Living in a world of mega-trends

Mega-trends have the power to influence consumers across a broad spectrum. Staying current with mega-trends is the first step towards understanding consumers’ lives and creating the communications necessary to keep your brand first and foremost in their minds.

At today’s meeting of the Madison chapter of the IABC, Eric Bain discussed seven mega-trends that can change the way you think about your brand. Is a school a brand? Is a university a brand? You bet they are.

Eric is a project manager and consultant in Client Service at Hiebing, a Madison-based brand development and marketing firm, where he also heads up the agency's new Curiosity Council.

Mega-trends have the potential to exert powerful influences on consumer’s lives across many different industries, social classes, and age groups, Eric explained. His recent research has identified seven mega-trends that influence the consumer’s world (read: the world of students and their families) and, in turn, how marketers (read: educators and communicators) could and should deliver brand messages.

Here they are:
High-low consumerism. Consumers are curbing expenses in some areas so they can splurge in others.
Individualism. Consumers want news and entertainment on their own terms. They want to be seen and heard. They want to be considered interesting and unique. They expect to be offered more personalized products and services.
Choice overload. Consumer choice has reached critical mass, and unlimited choice drives consumers to seek expert advice to help sort things out.
Hiving. Generation Xers are homebodies and are focused more on their families than generations on either side of them.
Gender complexity. There is a blurring of traditional distinctions between men and women of today. Men are becoming more “feminized” while more women are indulging in the bachelor lifestyle.
Thirty is the new 20. Today’s twentysomethings are waiting longer to settle down and taking this time to figure out their lives.
Geek chic. Nerds are cool. They are the poster children for passion in their obsessive quest for knowledge, while remaining oblivious to social conditioning and formalities.

Eric will soon post a white paper about Mega-Trends on the Hiebing site, and when it’s up, I’ll link to it.



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