Had to pull together some thoughts recently on what ConsumerShift implied for consumer products companies. Here’s the outline.
- Authenticity: needs to permeate the entire culture of organizations from the executive leadership all the way down to ingredients and processes used
- Connection: especially for larger organizations, how to balance the advantages of [large] scale with the need for greater participating at the individual community level; one of the interesting potential technology enablers of this could be 3D printing for local production
- Anti-consumerism: the term consumer implies treating people as statistics or data point, which is a huge turn-off; people recognize they must consume, but don’t see that as defining who they are; want to be treated as individuals
- Self-expression: dealing with the Long Tail as the new norm — markets of one, which implies a need for providing real input for customers; breaking down the “us and them” distinction
- Enoughness – selling less stuff, but opportunities for higher-value add based on relationship building and the story or credentials of the offering, e.g., strong sustainability credentials, unique local origins, etc.
- Reconciling materialism & anti-materialism – the “anti-materialism” values are strongest in affluent countries with comparatively small and stable populations in comparison to emerging markets with materialist values and large and growing populations. Much different strategic approaches required.
- Opportunity to make a difference: attracting talent will be increasingly challenging – with top talent in high demand – and may boil down to organization who can provide the opportunity to “make a difference” having the advantage. Andy Hines