This edition of #SocialSpeak assesses how consumer behaviour has changed, thanks to social media and other new business markets.
Let’s talk about consumer behaviour firstly. We are a species of habit. We shop at the same stores, use the same products, and are hesitant about making the switch when a new novelty comes along. In the past thirty years, businesses have seen a complete upheaval in traditional products replaced by foreign fixtures.
Transformative products ensue transformation among consumers, asking them to shift their behaviour, and transformation is pretty daunting. If you told your mother, twenty years ago, that the future of vacations would include accommodation that is actually someone else’s home, that would’ve been outrageous. And yet, Airbnb has managed to change the game of travelling. Individuals can now feel at home in most, if not all, of the countries in the world. Twenty years ago, not only did the concept seem foreign, it seemed like a downright bad business idea, and just wrong. Tables have turned, showing markets, and consumers, that not only is it actually a pretty great idea, but it’s also put hotels in a state of being considered a commonplace product.
When products require a behaviour-shift, and a successful one at that, there are groundbreaking benefits. Consumers are able to access better products and can experience new types of interactions and activities. There is untapped potential, as transformative products also have the ability to create a new, untouched space in the market. There’s no competition, as giant corporations are left in the dust of the desire to create a simpler, more favourable environment. Better yet, these alien products sometimes redefine the entire market, creating a new paradigm of consumption. Consumers won’t look back at hotels unless the premise of the product changes. There are more expectations and at a new standard.
And that’s the beauty of the transformative product, as they are designed to hold optimum value. They must be of exceptional value, as consumers need to feel that their behavioural shift is not going unnoticed. Revolutionary products must create great value to overcome initial scepticism consumers feel. As creatures of habit, once the switch is made, companies have customers for life. Or until the next big shift.
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT’S TRANSFORMATIVE POWER
When we speak about social media, we speak about the witty memes, the cute photo uploaded from you and your partner’s honeymoon. Sometimes we talk about those funny cat videos that have captured our hearts and cracked us up. Social media has become our platform for everything and anything, yet when we talk about it, we neglect a big part of it. The original premise of social media is a platform that reaps profits. The personal use of social media was a function that was later added, and further profited off of, as individuals became more and more inclined to use these platforms as a way to facilitate socialisation. The vortex that these platforms create means that if you’re not in, you’re out. Users signed on to make sure that they are in the sphere, that they are accessing information, and, to be quite frank, that things were made simpler.
As this edition of #SocialSpeak comes to a close, here’s some food for thought. How can we, as consumers, direct businesses towards beneficial, efficient, and long-term transformative behaviours? And how can we, as businesses, be more accurate on the long-term repercussions of brands and products?
Tune in for next week’s #SocialSpeak!