“New” is officially new and improved. “Newism,” as Trendwatching calls it, is consumers’ recent addiction to all things fresh – and it means the end for brands that can’t adapt in an economy demanding better, faster, novel products and services every day.
Faster innovation leads to “creative destruction”
Innovation promises new things that are easier, more convenient, more engaging, and more exciting – displacing the old every day. Creators are rising to the challenge: 2010 saw 2 million patent applications, up from 1.4 million in 2000.
For brands, creative destruction means having to outpace and out-innovate competitors to deliver what consumers want, faster than they even realize they want it. In this innovation space race, Big Data is a brand’s best friend. Analyzing social and sentiment data, interest graphs, traffic and search data, etc. will reveal trends to predict the most pressing innovations for tomorrow.
Consumers crave exclusivity and status
Today’s consumer wants to stand out among their peers online. They seek new and varied experiences that few others have had. They want to be in the know, and the first to know – and share their knowledge online.
Brands can help consumers build status by offering unique experiences and recognition, or privileged information. Reward your most loyal, influential, and valuable customers with early product samples requesting their feedback. Showcase them in advertising to boost their social status. Offer them sneak peeks into your upcoming innovations, or first-in-line access to flash sales. You can even keep them up-to-date on the latest news in topics related to your brand – for example, an apparel retailer reporting in real-time from New York Fashion Week, with the very latest trends.
Conversation removes the risk in trying
As soon as a new product is created, it’s now reviewed, talked about, and commented on, instantly and online, where everyone can see. The risk for consumers in trying something new is basically zero – they can read others’ experiences before ever considering buying.
Meanwhile, the risk for brands in producing disappointing products or experiences is bigger than ever. The key to getting consumers to try new products is, well, getting consumers to try them – and then talk about them positively. Analyze what these earliest conversations are saying in order to improve in real time. Domino’s Pizza modified a new chicken product just 24 hours after launch, based on early feedback. Be transparent, and let consumers know that you’re acting on their feedback as soon as you get it. As your product improves, so will the conversation around it – leading more consumers to try it.
Consumers’ conversion to Newism “spells heaven or hell for brands,” says Trendwatcher. Feed their lust for original, superior products and services; offer exclusive experiences worth bragging about; and win their praise to win new customers. Fail to keep the pace, and it’ll be out with the old, and… you get it.