketing and operations activities to increase consumer engagement. An example Rohit used to demonstrate this is a new Charmin app called “sit or squat,” which directs consumers to the cleanest bathrooms when they are away from home. While there isn’t any effort designed to specifically educate the consumer about Charmin, the app provides consumers with valuable and helpful information, and in so doing, creates a positive association with the brand. Two recent best-selling books have popularized this trend, Youtility by Jay Baer and CTRL ALT DELETE by Mitch Joel.
#2: Non-Digital Connoisseurs. Truly enthusiastic consumers want original experiences and are paying top-dollar to get it. An example of this is vinyl record purchases, which despite imperfections are often preferred over the digitally engineered alternative. This desire to have original products has been around for a long time in certain categories (e.g., people who buy vintage cars) but the interest is expanding into other categories and into younger demographic groups.
For more marketing trends, read this article from Forbes.com.