Though US economists are cautiously predicting an up-tick in consumer spending
next year, the post-recession landscape will present brand marketers
with new challenges, new engagement
realities and new rules, and will increase pressure to prove how and why branded products
deliver value, according to Dr. Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys
Using what Passikoff calls “predictive loyalty metrics” gleaned from consumer data his firm collects, Brandkeys analyzed the likely consumer values, needs and expectations for the next 12-18 months and offered the following 10 trends:
- Value is the new black: Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This may spell trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.
- Brands are increasingly a surrogate for value: What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for.
- Brand differentiation is brand value: The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic
features continue to propagate in the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for sales and profitability.
- “Because I said so” is over: Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.
- Consumer expectations are growing: Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest technologies and innovations, and hunger for more. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive and prosper.
- Old tricks don’t – and won’t – work anymore