Trendwatching.com's latest report highlights the need for brands to look to their essence, rather than how the brand is/was always expressed. Sometimes it pays to be unconventional (This relates to my previous post about walking in stupid - 'knowing' the answer to ever question based on experience).
Here's a quick summary of this excellent presentation:
brand heritage becomes brand baggage.
The needs and wants of the new consumer often don’t align with the story you’ve created. For many consumers, brand heritage and story have become irrelevant, and a barrier which prevents them from engaging with brands.
Consumers are embracing brands that drop the ‘Our brand must always’ and ‘Our brand must never’ …
THE NEW NORMAL - The end of deomographic segmentation as we know it.
Global brands* are catering that cater to universal (and complex) needs and wants, rather than constructed, limited identities. Teenagers in Shanghai can lust after the same deluxe brands as Parisian dowagers.
* niche brands to target a core audience and exclude the rest will persist.
CLEAN SLATE COMPETITION
Consumers are flocking to brands without history or heritage.
Unlike established – often tainted – brands, startup CLEAN SLATE BRANDS often better embody the values of contemporary consumers: storied, responsive, accessible, sustainable, ethical.
The sheer volume of innovation, in every sector, means a host of new (and more relevant and simply ‘better’) solutions than those from legacy competitors.
Barriers to trusting new brands have fallen away in a marketplace of total information and perceived accountability.
Consumers are looking to established brands to disrupt themselves
To regain the attention of (creative, culturally aware) consumers in 2014 brands need to get creative, playful
and even subversive with their own history and heritage. For example in October 2013 Versace launched a collection designed by British-Sri Lankan recording artist M.I.A.. The M.i.a x Versace Versus collection is based on Versace copies found in London’s street markets.
FIVE HERETICAL QUESTIONS
If you’re ready to run with this trend you should consider it:
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