Trends Go Social, part 4: The power of eavesdropping

Social Thinking

In the final instalment of our four-part series with Trendwatching, we dive into the social trends that are shaping the consumer landscape right now. We’ve covered everything from status and personal improvement to a love of locality and the desire to play. Our final part dives into HELPFULL – the demand for convenient and superior service – and JOYNING, the core instinct to connect with others. 

This post was originally published on Trendwatching, and they’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it here.

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 17.53.00HELPFULL means it’s time for brands to be part of the solution, not the problem.

You don’t need us to tell you that innovations, products and services that make life easier will eternally find favour with consumers. For busy consumers, convenience is now a prerequisite, and their definition of it becomes ever-more exacting.

Consumers seek brands that can make daily life easier, faster and as hassle-free as possible. From entirely new solutions to bundled products, integrated add-ons and innovative business or service models, they seek brands that understand and cater to their needs. And that goes for post-purchase support, too – anything that brands can do to solve or alleviate pain points (before, during and after a transaction) will be welcomed unquestionably.
The We Are Social perspective

A vast array of new innovations can help consumers in their everyday lives. From earbuds that translate foreign languages to Nest, which allows you to control your home temperature from miles away, we are fast becoming accustomed to having smart digital solutions to everyday problems in our lives. And the team behind the new home health assistant Pillo believe it could become your one stop shop for anything from checking your medical appointments to remembering to take your pills.

As well as gadgets for the home, the personal finance industry is ahead of the game in trying to make banking less of a chore. No sooner have we’ve all gotten used to mobile banking fingerprint recognition logins, HSBC has announced it is adding facial recognition to its repertoire. Will we soon reach the day when you’ll no longer have to remember your password, favourite number, uncle’s birthday and twenty other unrelated facts just to speak to a mortgage advisor? Let’s hope so 😉Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 17.53.09JOYNING is the eternal desire for connection, and the many (new) ways it can be satisfied.

People are naturally social beings, who will forever enjoy coming together, making connections, collaborating and sharing. And whilst endlessly evolving platforms for digital encounters continue to reshape the methods of connection, there will always be opportunities for brands, too.

Digital tools continue to expand the scope and scale of an individual’s network, but this sense of digital connection isn’t just redefining how consumers connect with each other – it’s radically transforming the brand/customer relationship. The growth of JOYNING-centered business models – that’s everything from collaborative consumption models, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platforms – are just one result of that.
The We Are Social perspective

You’re single. You have a date, and the next day your paramour sends a cryptic text that you can’t interpret. What do you do? Screenshot it and send it to your mates for their opinion, that’s what. Nattr, Crowdpilot and Boompi make this process far easier.

Rather than simply facilitating open conversations, they all allow users to get a second – or third – opinion on an existing conversation. Nattr and Crowdpilot allow you to crowdsource witty responses for potential partners, or smart answers for the world of business. Boompi, meanwhile, helps you to make new connections in your area but has additional sneaky features like being able to invite a friend to secretly join a conversation so they can offer a second opinion.

Arguably, the people we’re really getting closer to when using these apps are the ones giving us the second opinion – but as long as there’s a need to make a strong impression, the technology will be there to help us cheat our way to doing it.

Missed the first three instalments and want to get the full picture (including our definition of a Trend Framework, and why you need one)? Check out Part One (STATUS SEEKERS and BETTERMENT), Part Two (YOUNIVERSE and LOCAL LOVE) and Part Three (PLAYSUMERS and EPHEMERAL).