Posts Tagged trends
As to celebrate International Women’s Day today, I thought it would be great to share an article which proves on how women are actually change agents – even the excessively girly ones :
Spoken language changes fast, but who are the agents driving such rapid change? Recent linguistic research is pointing to young women as being very influential in this process and grapples with the question: how do these vocal trends make their way into the mainstream? How do they cross the gender boundaries to the point where it is now men who are more likely to say the word ‘like’ than women?
Recent projects, spearheaded by Stanford linguistics professor Penny Eckert, Mark Liberman at University of Pennsylvania, Long Island University speech scientist Nassima Abdelli-Beruh, and professor Carmen Fought at Pitzer College, are proving the point that there is something deeper here than the merely surface assumption that young women who use certain vocal trends are ‘immature’ or ‘airheads.’
Carmen Fought told the NY Times that:
If women do something like uptalk or vocal fry, it’s immediately interpreted as insecure, emotional or even stupid. The truth is this: young women take linguistic features and use them as power tools for building relationships.
Research in this area looks at vocal trends driven by young woman like uptalk (where we pronounce statements as if they were questions), new slang, vocal flying (that raspy, croaking intonation that usually comes in at the end of a sentence), and of course, the use of the word ‘like.’ Professor Eckert asserts that:
A lot of these really flamboyant things you hear are cute, and girls are supposed to be cute. But they’re not just using them because they’re girls. They’re using them to achieve some kind of interactional and stylistic end.
In discerning the cultural drivers, general conclusions revolve around the idea that vocal trends double as social cues and help women navigate through social interactions. Other theorists see it as an empowerment tool, while others want to say that young women simply want to get away with speaking flamboyantly because they can. It’s not easy to discern because lowering one’s voice in a ‘vocal fry’, for example, can help the speaker sound more authoritative, but it can also express indifference.
However, the ability of these speech quirks to linger and get picked up by other segments of the population aside from women, demonstrates some type of deep-rooted linguistic influence by women.
Came across this great video that looks into how KPOP came about in Singapore and how its grown. Some very interesting finds such as seasonal trends in terms of when female and male artists are more dominant and how the group must have diversity in order to capture a larger audience.
Although slightly old it does still give anyone who doesn’t know much about KPOP some good background information.
All credit has to go to the makers of this that obviously spent hours and hours finding out about KPOP.
A nice piece done by Landor in India. Lulu Raghvan takes us through how the Indian consumer has evolved and where they are now by talking to Senior Executives in various agencies and organisations that studied the indian consumer.
Keeping up to current trends is essential for companies, which strive to be relevant to the fast-pace world and meet ever-changing consumer demands. In this piece, which is an abridged version of ANTHEM SIGHTINGS, Vol. 2, 2011, the most notable trends of today are covered—some of them root in old approaches, and some seem to be completely new, but all of them are shaping modern marketing efforts and influencing our perception of brands. The author of the paper, Kathy Oneto, Vice President, Brand Strategy in the San Francisco office of Anthem Worldwide, made a list of ten current trends and their examples from all around the globe, demonstrating the processes redefining the marketing industry right at the moment.
1. Branded Cities: Cities branding for economic development
This issue of ANTHEM SIGHTINGS starts with the trend, which is not new, but extremely powerful and never-dying. We brand everything, from clothing and cars to people and events, so creating a unique image for the city is quite a natural thing. Branding cities, giving them a recognizable logo and motto is just like adding new features and tones to promotion of a trustworthy product, it’s challenging but rewarding—one of the recent projects of this kind is development of new vibrant, positive and catchy identity for London (ahead of Olympics 2012) and Moscow. What about creating a city (or city district) and its image from square one? One of the examples of these ambitious projects is Lavasa, an urban-planning project, which was designed to create a new city from scratch, using the most cutting-edge technologies and approaches, making it a business project. “Built on the principles of New Urbanism, Lavasa is a place where people can live, work, learn and play in harmony with nature… fulfilling their dreams of a better life and lifestyle,” says the www.lavasablog.com. “Lavasa will eventually house more than 300,000 people in five distinct ‘towns.’ It will also have a world-class medical campus, luxury hotels, boarding schools, sports academies, a Nick Faldo–designed golf course, a space camp, and, its developers hope, animation and film studios, software-development companies, biotech labs, and law and architectural firms—in short, all of the knowledge industries at the heart of the ‘new India’.” The city, which still raised some controversy during the process of the construction, is one of the most ambitious projects of this kind so far, with its ‘Life in Full’ core concept, the brand idea developed in cooperation with the U.S. office of Landor, which is to attract both new citizens, firms and investors. The other examples of improved models designed to update cites and turn them into a product were spotted in China (Shanghai areas rebuilt under the ‘Better City, Better Life’ tagline for the 2010 World Exhibition in the city), South Korea (Songdo International Business District), and Russia (the Skolkovo Innovation Center, a science and technology area outside Moscow).
2. Back to the past: Old is made new again
Нistory moves in cycles, this rule perfectly applies to marketing, as well. In fact, things that used to be popular come up to the surface again, causing huge buzz, and brands never miss an opportunity to capitalize on this trend. Hollywood spends a lot of time producing spin-offs and remakes, and consumer brands are treating shoppers with goods that rose from the ashes to revoke nostalgic feelings and just show how the life was twenty or thirty years ago. Some of the manufacturers use retro elements in their packaging and advertising (like Tidedid recently) or launch products with old and much-loved formulas (like PepsiCo did with itsMountain Dew and Pepsi ‘throwbacks’, which will become part of the company’s list of permanent offerings) and models (Nike launched an Air Jordan 13 Retro Playoff sneaker, its original version was introduced in 1998). Kathy Oneto figured out two major reasons why brands just love to reverse time: “First, the past speaks directly to a product’s or brand’s heritage, and heritage is one way for a brand to demonstrate authenticity or ‘realness.’ Second, for Generation X and Boomers, nostalgia brings up potent memories and emotions…that evoke strong emotions of comfort.”
3. Make it matter: Connecting with Millennials
Reaching young adults, building strong and intimate ties with people aged 17-34 now (born between 1977 and 1993) means paving the road to future success. But what does it takes to convince younger consumers that the brand is really worth their attention? Old approaches don’t usually work here. As the author of the piece states, “they [Millennials] seek in their brands what they see in themselves: real, transparent and genuine voices”, thus “to appeal to this mass, you need to be sure that there is meaning behind what you do,” “there must be a real emotional element for Millennials to embrace, as well.” Is it easy to say, but a hard thing to do? Not really, if you understand the core principles. Younger consumers can easily become a brand’s ambassadors in social networks, since sharing online feedbacks (both positive and negative) on everything they see is just part of their life. The generation of Millennials can easily create a new brand if they see a gap, and do this just with a snap of a finger (or a mouse click)—that’s how the group-buying website Groupon or AirBnB, which revolutionized the way people rent places while travelling, were created. Another way to reach the hearts and minds of the Gen Y representatives is to offer them an opportunity to shop and contribute to a good cause at the same time, which is just what Toms did with its One for One program (the brand gives one new pair of shoes for kids in need for every pair of shoes purchased)—there’re numerous examples of such beneficial programmes, revolving around charity, ecology and animal protection, and most of them are targeted at younger consumers.
4. The zeal for real: In authenticity we trust
People want to buy sustainable goods, they tend to purchase ‘real’ products made with love towards the product and the person who will use it. There’re two ways to be original and authentic: to have a rich heritage (like Ben&Jerry ice cream) and be made of natural ingredients or use craftsmanship and outstanding technique. Consumers like it when brands have strong beliefs or missions—this adds the realness to their image as well, and can help the brand look authentic even if it’s quite young. People appreciate being told truth, which can be even not that sweet as might be expected—Burt’s Bees used this and now indicates how natural its products are right on the label (the company is striving to make 100% organic personal care products, but so far only 50% of its line is fully natural, and the brand openly says it). Another way to get people trust a brand is empower them to introduce some changes in its life or influence the brand to update old approaches—like Domino Pizza did, which completely revamped the 50-year old pizza recipe based on its consumers’ comments.
5. How far can a brand stretch?: Start with credibility and permission
Are there any limits of a brand’s portfolio? To which extend can a brand add new lines? Naturally, nobody expects to see clothing collections within a nutrition or domestic appliances brand. The question is how far the brand can go here. Usually, brands enter quite predictable markets, using the logic—if you sell notebooks, your consumers might want to purchase items related to this products, like reading glasses, portable and rechargeable booklight, readers and bookstands (just like Moleskine recently did). In general, just every brand, which has been present on the market for quite a long time, has extended well beyond its initial niche with related lines—for instance, Toms has added eyewear collections,Skinny Cow is now offering candies in addition to sweet frozen indulgencies, andAmazon.com, which started as an online book shop, is now offering all kinds of products and even developed its own e-reader the Kindle, to name but a few. “But before considering which anchor to use to stretch your brand, always begin the discussion with credibility and permission—what are the limits of your brand’s relationship with its target consumer, and what will your consumer allow you to do?” asks Kathy Oneto.
6. Rethink reinvention
The term ‘reinvention’ might be quite confusing. When does a brand need reinvention, should it be done constantly or just under critical circumstances and—most important element here—how to reinvent. The most unconventional things happen when you take two (or more) totally different things together for a bigger impact. “This reinvention of business models and this behavior of association is taking place with the marrying of ‘the power of crowds’ and the old axiom ‘take small steps,” says the review. Non-profits can be a great source of inspiration for brands when it comes to reinvention. There’s a range of new programs and companies which connect people, who want to make their small investments to support other’s private businesses or creative projects or even education—Kiva.org is offering people to find investors for their businesses (each of them can give $25), My Major Company and Kickstarter.com for creative talent who are seeking funding to promote their talent forth and ScholarMatch for students, who need money for education. You take somebody who can contribute and those, who need contribution and create a mutually beneficial project. As simple as that. Brands should take this into consideration.
7. Contained quarters: For dine, play or stay
Now, you can sell a product even without putting it on shelf—a lot of goods are sold and purchased via online stores and this seems to be the future of marketing world. But those, who want to keep to traditional method of displaying their merchandize but want to do it with minimal expenses and maximum of creativity and innovation, are switching to pop-up stores. Using of huge containers comes to be the new turn of this trend. Now, to open a store, you don’t need to rent a shop or build it of mortar, spending much time and money—just take a container, and you will have what you want: a cheap and stunning vending space. Here are some examples, demonstrating that this trend is live and blooming: Smitten, an ice cream shop constructed using steel instead of bricks with iPads used as cash registers, Cinco Camp, “a boutique hotel constructed out of five 8’x10’ shipping containers and designed to blend into the environment to have the least impact on the land,” and an absolutely stunning container concept, a city rolling on wheels, created by Swedish architecture firm Jagnefalt Milton. The pop-up container trend fits the modern reality perfectly—when everything is changing in a blink of an eye, these temporarily venues are a true symbol of our busy times, as long as they can be moved and removed in a matter of hours (or even minutes).
8. Beautiful & purposeful: Bringing numbers to life
Infographics are nothing new—all kinds of charts and tables, which help absorb information easily, have been in use for years, but today primarily thanks to Internet the amount of information is overwhelming and we need it to be delivered in a more structured and clear way. Simple text doesn’t work here, audience needs data visualization, and web can offer great solutions to complete this task. For instance, Wordle.net can generate fabulous world clouds and via Google Public Data Explorer one can find lots of datasets relating economical and demographical issues.
9. Liquid precision: When forms defy function
We have always associated liquid with instability and something that can’t be worn or used just like as solid pieces. But the world changes. “Liquid tables for contemporary environments, retail display fixtures for LVMH and even sunglasses that visually defy logic but perform just the same as geometric counterparts,” says the piece.
10. See and be seen
Today, visual component is one of the most important ones in marketing. QR codes, which have entered our life quietly and gained real power over the previous months, can be spotted just everywhere—for instance, John Fluevog featured QR codes on the shoes of his recent collection (by scanning the codes, buyers could watch videos of how the collection was made), and Diesel integrated the QR elements into shopping experience—using the codes, shoppers could like the items and this information was posted on Facebook right away. QR codes lead us into a new dimension, much needed in our tightly packed world.
In the piece, the author also adds a few other trends, which are gaining popularity today: going local (supporting local businesses and initiatives), turning small (“Staples and Kohl’swill be rolling out smaller stores as they expand”), promoting happiness (Old Navy is calling people to ‘Put on your happy life’ in its recent promotion), renting movies and celebrating ordinary people. In fact, all these trends are an example of reorganization and getting to clear and basic things, which is all about core values and making things matter (the ‘liquid’ trend seems to be the one that stands out here). Today, when we have more products than we can consume and the amount of information is overwhelming, we need everything to be put and delivered in the clearest way possible, we want to have an opportunity to get heard (that’s why all these project revolving around micro-funding and campaigns centered on ordinary people like in Levi’s ‘Ready to Work’ campaign and their positive emotions likeCoca-Cola and the ‘Happiness truck’ initiative appear). Now, if you want to appeal to people’s minds, get rid of extra details and deliver products ‘without husk’, make ideas simplified but not diluted.
Author: Anna Rudenko, editor at Popsop, marketing communications expert at BQB
200,000 years ago, we began with the development of speech.
30,000 years ago, we developed symbols for communication.
7,000 years ago, we started writing.
Fast forward to 2020
Desktop computers are obsolete.
IPads are ancient technology. Can you believe we carried those big things around?
3D televisions are so 2011. It’s all about 4D interactive media.
Brands can no longer just advertise, have a Facebook page, run a contest and hope it goes viral. Brands will have to look for new ways to engage the consumer. Here are a few of our predictions of what we will see is 2020:
Visual impact will be more important than ever. Color, shape, texture, and movement will be key to capturing the attention of the consumer. The package will be more than a 2D/3D medium to convey information; it will be a moving, living tool that interacts with each consumer. Package design will incorporate electronic-paper that bends and shapes to your needs. Packages will show high-resolution images, videos, moving graphics, interactive instructions, and more. It will show you how to cook your packaged food, remind you when to take your medicine, show you how to build that new dollhouse, how to apply your mascara, it will connect you directly to customer service.
Source: Fujitsu employee Sachiko Iino displays the prototype of the electronic paper display. Photo; AFP
THE SMARTER QR CODE (enhanced QR + smarter SKU)
Social media will live on and be stronger, faster and easier than ever. Reaching people on a global scale will take a nanosecond compared to twitter. For example, you go to the store and see the amazing new Coca-Cola No.5 (This hypothetical new Coke is good for and will be recommended by physicians all over the world. Coke No.5 will give you 100% of all the vitamins and nutrients you need for the day plus an anti-ageing supplement.) You are so excited and want to share it with all your friends. Instead of snapping a shot with your camera phone, then loading it to a twitter picture service or Facebook, you simply place your finger on the can where it says “share” and instantly it’s uploaded to your networks. Sound too scary? Well, we already have retina scans, fingerprint and hand-scan locks, and if you think about it, touch screens like your Nintendo DS, iPad and iPhone all use touch sensitive navigation. This is the future, smarter QR code.
Unlike Fresh Direct, Peapod, Netgrocer, or the gazillion other online grocery services, the future of shopping is automated, integrated and fully engaged in virtual reality. With the new, improved, and smarter QR codes, an enhanced SKU code will be integrated to every package. And in every home, from the pantry to the refrigerator, laundry room to shower, discreet product scanners will be built into the home. As you stock and use products, your smart house will keep track of what you have used and what you need. If it’s something like detergent or shampoo, you can set up automatic re-order and delivery, as your smart house needs the products. With real time 4-D media and holographic technology, for fresh produce, you can enter the market literally from your house and pick directly from either your local green market/farmer or grocery store. You will be able to choose the exact tomato or head of lettuce you want and have it delivered the same day.
Watch this incredible video by Corning to see the Future of Smart Houses at work.
Watch here: http://youtu.be/6Cf7IL_eZ38
Brands will have to work harder to build relationships with the consumer. As technology gets smarter, consumers will start to expect a more streamlined approach to everything, especially buying. Brands will have to utilize the new technologies to their benefit. Companies might have to spend more to have digital paper packaging, but the payoff will be enormous as consumers feel more connected to the brand. There greatest opportunity in utilizing these new and future technologies is to build brand relationships that lead to brand loyalty.