We hope you are off to a prosperous and exciting 2018!
Without truly realizing it, we passed a major milestone toward the end of last year: we are now working with clients across 5 continents! Although our humble beginnings start in Johannesburg, South Africa, we have been fortunate enough to work with clients in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. This is in addition to over a dozen African countries. Australia and Antartica, we're coming for you next!
Of course, it is hard to generalize any findings across those diverse regions and our various client categories like consumer electronics, foods, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Nevertheless, our research team has taken a stab at pulling out some general trends and findings around the world:
1) Consumer Personalities and Habits Increasingly Influenced by Career
Consistently throughout our projects, our team noticed how consumers around the world were impacted by their choice of job. We not only saw how the simple concept of "the commute" influenced product consumption patterns, but what type of media and content consumers were exposed to. Differences between levels of career ambition among young professionals resulted in variations in creative effectiveness, especially when the creative concept involved triggers such as aspiration and motivation. Indeed career choices often led to changes in how working professionals of all ages self-identified and reported income, desires and relationships with brands, although dramatically more so with millenials.
2) Millenials' Complicated Relationship Status with Society
From China to Canada, Uganda to UK, traditional environmental influences (parents, ethical norms, peer relatioships, religion, poltics) still play important roles in shaping decision making among millennials. Although there are increasingly more potential online replacements for where we get our information and more social networks to sharpen our belief systems, existing social structures still impact what the youth eat, what careers they chose and how they interact with their fellow humans.
3) In Authenticy We Trust
From new advertising formats (native advertising) to no-gimik marketing campaigns to entire brands devoted to social purpose, we are seeing a dramatic shift in what global citizens expect from their products and brands. We see this as a direct reaction from consumers to decades of brands overpromising and under delivering, an over-saturation of marketing on TV and online, and often outright negligible behavior (food safety scandals, perceptions of racism, worker treatment). Consistently through our research projects, we saw brands incorporating more social purpose campaigns, a shift torward organic and local/ethical/sustainable production.
4) Get Loco for Localization
We've long been an advocate for brands investing in localizaton of communication strategies and even product offerings, so we'll try and not get on our high horse...BUT... the number of times this trend surfaced in our projects was hard to miss. Brands consistently did better on our creative evaluation projects and drove more sales when some element of the product or commercials included localized elements. It, perhaps, is a derivative of the previous point; a desire for transparency and need to be understood that this finding continuously surfaces.
We are looking forward to working with our clients in interesting and diverse regions and helping them keep a pace of a dynamic world.