NEW YORK, LONDON and DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Wolff Olins, a global brand consultancy, in partnership with Flamingo, a global insight and brand consultancy, today unveil new research on fundamental cultural shifts leading people to demand a new type of relationship with organisations they engage — and presenting companies with a huge opportunity to deliver to consumers, through their brands, what we're calling a Fair Exchange.
Consumers no longer simply consume. They're active, skeptical, creative, entrepreneurial. Being an activist consumer was once a minority pursuit, but technology has made it mainstream. Based on research with top behavioral experts and social anthropologists, as well as consumer groups, the report suggests three behaviours that are moving from the fringe to become common everywhere. In the old power struggle between individuals and corporations, the battle lines are being redrawn. People are reshaping their relationships with companies by:
- Sidestepping Institutions. Everywhere in the world people are questioning authority and finding ways to circumvent it. People probe, compare, mistrust and even boycott corporations and quickly find alternatives.
- Making, Not Just Consuming. They are harnessing a multitude of new ways to adapt things, mix things up, create and sell things, build businesses.
- Taking Back Time. More than ever, people are using time on their own terms, multiplying the intensity of experiences and time with others, rejecting noise in favour of quiet. In exchange for data, people want greater freedom over their time.
Whether a FMCG, telco, retailer, bank or cultural institution, there's a growing need for a new kind of contract with consumers. The opportunities, for those ready to seize them, are huge. The report presents strategies for how brands should get started:
- When people are sidestepping traditional institutions: be in the place they side-step to.A brand needs to see itself as not a sole operator or an isolated institution, but part of an ecosystem and on the side of the people. Share a distinctive sense of purpose, and find ways for everyone to take part in it, and to enlarge it.
- When people are making, give them skills, knowledge and tools to make, share and even sell their own things.Give them ingredients, rather than the finished article. When technologists pursue the 'minimum viable product', companies should consider also building a 'minimum viable brand' that people can adopt, adapt and improve.
- When people want to manage their own time, let them timetable their interactions with your brand. By being more generous, flexible and open-ended the return and rewards for companies could mean even deeper insights from customers into what they want, when and how.
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