2011 trends (post 3 of 4)

106595940 For the last couple days, we've been working our way through Trendwatching.com's top 11 consumer trends for 2011. (Read parts 1 and 2)

We're exploring them in small sets so we can dig in a little deeper.  Today, we'll look at trends 7 & 8 (bet you can guess what's coming tomorrow!)


7.‘Twin-sumers’ and ‘Social-lites:’ Both of these types of online consumers identified by trendwatching.com are critical to spreading positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Twin-sumers are consumers with similar consumer patterns, likes and dislikes, and who are hence valuable sources for recommendations on what to buy and experience, while social-lites are consumers who consistently broadcast information to a wide range of associates online.

Question re: trend #7:  This trend is acknowledging the rising importance of what is now being called P2P (person to person) marketing.  It's a fancy way of saying word of mouth.  But as consumers grow both more frugal and more skeptical — finding influencers like the Twin-sumers and Social-lites will become even more vital to our marketing efforts.

Of course…social media is the amplifier in the equation.  One co-worker telling another co-worker about a new restaurant and the terrible service they got has now become a Facebook update, with 500+ friends seeing the same story.

So the question of course is this — who among your current customers who have broad circles of friends/social media contacts?  What would get them to talk about your offerings?  It's certainly not going to happen if you simply meet their expectations.  What could you do, say, offer, ask, share that would be remarkable enough to tell others?


8.Emerging Generosity: This trend is about brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (especially China) who will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize, as opposed to just sell and take.

It’s a profound cultural change and a consumer demand that their counterparts in mature markets have had a few years to getting used to.

Question re: trend #8:  This trend ties to their first trend — the random acts of kindness.  But now the generosity isn't aimed at your consumers, it's offered to the world.  Or at least your part of the world.

Now, this isn't just closing your eyes and choosing a charity to support.  This is all about understanding your brand the way Avon and Dove do.  Or how Dawn recognized it had a natural tie to the oil spill and the animals harmed by the oil.

This is really a three-fold question.  First — what cause is the perfect fit for your brand?  Second — how can you engage your employees and customers in the cause?  And third — how do you tell the world about your efforts without bragging or coming off like you're patting yourself on the back?


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