Tag archives for Business

10 consumer trends for 2013

The end of the year is close and it is time for market analysis and research to make their way to the Internet and the press. It is interesting to see what the marketing milieu for the next year will be. Some popular economic websites such as Trend Watching are always ready with fascinating analysis and they have already published their top 10 key trends for 2013.

What lays ahead of us for the next year? here’s the answer:

1. Presumers on the go
Presumers – this weird group of consumers, want to help your product even before it has seen any popularity. These consumers are yet to influence the rise and fall of brands, even more so of the innovative companies. One can say that this is in line with the growing global trend of crowdsourcing and with the increasing role of social media, which make brands more open to communication. Some companies have already started using the power of presumers by collecting their support before launching new products.

2. From emerging markets to emerging markets
It seems like we are seeing the demise of a powerful trend we witnessed till not long ago – Chinese products conquering the world. The emerging economies seem to be paying much more attention to providing for the domestic market in order to stimulate internal consumption. The developing countries such as China and Brazil are now discovering the strong, till now dormant, potential of home consumption.

3. A mobile world – a world of mobility
The world has gone mobile. With the advent of 4G LTE, mobile phones have long become part of our lives. The use of mobile devices is constantly growing with huge leaps making companies add mobile-only features such as QR codes to facilitate access to their products. This sphere is yet to develop so we are living in interesting times, it seems like.

4. Eco-friendly to the core
Well, this is more of a trend in product marketing than a real phenomena. More “green” products will be launched at the market but these are more eco-inspired rather than really eco products produced under sustainable conditions. Even if they can’t save the world, though, these product at least draw attention to the problems.

5. Appresciptions or health applications
Smartphones can be smarter than their owners, and this is especially relevant to the huge variety of applications they can support. As a current trends, applications are getting more intertwined with the health-care system. For example, they can remind you of the time to take your medicine and monitor if you actually take it.

6. National identity
In our globalised world national identity seems to be melting down. The thing about this new trend is that the new markets and the smaller nations are beginning to promote their unique cultural heritage and identity. It’s interesting to see where this trend will eventually end. We’ll be keeping an eye on it.

7. Data for offers
Till now companies preferred to gather data of user behaviour and give nothing in return. No free lunch anymore though – companies start offering services using consumers’ information. The result is more personalized and useful services. Mostly it is loyal customers who can benefit from this trend, so now it pays to be loyal to a brand. In fact, this makes customers happier and companies end up with bigger sales.

8. Homework
Carbon footprint has become all the more important when making decisions. More and more consumers are eager to support local production and now technology makes it all the more easier. A possible solution is 3D printing. Can you think of other ways to boost local production?

9. Actions speak louder than words
Although PR specialists keep working feverishly to draft corporate missions and visions, consumers are growing more and more suspicious and want to see results. Hence, the increasing overtness that brands are looking for, eventually letting consumers become part of the whole process.

10. Demanding brands
There are some lucky brands enjoying true consumers’ credit. In order to carry out certain campaigns these brands are entitled to require more dedication and loyalty on the part of their fans. These campaigns, however, should not be too intrusive and should take place over reasonable intervals of time. Thus consumers’ energy will be channelized to support meaningful causes, for example.

6 sure ways to infuriate your customers

Well, it’s part of business, isn’t it! We all have nightmares in our jobs. But those we call “PR blunders” seem like to be the worst of all. PR blunders usually arise from customer dissatisfaction and the worst thing about them is that when you look back, they could all have been avoided. Now, relax and read the following scenarios which we hope you never encounter in your business.

1. Great expectations
Many companies create unjustifiable at times exorbitant expectations in their potential customers. Today with the help of social media, businesses have the chance to hold sweepstakes, games and promotions and draw the attention of many prospects. If you embark on this journey, keep going. Social media are thought as channels for two-way communication, but when companies fail to do so, customers easily get dissatisfied. Of course, it is hard to support many communication channels when you are a small business. So if you are small, keep perfect communication along one channel rather than poor communication in many channels.

2. Untrained team
Inexperienced, unqualified or incompetent for their position, the front-end team need to be perfect. You might have an impeccable product and service, but if the person who answers the phone was not born to communicate, then your whole business will suffer. Don’t let this happen. Your customers need to have the feeling that they are talking to someone who knows what they are doing, someone who is also open to criticism.

3. Failure to deliver on time
Imagine someone is having a stag or hen party and they have ordered their party costumes, fancy dress and various party supply from your online shop. The party is tonight and everyone’s ready for a grand time. But you fail to deliver the products on time, although you’ve guaranteed to do so. Provided there are tens of reliable transport companies, and there is no blizzard outside, you have no excuse to fail the customer. Place meeting promises as priority No. 1 in your business strategy.

4. Wasting precious time of your customers
Would you be happy spending hours on end sending emails and calling someone on the phone just to get something done? We doubt it. Sometimes PR blunders might arise exactly from the fact that it takes hours and hours for you to figure it out what went wrong, instead of simply fixing the problem.

5. Lack of feedback
Have you ever sent an email and never get an answer? Even to someone whom you know in person and who is expecting your email? In B2C communication, this shows lack of respect for your customers’ time and will certainly reduce their desire to buy from you. If customers send an email with a request, big or small, if you don’t pay attention to if and fail to return a reply, you will most probably lose this customer for good.

6. Standing in your team’s way
The worst PR blunders arise from bad management. In B2C there is often a discrepancy between the work of the employees whose tasks are related to face-to-face communication with customers, on the one side, and the opinion of the management, on the other. This discrepancy may result in inadequate decision making, training, establishment of wrong work procedures and so on. The best solution for this problem lays in regular meetings with every department and with very competent team leaders whom you can trust.

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