As we begin 2017, we thought it relevant to look at some trends that are predicted for 2017 which highlight the opportunity for brands to leverage and ‘tap into’ these emerging consumer behaviours trends. J. Walter Thompson Intelligence mention a number of noteworthy trends for the coming year – more than can be covered in our weekly blog, so we are just touching on a couple ones we thought particularly interesting.
Breaking the Packaging Mould
We have seen consumers more and more embrace a holistic approach to wellbeing. To tap into this behaviour, packaging is being turned upside down and inside out with what is being dubbed Double-take packaging. Not only does this type of packaging align with consumer needs, it also represents an innovative way to maximise retail floor space. We are starting to see overseas brands such as Ila (kitchen ingredients) use sleek packaging evocative of beauty packaging. Another good example is The Beauty Chef’s food products, which are packaged and marketed for beauty but are stocked in-store under both beauty and food. APA Beauty’s approach to packaging with its oral care products makes them look like beauty products. Rather than confusing consumers it’s about meeting their desire for a holistic approach to wellbeing.
The result is we are seeing consumer behaviour driving a shift as to where products sit on the shelf through redesigned packaging. Food brands are being marketed for beauty, beauty products can adopt the form of cleaning products. This is definitely a space where market research can help inform new pack designs to ensure they align with consumer needs.
New Ways to Reach to Elusive Markets
Gamevertising is an interesting area for marketers. As we know, it’s become more and more difficult to reach consumers (particularly younger consumers and notably young male consumers) through traditional channels. However, since the launch of media platform, Twitch, we have seen some behaviour shifts in this elusive market. Twitch is the domain for a large volume of gamers, mostly male. Since Amazon acquired Twitch, advertising dollars are now going where the ‘eyeballs’ are and are capturing the attention of this audience. It works similarly to product placement in movies, however in this environment brands are integrating their products into games or putting live ads on streaming channels such as Waypoint. Brands such as Coke, Pepsi, Bud Light, Pizza Hut, Old Spice and Red Bull have signed up with Twitch. Gaming is not only a good platform for advertising, it is also a growing area where market research is being successfully utilised. It is interactive and an effective way to engage participants.
Virtual Reality and Marketing
Another new and emerging area is VR ads. Relatively affordable headsets such as Google’s Daydream View or Xiaomi’s Mi VR make virtual reality easily accessible. As more and more consumers take on virtual reality it is not unforeseen to think that ads in VR will become the norm for users. However virtual reality will require brands to approach advertising in a different way and to understand how to maximise the 3D space and ensure a worthwhile experience for consumers. Brands such as North Face and BMW are already experimenting in this space. So while it may be on the fringes now, VR content is predicted to be worth around $38 billion in revenue by 2026 (that’s in less than 10 years).
North Face has not only been trialing the VR ad space, it has a small area of its New York store for customers to put on VR headsets, which transport them to remote hiking, climbing or base-jumping locations they might otherwise never visit. It is hoped that VR taps into shoppers’ deep aspirations and gets them excited about the great outdoors — and the North Face gear that could help them weather it.
As with gaming, VR is also an area where we are starting to see market research using VR as a way to create stronger engagement with participants as part of the feedback process. We expect this to be a growing area within market research.
Foods with a Function
Another big trend is foods with a function, or aligning eating with wellness. This is becoming more and more mainstream. Ayurvedic eating (based on an ancient Indian medicinal system where you eat foods according to your body type, or dosha) is poised to become the next big thing. In 2016, the first Ayurvedic restaurant opened in New York.
We’ve all seen the take off in popularity for tumeric, the bright orange spice used in the Ayurvedic system to fight disease because of its ant–inflammatory powers. It’s one of the trendiest superfoods on the menu at the moment. Some Melbourne cafes are now even offering tumeric lattes (and they are delicious!).
As the ancient Ayurvedic proverb quotes, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” This goes along way to explain why this diet is gaining traction with today’s health-conscious consumers.
Why Consumer Research Continues to be Important
Ongoing changes in consumer sentiment are occurring faster and faster. Trends are being adopted faster and are constantly changing. That’s why it’s important to regularly tap into the minds and hearts of your market, to understand how they’re feeling, what they are looking for and how you can meet these changing needs. It is also why new concepts need to be tested to understand if they meet the consumer spec.
For more information about how we tap into the emotions of consumers to help brands remain relevant, please give us a call at Truth-Serum.
J. Walter Thompson Intelligence – Trends and Change to Watch in 2017
Washington Post – Ever Wanted To Base Jump? North Face Wants You To Try It – In Its Stores