4 Ways to Engage Today's Consumer
posted by Stephen Wong ~ 11/04/13
Category: Marketing
We look at trends that are empowering consumers and giving them a reason to open their minds, hearts and wallets.

1. Gamification
2. Status Upgrade
3. Random Act of Kindness
4. Social Influencers

1. Gamification
Put simply, it’s the introduction of game mechanics into a non-gaming context.

Gamification at its core is about fun, rewards and social connections. It has the opportunity to connect people in ways never seen before.

It works by making interaction (usually technology) more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviours, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.

In practice
The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, ecommerce, or navigating web sites.

For example: The recently launched Wyngle website gives its customers a one-in three chance to 'win' a product for $1. The site and concept has been registered as a lottery with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing.

Wyngle will offer consumers items from brands including Apple, Canon, Hugo Boss, Asics, GHD and Dyson as well as local brands such as ModelCo, aussieBum and Ugg Australia. New products will be featured every few days across a range of categories such as accessories, beauty, electronics and sporting goods.
Source: InsideretailRead source article

In a nut shell:
Think Achievements
Think Rewards
Think Leaderboards
Think Levels

2. Status Upgrade
Like it or not, the need for recognition and status is at the heart of every consumer trend.  

Status is the ultimate (hidden) motive, a subconscious but ever-present force.  

As consumers are starting to recognise and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, ‘new’ status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity. All of this makes for a far more diversified ‘Statusphere’ than most brands and organisations have traditionally catered to.

Time to really figure out how and where your customers are now finding their status fix.  

Below are five ways to increase a customer’s status:  
1. Bigger, Better, Harder (consuming the most, and the most expensive)  
2. Generosity (giving instead of taking)  
3. Green Credentials (greener & less consumption)  
4. In the know and Skills (knowing & doing vs consuming)  
5. Connectivity (social status, online)  
Source: Trendwatching  

In a nut shell: Think of it as various ways to elevate a consumers standing. Socially, virtually or in reality.

3. Random Acts of Kindness
For consumers long used to (and annoyed by) distant, inflexible and self-serving corporations, any acts of kindness by brands will be gratefully received.

For brands, increasingly open communications both with and between consumers (especially online), means that it’s never been easier to surprise and delight audiences with R.A.K: Whether sending gifts, responding to publicly expressed moods or just showing that they care.

Just to be absolutely clear: R.A.K. is not about rewarding customers for tweeting/liking your product, and not about giving away lots of free samples.    

When done well it will bring unexpected glee to consumers and truly enhance a brand’s reputation.  

For example: Spain based airline Spanair collaborated with a creative agency to surprise passengers on one of its late Christmas Eve flights.  

As the passengers waited to pick up their luggage at the carousel, the airline sent out personalised presents to everyone who was onboard as a way of celebrating the holiday.  
Source: Trendwatching

In a nut shell: A Random-Act-of-Kindness

4. Social Influencers  
The role of social influencers is now becoming a phenomenon that can’t be ignored by retailers.  

Consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans, and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways. As a result, it’s never been more important for brands to make sure they too have the Friend-Factor.  

Some statistics:
  • Three quarters of Facebook users have ‘Liked’ a brand.
    (Source: AdAge/ Ipsos, February 2011)
  • Juicy Couture found that their product purchase conversion rate increased by 160% after installing social sharing features.
    (Source: CreateTheGroup, February 2011)  
For example: Levi’s was the first big brand to integrate its online store with Facebook, allowing shoppers to view which products their friends had ‘liked’, interact with them and create a ‘like minded shopping’ experience.
Source: Trendwatching

In a nut shell: Recommendation + Purchasing Decision = Sales Result

Stephen Wong heads up Creative and Strategy at Cumming Agency + Studios.
stephen@casmail.com.au


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