LLORENTE & CUENCA 05 Feb 2019 // 7:47PM GMT
We live in a constant paradox. As technological disruption drives us into a race for accelerated transformation, our humanity also seems to cling more than ever to the ground to claim the importance of who we are and our relationship to the environment. The trends for 2019 revealed in this report reflect this tension.
Different brands and companies, especially those focused on the premium segment, often tell us that "luxury is in the details". No matter how advanced in technology, the basics of customer service are the keys to a lifetime.
The CISCO report "Customer Experience in 2020" reveals that 70% of purchasing decisions will be based on the consumer experience and, according to VentureBeet, by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with a partner.
The question of how to apply and capitalize on technology and digital strategies to marketing is a simple one. However, although the implementation is complex, the brands that dare to provide in the coming years not only a successful buying experience, but an after-sales phase that keeps the flame burning, are those that will have lasting marriages with their consumers.
"Today's consumers are eager to share their experiences on social networks and only brands that are aggressive in their way of communication and integrate different areas of knowledge to marketing strategies such as design, psychology, content production, sales and public relations, are those who will maintain consumer preference. - Melissa Uribe, Marketing Director of Bacardi Mexico.
We are faced with a consumer who strongly claims his individual identity through the consumption of products and services based on granting originality. This tendency is born out of the loss of the sense of individuality generated, on the one hand, by the rapid effects of globalization by which the world tends towards social and cultural homogenization and, on the other, by the slow permeability of the concept of diversity.
From design, 2019 will be the year of diversity and activism. For example, we will see more photographs of women, races and ethnicities or the use of portraits will increase with docile postures but with glances full of intention.
Mestizo consumers openly share their desire to exalt their own identity through consumer experimentation, and brands must face the challenge by satisfying their identity concerns.
The reign of the voice
Speech recognition has begun to change the way consumers relate to their environment. It captures the attention of different sectors and makes more and more brands incorporate this new way of interacting with them. The voice becomes not a product, but an experience.
Amazon announced that it intends to sell 113 million Echo devices in the coming years and, although they currently lead this sector, competition in the device market is expected to be fierce. Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are just some of the best-known speech recognition software. However, this trend is permeating and being implemented in other consumer moments, changing their way of relating to products and brands in all sectors.
Ultimately, it's not just about making existing content fit a device's considerations. The voice trend suggests that brands and businesses need to reconsider their product design, their relationships with partners and consumers, and even their organizational structure.
"Part of Toyota's core has always been to develop and implement innovations that increase the safety of drivers of its vehicles. Voice command recognition in Lexus cars gives the driver the opportunity to concentrate more on their driving, as well as allowing access to music, temperature and navigation controls, among others, making their experience on the road more pleasant and giving them a greater chance to enjoy behind the wheel of Lexus," Adriana Paredes, Marketing Manager of Ricardo Perez, S. A. Distributor of Toyota and Lexus in Panama.
The eSports boom will continue to gain prominence in the coming years. They have become an economic engine that adds millionaire audiences. By 2020, more than 300 million people are expected to watch online sports worldwide, generating about $1.5 trillion in annual revenue.
This growth is a great opportunity for brands seeking to connect with audiences beyond their reach. The boom is a direct consequence of changes in consumer habits, who increasingly choose to move from traditional TV to streaming.
Companies of all sizes have wanted to join the eSports movement. Facebook, for example, has bought exclusive rights to four popular tournaments. But the key question is how to add value to this universe and enter it in a credible way. Brands will have to follow consumer habits and make the fundamental leap into streaming platforms, social networks, and prepare to compete intensely in the digital world.
In an Ericsson study, 30% of participants acknowledged that the speed at which technology develops makes it impossible for them to keep up to date with their abilities and abilities. Efforts to learn and relearn are increasingly becoming an endless race.
Brands must adapt and prepare for this whirlwind of data, otherwise important opportunities will be lost with regard to consumer behaviour and therefore perceptions. For many, it is a great opportunity that will further accelerate our learning and increase the needs demanded by the labour market.
As Kevin Kelly points out in his book "The Inevitable", one of the great trends that will guide the next few years has to do with "flowing": letting ourselves be carried along by an ever faster current in which our own capabilities will have to adapt to learning and forgetting at a rate that will increase.
The streaming war
Consumers are becoming more and more demanding with the content they want to receive. They are willing to make changes in order to obtain a more personalised service tailored to their tastes, seeking quality rather than quantity. Changes in content consumption are determined by on-demand generation (Generation Z) and affect the business model of various sectors, from telecommunications to entertainment.
Traditional Hollywood talents are looking for more streaming presence to reposition themselves as brands, as YouTube stars are outperforming them in terms of audience recognition.
The war for the attention of users of these platforms will unfold a strong pressure on price, and will drive differentiated content and more innovative formats. The main winners of this war will be content producers as licensing costs will skyrocket.
¨The major platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are increasingly investing more of their budgets in original content, forcing pay-TV to change and brands to seek to integrate in a more authentic, organic and transparent way. Julio De Los Santos, Digital Marketing and Trademarketing Manager, Banco BHD León
Brands change makers
Citizen brands are characterized by having a clear purpose to improve the world in a way relevant to their business and be committed to beliefs and ideologies. Many of these companies have active policies of internal functioning and actions of social responsibility and sustainability with which they contribute to these purposes.
In the study "From Me to Us: The Emergence of Purposeful Brands," conducted in December 2018 with the participation of more than 30,000 consumers, 62% of those surveyed want companies to be meaningful in social, cultural, political and environmental issues. It doesn't seem like a good time to remain neutral. And in today's world of hypertransparency, it's no good hiding behind a low profile either.
What must companies do to avoid losing competitiveness in the face of this new scenario? Put into words who they are, what their soul is, what they do and why they are here in a sense that transcends mere business activity: to describe their purpose in the world.
"Part of Volvo's purpose is to contribute to a better society, protecting people and the planet. That's why by 2025 we expect 50% of our sales to be 100 % electric cars, a third to be self-contained cars, and 50% to be subscription models. - Leandro Teixeira, Marketing Director of Volvo Cars Brasil.
The ultra-observed millennials are the "new adults" and face challenges from a very different perspective than the previous generation. From their role as consumers, these new adults are immersed in various consumption models that affect their daily lives, such as remote work or the development of e-commerce.
New consumers are constantly seeking to turn their pressures and responsibilities into something easier to manage. Brands and companies can serve as a resource to "facilitate" the day-to-day life of these generations, through new tools, products, services, experiences and consumption models.
An example of this type of flexibility can be seen in coworking spaces, a work model that has grown in recent years and that allows professionals and entrepreneurs to share the same work space.
Coworking spaces allow something that does not happen in other traditional workplaces, such as serendipity and the connection with other professionals and entrepreneurs. In addition to being a turnkey solution for working, this model aims to create a "community" and foster a constant exchange between people, which enriches work, performance and work wellbeing", says Pablo Cardozo, Community Manager and alliances of Area Tres Work Place.
Today we cannot imagine our daily lives without being surrounded by technological devices. New generations are constantly surrounded by screens that provide information in different formats. However, our dependence on technology is becoming alarming, making us wonder if it is not largely the fault of brands.
In order to keep up with generational trends, brands resort more and more to the integration of technology in their buying and selling processes and interfere with socialization modes. These give us the tools, but it is also necessary that the current generation and those who are coming know how to use them to guarantee their physical and psychological well-being.
In 2030, it is estimated that 80% of all customer contacts are made through artificial intelligence, which tells us a lot about how technology is going to influence. The future is open and we still have time to rethink the new social molds, together with the brands that, although they yearn for greater engagement, must help consumers to invest in this era of (dis)connections.
Open source sustainability
Consumers are increasingly inclined to prefer brands capable of going beyond their sustainability platforms. Brands are transcending their own limits, seeking to add value and freely share their knowledge and technologies in order to offer effective solutions to numerous problems in today's world.
Several studies and success stories presented in 2018 have shown how the average consumer tends to pay more attention to those companies that get a real return from their initiatives in more general aspects of human life.
It is true that the consumer, when it comes to the truth about a brand, values aspects such as price or offer. However, the true notoriety of a brand is achieved through the generation of emotional experiences that contribute to the loyalty and purchase decision of people.
"The generation of contribution platforms that impact the future development of the society in which we operate, according to their needs and expectations, is substantial for the strengthening of our role as an actor that leads the sustainable growth of our communities" Andres Trochez, External Communication Manager Nestlé.