Consumer Behaviors Driving Brands to Become Platforms
In a recent post, we built a business case around the transformation from brand to platform. In it, we discussed on this transformation leads to brand growth through sales, referrals and reduction in service expenses.
The thing about business trends, is that they are usually predicated on consumer trends. There are many things that have happened over the last 5-10 years that have changed the business world that we are currently in. For example, the recession, the penetration and permeation of the mobile device, social media, access to information and generation evolution across all generations all have played their part in the trends that are effecting our business and brand today.
Top Trends Driving the Brand as a Platform Movement
With so much changing in the world for businesses, we wanted to break down the most significant consumer trends that are driving the platform transformation.
Real Time / Always On
About 77% of all Americans have a computer in their pocket* that has more computing power than the Apollo 11 Spacecraft. And that computing power is being put to work by staying connected 24 hours 7 days a week for research, social media, gaming and entertainment. The Zero Moment of truth starts in our pockets and as brands, we have to be prepared for that.
Relevance / Personalization
With an always connected consumer, comes a tremendous amount of data. And that data is expected to be used to build more relevant interactions and personalize experience. From media targeting to customer service to customized products, personalization is something that consumers are beginning to expect from the brands they support. As such, 87% of consumers believe that brands can be more personalized and consistent with their experiences.**
Word of Mouth
This isn’t a new concept, but consumers love to share their experiences whether good or bad. And they assume their experiences from their brands to fully satisfy their needs and expectations. These experiences are built at various moments of interaction, not through communications alone. 70% of consumers will believe online reviews of a product or service over what a brand says.***
Connectivity, integrated supply chains, innovative commerce models and enhancements to logistics have made shopping online the immediate gratification that only in-store could provide. This has completely augmented the expectations of immediacy when shopping online. In NYC I can order from Amazon Prime Now and have it delivered within the hour. That’s a pretty high bar for any company to compete with. And it’s a trend that is only rising. 64% of consumers believe expect that they will get immediate service from brands regardless of the channel they use.****
Option / Insurgent Brands
All of these trends are leading to one scary trend for more established, traditional organization. And that is the trend of option. These trends and technologies have also created a new business ecosystem where it’s never been easier to start and run a company. This (plus a good venture capital investment environment) has lead to an onslaught of option for the consumer. These options take on many forms, but one thing is true, you’re not the only fish in the sea anymore.
As we can see, these trends are effecting every aspect of business. From strategy to technology to media to customer service. In order to grow and survive in this new normal, we must look at our new reality and create a better future for our brands.
This is where the transformation to brand as a platform comes into play; creating an end-to-end experience that is always on, focused on the human consumer and is enabled by technology. All geared towards building lifelong relationships between brand and consumer.
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*77% of Americans own a smartphone today, compared to 35% in 2011 (pewinternet.org)
**87% of customers believe brands could deliver more consistent experiences (visioncritical.com)
***70% of consumers trust online recommendations more than brand statements (Forrester.com)
****64% of customers expect real-time service regardless of the channel they use (v12data.com)