Brand marketing agency Brand Keys been monitoring the direction and speed of change in consumer values, and they have released their predictions for the seven key trends in loyalty and brand marketing.
An ongoing emphasis on engagement
Engagement means getting and keeping the attention of prospects and clients)Continuing to insert itself between traditional marketing activities and an increasing demand for return on investment assessments, engagement will occupy a good deal of marketers' and advertisers' attentions.
More reliance on consumer-generated content
Accompanying the search for real consumer engagement will be increased reliance by marketers like Nissan, JetBlue, Chevrolet, and MasterCard on consumer-generated content. Consumer-generated content will awaken marketers to certain values or trends, so marketers will be paying more attention than they have.
More and more branded entertainment
Popular culture, with its rabid consumption of music and technology, will see market and brand leaders leverage plugging-in as a method for customizing entertainment and selling products.
Media planning will become more "touch-point" focused
More marketers will begin to realise that "Above-the-Line," "Below-the-Line," and "New Media" may help to define media types, but planning will be based on being able to identify: (a) which touch-point will best reinforce brand values; (b) where the brand & media touch-point equation identifies real (and relative) levels of consumer engagement with the brand, which is supposed to be the beneficiary of the marketing exercise, really profiting from the exercise (see 'A'); and (c) where the plan results in a seamless and continuous conversation between the brand and the target audiences.
Technology and engagement to meet consumer expectations
Brands are barely keeping up with customer expectations. Smart marketers will take advantage of unfulfilled expectations via such values as "convenience" and "customization." More marketers will rely upon web sites and high-tech capabilities to accommodate these values and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Increasing potential of web sites, blogs, and the digital world
Engagement concerns and attempts to meet or exceed customer expectations will fuse and be most observed online and digitally. Watch for increased development of blogs and websites' move toward the creation of "communities of ones." The digital world ¬ including RSS feeds, mash-ups and virtual worlds will accelerate consumer control and how consumers access content.
Innovation and loyalty will matter even more
What is clear is that the ever-expanding universe of brands will need an informed action plan that makes sense to people on the brand side of the equation, and accurately tracks what consumers really feel, really want, really do with their dollars. <b>In the face of increased lack of differentiation, only innovation and increased level of loyalty will actively guarantee a positive bottom line and increased profitability in 2007</b>.
More Info: www.brandkeys.com