Well, actually, no thanks. The age of mindless consumption (“Would sir like to go large with that?) is over. People want a simpler, more self-sufficient life.Gone is the insatiable hunger for more, when we bought too much, ate too much and owed too much. Replacing it is a sense of responsibility, community and authenticity.
The shift is everywhere, from compacts overtaking gas guzzlers to farmer’s markets pulling in the crowds. Here are a few characteristics which will help you spot it.· It’s about rightsizing
Goodbye hyper-accumulation. Hello sustainability. After years of wasteful excess (XXL homes and OTT weddings), consumers are cutting back, wanting to feel good about their purchases and making do with “just enough.”
· It’s about purposePeople are planning their pleasures instead of bowing to instant gratification. The dizzying world of Buy-Throw away-Repeat is being replaced by folk taking more care in deciding what - and whether - to buy.
· It’s about keeping it realConsumers are moving away from the superficial and embracing causes larger than themselves. Look at the rise of organic food, the popularity of buying local, the drive to eco-consciousness. Being real is about community and its happy sense of belonging.
So, what does all this mean for today’s brands? To engage meaningfully with customers and continue to prosper, modern brands need to embrace this new “less is more” paradigm, place its qualities right at the heart of their offering and “be the change”.
As Volkswagen said it in their famous ad when they launched the Beetle in big-car-loving USA: Think small.
Have a great 2013 everyone!
Hilton Alexander Rose
Your Brand Agency | Director