Fluid, hyperconnected and highly personal; how can brands tap into today’s urban tribes? With conflicted emotional states: some good (I love being connected) and some bad (I just want to disconnect and switch off), here are some top key trends shaping today’s generation:
Humans ultimately communicate to connect with one another, But with uncomplicated communication. We don’t always trust people who appear perfect; in fact we generally won’t trust people who don’t appear to have any flaws. Brands are trying more than ever to behave like ‘real people’, often with shortcomings worn on their sleeves. The tried and tested method of being risk averse is failing flat for brands to be successful on social, with the ones leading the game appreciating that mistakes do happen.
Some great examples of this are Tumblr’s terms of service and Sleepify. For those new to Sleepify here’s a quick explanation.
Vulfpeck, a funk band from Michigan seemed to devise a way of beating streaming at its own game. The ask was simple. Their new album ‘Sleepify’ consists of 10 songs of absolute silence – each around 30 seconds long. They asked fans to stream it overnight on repeat whilst they sleep, in order to produce enough royalties for the band to go on tour. The reward? They used geotargetting data of the fans that streamed the album to plot their tour locations. But the question remains, What’s in it for Spotify?
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Real Not Big
Greater value is being placed on the real. Local and crafted businesses are flourishing in direct rejection of globalised commercial business with mass produced goods and heavily marketed products.
The results? Knowledge and storytelling are becoming vitally important for brands to create meaningful connections with their customers, as we crave for crafted products with ‘real’ stories, deeper stories and ultimately ones with more craftsmanship.
Some great examples are The People’s Supermarket, Byron and fashion brands now turning to Instagram to source real customers as the face of their label.
Under increasingly busy working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This contributes to a lifestyle in which relaxed, informal moments are valued more than ever before. People want to take advantage of their scarce free time, and ensure it is spent wisely.
So how do brands tap into consumers’ quality time? Have a look at Flaviar and the Puma Social Club who have understood the needs for consumer downtime whilst successfully leveraging the power of their brand.
Gen Z Can Do
Whilst Generation Y were raised with a sense of optimism and told their future presented limitless (sometimes often unachievable) opportunities, for Generation Z born into a recession, the gap between possibility and practicality has closed.
Modern skills and technology allows consumers to put themselves at the heart of their own consumption, forcing brands to deliver their promise of being consumer centric.
Brands that are embracing this are Codecademy, who exist to equip Gen Z with the skills to ‘do it yourself’. This can also be seen with the likes of Delta Airways and their ‘Innovation Class’, which is partnered with LinkedIn in an attempt to connect student with mentor on a trip.
Hyper-connectivity is affecting human relationships and attention. Despite the availability of everything-all-the-time, in our hyper-connected world, we just can’t consume it all. The expression ‘digital vacation’ may seem scary to some, however most of us are seeing it enter our lexicon for a generation who recognise that being connected all the time is affecting the quality of ‘real’ interactions. It’s increasingly eroding our attention spans, swallowing time and even disrupting our sleep.
What can we do about it and how are brands helping nurture this without losing out? Some great examples, along with the KitKat No Wi-Fi zone with Wi-Fi free benches and Selfridge’s Quiet Rooms is W Hotels ‘Tech Free Friday’ where our devices simply don’t work.