under The Inf luence
under The Inf luence
This report seeks to evaluate a new generation of influencers and considers the research on crowd psychology and its impact on buying behaviour within the retail landscape. It concludes with suggestions as to how current and future brands can target the next generation of consumers.
TABLE OF ContENTS
08 18 30 48 62 76
Influence Context. Connectivity. Conformity.
Spreading influence Trends. Curve of Adopters. Who Spreads It. Who-to-Who. Social Revolution.
Influences. Z+C. Influence Maps. How They Shop.
consumer tribes Individualism. Herd. Cultural Context. Leadership.
Influencers Who What Where. Who has a Voice.
recommendations Key Findings.
INTRODuction We are social creatures. Even our most closely related mammals that exhibit self-awareness and similar intelligence, such as apes and elephants, work in troops and herds. We behave and interact naturally within groups. From the beginning of mankind, we have found comfort in forming communities and social networks as a means of identification and self-progression. Even individuals, who avoid group conformity and association, end up seeking out those other non-conformers. Itâ€™s human nature. Within these societal groups there are susceptible and influential figures; those who are eager to share ideas and influence the opinions of others and those who absorb any strong direction presented to them. So who is it that drives social contagions? Malcolm Gladwell, of the Tipping Point (2006) argues that influential individuals catalyse the diffusion of behaviour throughout society, whilst others claim that it is instead the abundance of susceptible individuals that dominate this process. A combination of both these arguments is the opinion of social contagion professors, Aral and Walker, who claim that it is the joint distribution of both influence and susceptibility that drives the pattern of contagion (NYUStern, 2012).
Social conformity and compliance within groups has been studied in great detail for decades. However with the future generations adapting and advancing with technological innovations of the 21 century, a new wave of influence need to be considered. Within the retail landscape this is particularly relevant, and by harnessing the power of social influence that is now habituating online, brands have the potential to be increasingly aspirational and dominant within the consumer landscape. This exploration of influence will be continued by the introduction and consideration of the new connected Generation C and the emerging Generation Z with the following aims:
01 02 03
The research will be to explore how these consumers are influenced and how they influence others within the retail landscape.
To understand how brands can unharness significant marketing power through the identification of social tribes and consumer groups and the consideration of peer influence within this evolving digital world.
The identification of ‘influential’ individuals within these social networks and ‘susceptibles’ will be explored further. These objections will lead to recommendations, providing current and future brands with new touch points, connecting them to their target influencers and consumers.
It is time to create a culture of CHANGE; To influence, earn the trust and create relationships with the new surge of connected consumers.
from the Latin of Influere: ‘to flow in’.
Influence is defined as ‘the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself’ (Oxford dictionary) It is a type of power that affects a person or situation, which is increasingly significant when it operates without any conscious or apparent effort. This power may be directed from one individual to another or may be environmentally induced, meaning that the influence sources will vary depending on each situation.
RETAIL How are we influenced? The focus of this report is centred on online behaviour and peer influence, discussing how they affect buying decisions. However is it important to understand the physical retail landscape, in order to identify the influences consumers encounter within their decision making process, and consider this widely discussed topic as a contextual factor. When understanding how we are influenced within the retail industry, three areas can be considered; the Context (environment), Connectivity (technology) and Conformity (peers).
Context Sensory Misdirection Choice
Fig.2, Mctygue (2013)
Connectivity Contextualsupport Pre/Postpurchase
Fig.4, Google (2013)
Social proof Authority Liking
Fig.3, C&A (2012)
CONTEXT Sensory Retail environments have the potential to consciously or subconsciously influence and manipulate a consumer’s behaviour; introducing the power of CONTEXT. Most brands understand that ‘the longer a consumer stays in the shop, the more they will buy’ (Underhill, 2000), and are therefore creating experiences that are sensitive to customers’ multi-sensory perception. Some stores exercise this through the generation of multimedia spaces; Burberry’s Regent Street Flagship streaming of live catwalk shows and digital ‘weather moments’ (Vogue, 2012), enables them to immerse their audience within the core of the brand. Sonic branding (sound) has allowed brands to possess an ‘audio signature’, to attract their target market and represent their brand. Nike stores play upbeat, energetic tracks to entice their young, urban customers, in contrast to Waterstones, whose choice of relaxing, mellow music encourages leisurely browsing. (Frabrik, 2013) Julian Treasure (Chairman of The Sound Agency) explains that sound affects us physiologically, psychologically, cognitively and behaviourally, and that conscious design of aural experience in spaces by retailers can effectively tap into these four influence pathways. (Stylus, 2010:online)
Scent marketing, which harnesses the fact that ‘Fragrance is processed by the limbic system, the most primitive part of the brain and the place where immediate emotions are experienced’ (Solomon, 2004: 299), is another contextual influencer; allowing brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch to establish a signature scent, enabling them to subconsciously create a different level of connection with their customers. We are even seeing the importance of scent beyond retail with the introduction of ‘aroma jockeys’ (Jury, 2011) that disperse smells in nightclubs, in an aim to enhance the emotional connection with the music and that specific environment.
‘COMPANIES STAGE AN EXPERIENCE WHENEVER THEY ENGAGE CUSTOMERS, CONNECTING THEM IN A MORE PERSONAL, MEMORABLE WAY’ (Gilmore, 1999: 3) Choice
Looking beyond sensory experiences, to the basic visual layout of retail stores, raising the question of choice. Basic assumption would be that offering consumers more options is superior to offering fewer options, by catering to a wider range of tastes. However this has been argued against by Barry Schwartz (2005) who discusses the idea of choice ‘overload’ which contributes to dissatisfaction and increased susceptibility to error. Research has also shown (Iyengar, 2011) that when people are presented with less choice, they are more likely to make a purchase. By understanding choice trauma, retailers can benefit through methods of controlling this choice and subconsciously driving sales.
‘THE RESULT IS A SPACE DEFINED BY CONTRASTS: AT ONCE IMPOSING AND INTIMATE, ITS JUXTAPOSITION OF CRAFT AND INNOVATION IS DESIGNED TO DELIGHT, SURPRISE AND ENTERTAIN’ Christopher Bailey (Vogue, 2012)
Advancements in TECHNOLOGY have created a new era of constant connectivity, which, in-turn, influences consumersâ€™ dialogue and relationship with brands. Facilitating the connection of brands to the consumersâ€™ pre, during and post purchase decision-making, technology is creating a new consuming experience.
Fig.6, Bytelight, (2013)
ByteLight Discount Tracker
The PSFK ‘Future of Retail’ report (2013) identified the trend of Contextual Support. This concept is being used by retailers to deliver real-time data, such as product information, discounts and directions to customers through technology. These communication platforms intercept the purchase path to provide consumers with relevant messages, influencing them whilst emerging them in the brand experience. One example is Byte-light, an indoor location tracking system linking to consumers’ IPhones, allowing them to navigate around store and receive personalised product discount information. In an experiment involving 50 stores in China, Byte-light’s technology showed an increase in-store shopper engagement by 30% (PSFK 2013).
As well as retailers using this technology to influence consumers in-store, they are also targeting them at the beginning of the decision making process. Google are helping brands to collect data and understand what their target consumers are interested in. Their eye tracking service works by charging brands for a consumer’s emotional connection with an advertisement. This ‘pay-per-gaze’ service is allowing brands to understand what content is influential and what is not, giving them increased influence over the consumer (O’Reilly, 2013).
Fig.7 Josh Valcarcel, (2013)
When considering pre and post-purchase, Craig Hughes (2013), from Peer Index (a social media analysing company), explains that the use of ‘social media has increased the scale to which brands can have one-to-one relationships with their consumers’. Brands are able to connect with customers on a global scale, creating a two-way-dialogue, allowing them to become more relatable and trustworthy to modern consumers. Brands such as Topshop are collaborating with social media site Pinterest, to allow customers to interact and dictate what products should come back into stock, creating ‘social shopping’ (Benady, 2013). Sephora has created a board called ‘Nailspotting’ featuring nail design photos from community members, helping to strengthen the brand-customer bond, and linking the pins to Sephora products for further brand promotion (see Appendix G1).
Fig.8, Dominik Tarabanski, (2012)
With consumers’ increased connectivity with each other, peer-to-peer recommendation is becoming a progressively more important factor within consumer behaviour.
As highly sociable animals we interact with other people on a daily basis, subconsciously taking in everything we see. Craig Hughes (2013) argues that in terms of ability to affect perception and purchasing actions ‘peer influence is much more powerful than traditional advertising.’ We surround ourselves with people that we trust and like, allowing them to influence our decisions. Cialdini (2007) identifies three ‘weapons of influence’ that help to reiterate how people influence others:
people will do what other people do and conform to certain behaviour. In situations with multiple options, individuals look to others and copy their decisions in an attempt to simplify their own. This will be discussed later in the form of ‘Herd’ behaviour.
AUTHORITY: people will follow and obey authoritative figures within society. Some individuals are more influential than others and often the susceptible members of society mimic their behaviour.
LIKING: if an individual feels a positive emotional connection to another they are more likely to be influenced by their decision.
Fig.9, Martin Schoeller, (2013)
Fig.10, C&A, (2012)
Online retailer, Amazon, has tapped into the potential of peer-to-peer recommendation and created a user ranking system for their products to allow future customers to see the recommendation percentage from past customers. Other retailers, such as Nordstrom have also utilised this knowledge in-store by indicating which item of clothing has been the ‘most pinned’ on Pinterest or ‘most liked’ on Facebook (Lutz, 2013). This allows consumers to feel a sense of security in knowing their decision had already got approval. In a society that is saturated with marketing messages and brand information offline and online, peer persuasion is arguably the most influential of the three, when considering the consumer decisionmaking process. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are still the most influential source for consumers (Nielsen, 2013). Therefore it could be suggested that new generations will continue to look towards these more trustworthy sources, in order to verify the information that they are receiving.
18 Fig. 11, Gaston Thauvin, (2013)
SpreadIng Influence Diffusion of Trends
Trends Trends in retail behaviour are social processes that happen, not due to random occurrences, but because of the influential people that are involved and their changes in style and taste. There are short and long-term trends, depending on the industry. Many fashion and style related trends tend to be short term due to the seasonality of the industry (Vejlgaard, online). New technological capabilities are allowing trends to become viral within seconds. An example of this is the Seraphine (maternity brand) dress worn by Kate Middleton, which sold out online within two hours of the picturesâ€™ publication (Anon, 2013). 21st century connectivity has changed the whole process of how trends and creativity spread throughout society.
Fig.12 Anon, (2013)
There are many theories exploring how trends trickle up and down and diffuse throughout society. The term ‘diffusion’ is used to describe the process of an innovation or idea spreading through a social system over time (Turnbull & Meenaghan, 1980). However it is clear that for the process of trend diffusion to occur, a variety of influential and susceptible individuals are required. Henrik Vejlgaard (2013), a pioneer in trend sociology, has revealed a number of predictable patterns and conditions required for a trend to go mainstream. Two of which are; different kinds of trendsetters need to adopt the trend and a high number of trendsetters need to adopt the trend. He suggests that a variety and large number of influential individuals are required in order for an idea to be spread successfully; emphasising the importance for brands to not only consider the opinion leaders but also their loyal followers.
As Gladwell states, ‘Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do’ (2006:7). He writes about the concept of trends reaching their ‘tipping point’- their threshold of adoption (see appendix H1). Three rules (Gladwell, 2000) are used to make sense of the growth of epidemics and how they successfully spread.
First is The Law of the Few that suggests that epidemics are dependent on the involvement of a set of people with exceptional social skills. These types of influencers will be identified and discussed later, however it is important to understand that without social messengers, the spread ability of a trend will dramatically decrease.
This is also true of The Stickiness Factor, presented as the second rule. Ideas and concepts have to be memorable and relevant in order for them to ‘stick’ in the mind of the consumer. Gladwell uses the example of the children’s programme, Sesame Street, to demonstrate this point. He explains that the success of the programme was not accidental luck, but time spent testing episodes to ensure that they actively held the childrens’ attention.
Lastly is The Power of Context, suggesting that ‘epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur.’ (Gladwell, 2000:139) The analysis from this suggestion would be that a trend successful in one situation might have the opposite effect in an alternative situation, due to the nature of the environment.
WHO SPREADS IT?
Curve of In the same way that trends can be measured, those that start and spread the trends can also be identified. Rogers’ (1995) Diffusion of Innovation model (see appendix H2.) can be used to categorise the influential figures within tribes. Rogers introduces ‘innovativeness’, which is the degree to which an individual is earlier in adopting new ideas than other members in a social system. A group influencer may fall into any one of the five groups of the model of adopters, as they may possess leadership qualities and an authoritative personality, yet not at the tipping point of trends. They have the ability to drive change, but may not necessarily be at the beginning of the movement. However the Innovators and Early Adopters categories are likely to represent influencers, due to their increased knowledge on new trends, concepts and products. Innovators have multiple sources of information to which they reference and discover new ideas. Without necessarily being the trend-starters themselves, they have the power to articulate it in a way that is comprehensible to their tribe and ‘are motivated by the idea of being a change agent in their reference group.’ (Hughes, 2013) Similarly, Early Adopters tend to be social leaders, usually having a ‘high degree of interconnectedness or involvement with other groups and are trusted and valued’. (Provenmodels, 2013) These attributes lend well to potential influencers within consumer tribes as their knowledge and respected authority places them in the trust of their surrounding individuals. These two adopter groups are crucial when identifying and measuring trends; as they are said to ‘help trigger the critical mass when they adopt an innovation’ (Hughes, 2013), highlighting their significant persuasive power. However although this model may help with the identification of influencer attributes, an individual may be seen as an ‘Early Adopter’ for one innovation and then as a ‘Laggard’ for the next, meaning therefore that
context is key. 22
adopters ‘THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ‘EARLY ADOPTERS’ OR ‘OPINION LEADERS’ EXCEPT WHERE THEY ARE DEFINED WITHIN A CATEGORY’ (MEDIALAB, ONLINE).
Fig.13 Alexandra Bellissimo, (2011),
“CREATIVITY IS CONTAGIOUS. PASS IT ON.” -ALBERT EINSTEIN (see Hill, 2012)
Another important factor that is often overlooked when considering the diffusion of trends, is the power of the group. As pre-discussed, influential individuals act as the messengers for ideas, however the combined thoughts of a group of people can be far more powerful. They have the ability to influence other more susceptible groups and increase the conformity of individuals.
‘Once we’re part of a group, we’re all susceptible to peer pressure and social norms and any number of other kinds of influence that can play a critical role in sweeping us up in the beginning of an epidemic’ (Gladwell, 2000: 171).
Essentially the tipping point of a trend can only be reached by the push of a group, forcing it into mainstream attention.
Fig.14 FrogGooseandbear, (2013).
Rogers (1995) also focused on the power of group dynamics, looking at homophilous verses heterophilous social crowds. Homophilous behaviour refers to like-minded individuals who communicate in a similar way. Many ‘individuals enjoy the comfort of interacting with others who are similar’ (1995: 287), as it provides a sense of comfort and security. Photographer Ari Versluis and Profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek portrayed this idea of homophilious behaviour through their photomontage called ‘Exactitudes’. The project was inspired by their interest in the dress codes of social groups, and individuals’ attempts to define themselves through association with a certain crowd. These individuals are more likely to conform to group behaviour, as they like to bond over similar ideas, rather than searching and embracing new ones. This suggests these groups may be late adopters of trends. The opposite of this is Heterophily, which focuses on the interaction of individuals with different attributes, who are more open to change and have widely diverse social networks. These individuals are more likely to embrace new ideas, suggesting that influencers and early adopters of trends would be found within this social category. These are people who encourage the exchange of new ideas, often through word of mouth communications (Batra &Kazmi, 2009), which allows trends to move into mainstream attention. Both of these types of behaviour are present in today’s generations, and as long as there are diverse personality types, they will co-exist. However it can be argued that the evolution of technology, which is allowing current and future generations to create online communities and virtual groups, is accelerating the trend diffusion process. This is encouraging homophilous behaviour seen through brand Facebook groups, enabling conversations around shared-interests. However, heterophilous behaviour remains consistent, seen through the creation of user generated content, such as individual blogs and YouTube channels. These social media sites are empowering individuals from any background to potentially become ‘trend-setters’ and create their own social group.
Fig.15 Ari Versluis, (2012)
social Revolution Fig.16 Japan Times, (2013)
people in the world
billion mobile phone subscribers
2013 = 18%
2017 = 47% 28
increase of global social network users
Online digital platforms, such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are allowing visual inspiration, styles and opinions to travel globally. Enabling content to spread at a significant rate and become ‘viral’. Today’s society adopts this new technology at a frightening pace. Facebook reached 50 million users within a year of its launch in 2004, and now boasts over 1billion users, of which on average, 727 million are daily active users (Facebook, online). Twitter reaching the same 50 million within just 9 months (Chui et al, 2012).
This digital adoption has also seen a change in the nature of the spread of trends. Through the introduction of these social technologies, a concept or idea can travel from one individual to another, via a social media channel, within seconds. The virtual aspect of these interactions, removes the constraints of time, location and availability that restricted traditional social activity (Chui et al, 2012).
The demise of physical constraints has coined the term ‘digital consumerism’ which is impacting and assisting the way retailers operate (KPMG, 2013). An increase in consumer-brand interaction through online channels has led to a growth in e-commerce and mobile commerce. This emphasises the importance of online presence for brands to spread their message (ATKearney, 2012).
‘THE SPEED AND SCALE OF ADOPTION OF SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES BY CONSUMERS HAS EXCEEDED THAT OF PREVIOUS TECHNOLOGIES’ (Mckinsey, 2012).
Fig.17 Anon, (2013)
Gen c At our most influential
Fig.18 Anon, (2012)
“A POWERFUL NEW FORCE IN CONSUMER CULTURE. IT’S A TERM WE USE TO DESCRIBE PEOPLE WHO CARE DEEPLY ABOUT CREATION, CURATION, CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY” (Google, 2013: online)
Fig.19 Anon, (2012),
Integrating this digital revolution seamlessly within their lives, it’s time to meet the new generation of connected consumers. These are the individuals that are embracing the technological world and making it their own.
Introducing Generation C. They are not an age group, but individuals with a certain attitude and mentality, identified by a few key characteristics, making up 80% of Millennials (do comparison table) today (Google, 2013: online). Google introduces Gen C as ‘a powerful new force in consumer culture. It’s a term we use to describe people who care deeply about Creation, Curation, Connection and Community.’ (Google, 2013: online) Focusing on these 4 C’s, the common theme that defines this group is their connected behaviour, that embraces the multiple devices that control their lives, thriving within the online community.
However for the first time, we are seeing a generation that individuals can choose to be a part of, versus the result of when they were born. There are born Gen C- born as part of the technology revolution and adopted Gen Cthose that choose to be part of the connected world, also known as ‘digital natives’. Rather than understanding them as part of the era in which they were born, Gen C are acknowledged for their constant switching between devices, deep engagement with online video (watching and creating) and curating (collecting and organising) skills, allowing them to discover the content they want (Lewis, 2013).
By 2020, today’s 14-19 year olds (Gen Z) will be the largest group of consumers worldwide. (Fitch, 2013)
three quarters of Gen C curate online content at least once a week. Fig.20 Google (2014)
% Creating content at least once a month
seven in ten curate or create to build community
say they’re connected to 100 or more people through social sites
of Gen C agree that: ‘If there is a brand I love, I tend to tell everyone about it’
Fig.21 Talilla Henchoz, (2013)
What are your influ34
Looking at the Influence Maps of 3 connected consumers of the future.
21 Fashion Student
CONNECTED Facebook Twitter Google Hangout
Organiser Researcher Collector
Fig.22 Talilla Henchoz, (2013)
‘I’M NEVER WITHOUT MY PHONE AND I’M ON MY LAPTOP EVERY DAY’
COMMUNITY Personal Blog Instagram Beauty Writer
STYLE CREATIVE Magazines Online Zines Twitter
Bloggers Peer approval ASOS
Online Forums Reviews Magazines
MEET MITCHELL 18 Business Apprentice
LIFESTYLE Sky News App BBC News App The Economist Instagram
STYLE Sister Peers
‘I WOULD MOST LIKELY BUY WHAT A FRIEND HAS RECOMMENDED’ 38
CONNECTED imessage Snapchat Twitter Instagram
Go-Pro YouTube Channel (videos) Soundcloud (music)
Fig.23 Talilla Henchoz, (2013)
‘I’M PART OF LINKEDIN GROUPS SO I CAN CONNECT & COLLABORATE WITH SIMILAR CREATIVES’
CONNECTED imessage Facebook Online portfolio LinkedIn
Organiser Baragin Hunter
MEET LAURA 22 Graphic Designer 40
CREATIVE Craft Blogs Magazines Collaboration
STYLE Bloggers ASOS eBay Peers
Fig.24 Talilla Henchoz, (2013)
To fully understand who will be the influencers and influencees of the future generation we must combine Generation C with the young Generation Z. Aged 18-and-under, Gen Z were born into the digital world. They are not only an indication of future trends, but are also influencing consumer society today, by driving their parents purchasing habits. ‘One in every three consumer dollars spent in the United States today is influenced by someone under the age of 18’ (Seidel, 2010).
Gen C + Gen Z When considering the growth and spread of consumer trends, this generation is one of the key players. As the ‘most materially endowed, technological saturated and formally educated generation our world has ever seen’ (McCrindle, 2013), Gen Z have the societal authority to control the growth and tipping points of trends and creativity.
of the Gen Z demographic feel that online communites and networks give them a sense of belonging and connectivity. (Hourihan, 2013)
Fig.25 Stylus, (2013)
Fig.26 Alexandra Catiere (2011)
‘THE HOLY GRAIL FOR BRANDS’ (Hourihan, 2013)
Key Factors shaping both of these new connected generations are:
The generations of today, including Gen X (mid 1960’s- early 1980’s) and Y (1980’s-2000) have experienced the technological advancements of the 21st century. They are referred to as ‘digital transactors’ (McCrindle, 2013), adapting to and using this technology in a practical way to help them achieve functional tasks. In contrast Gen Z are seen as ‘digital integrators’, born into this technologically driven world, seamlessly fitting it into their life, as an innate characteristic.
The learning style of Gen Z see a visual and hands on learning style, with individuals opting to watch a video regarding an issue instead of reading an article. YouTube has 4 billion searches a day, coming in second to Google (McCrindle, 2013), highlighting this generation’s move towards a more visual communication and understanding. In an information saturated market, movements to more image based messages are becoming evident in order to cater for this aesthetically aware generation.
Technology allows us to connect with practically anywhere in the world within seconds- a generation has never been more global. Food, fashion, entertainment and sports are all shared on YouTube and Facebook, allowing a small local trend to spread on a huge scale to global recognition. Viral memes and vines travel across the world within minutes, initiating collaborative creativity that has never been possible before.
This is the click-and-connect generation. Communicating with others beyond the boundaries of a physical social circle is no longer an issue, with this generation, daily connecting worldwide from countless digital sources. The introduction of Google Hangouts and FaceTime, has allowed individuals to converse, wherever, whenever and with who ever. Networking has become an integral part of everyday life, through sites such as Twitter- giving the opportunity for individuals to contact limitless influential groups and people.
How they shop
As a result of the technological advancements, we are seeing a change in the ‘path to purchase’ for Gen Z. The focus group (appendix D) uncovered the 5 points of the consumer decision journey.
‘I’m a bit of a bargain hunter so I usually will check a few websites and Ebay and stuff to see if I can find it cheaper’ -Matty (17)
Promotional codes Peer Approval
£ FOMO- focus group I update my blog... focus group
‘I would usually link the item to one of my friends and see what they think’ - Fayruz(16) 47
Fig.27 Talilla Henchoz, (2013)
Con -Sumer Tribes 48
Fig.28 Harry Bursell, (2013)
These groups are also known as tribes. Trends and creativity gain momentum and spread throughout the dynamics of such social groups. It would be naive to think that trends are the product of just one individual; instead they are the result of factors that involve a huge range of different kinds of people. Tribes are formed when there are connections between group members that are centred around a common goal or interest. (Godin, Tribes 2008), and these shared values are what holds the tribe together and creates their identity. In todays society people are progressively joining these multiple and sometimes short-lived social groupings, which “have more influence on their behaviour than either modern institutions or other formal cultural authorities” (Cova, 2002: 596) Tribal behaviour has travelled from the distant past to the present day, creating movements and communities based on global to niche trends. However, in contrast to the tribes of the past, when an individual’s role in society belonged to one sole tribe, today we can belong to many little tribes (Cova, 2007).
‘Individuals can belong to more than one neo-tribe whereas with earlier youth subcultures it would have been impossible’ (Shankar and Elliott, 1999) (see fig. 29 for an example of the many active social groups a Facebook user.) Cova identifies the attributes of his title Consumer Tribes as; activators, double agents, plunderers and entrepreneurs. The influential power of these tribes can work to the brands advantage, spreading it’s success, or to it’s disadvantage by recontexualising it in a negative way, resulting in the company losing control over the brand. This highlights the power of persuasion these tribes posses as a collective force. However, is it also important to understand each individual’s role within the group, to understand the dynamics and process of the adoption of ideas (see pg. 23)
Fig.29 Talilla Henchoz (2014)
Consumer tribes can breathe magic breath into dying things, but they can also suck the life from thriving brands. They work both sides. (Cova, 2007:12)
Fig.30 Sam Kaplan, (2013)
Neo-tribalism has been a topic discussed by many, and used to understand consumer behaviour within modern society. We live in a society in which the increase in technology has lead to a decrease in physical and social interaction. Yet, one touch of a button enables individuals to be connected with the whole world via Internet, mobiles and TV. It is no new surprise that with these digital resources we have the capability to re-write our cyber-selves and recreate an individual voice, which can be heard on a global scale. This would suggest that we can all becoming more individual, with social media sites such as Twitter acting as the outlet to each and every individual emotion/ viewpoint we experience. However the use of the hashtag still emphasises our desire and comfort in being grouped with other people when expressing these emotions and viewpoints. We are creatures who find comfort in communities, originating from their purpose in providing a sense of security and protection. ‘We would not be recognizably human at all had we not developed the sensible instinct of copying the behaviour of others’. (Sutherland, 2013: Online) Of course there are those that choose to steer clear of any conforming trends in society as they want to be seen as truly individualistic, yet it could be argued that they are in fact conforming just as much as the rest of society by grouping with other ‘individualists’ in an attempt to avoid mass behaviour.
Fig.31 Anon, (2013)
Tribes are fundamentally formed as a result of this mass behaviour, which is discussed by Earls in Herd (2009). He suggests that we are a ‘herd animal’, demonstrated by the fact that we do what we do because of the others around us. There have been many studies over the concept of ‘I’ versus ‘Us’ and the illusion of ‘individualism’- an Anglo-Saxon ideology, rooted in the renaissance and enlightenment. When offered a huge amount of choice it is the natural reaction for some individuals to follow the decision of others to escape the responsibly. With this ‘limited time and energy, to go with the flow of mass behaviour is both necessary for survival and cognitively efficient.’ (Sutherland, 2013) This suggests that ‘Herd’ behaviour will always remain a constant in society.
Social influence has been studied and tested to the extent of the creation of famous experiments such as Milgram’s work on obedience to authority in 1974 and Asch’s 1950’s line-judgement conformity experiments. This copying behaviour is derived from the 1992 discovery of mirror neurons in the brain, which enable us to intuit each other’s intentions and empathise (Bentley et al. 2011). We are physiologically wired to copy as a way to feel part of a something, such as a community. David Blaine, an American illusionist and endurance artist explains that ‘we all want to feel connected to each other’ (2014), which he demonstrates through his acts in which his participants subconsciously imitate each other. This copying dubbed by academics as social learning is what groups us with other individuals and creates powerful communities.
‘AS CONSUMERS WE WISH TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH OTHERS IN ORDER TO ENHANCE OUR SELF CONCEPT.’ (EVANS, CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR: 244)
Nudge (2009), based on behavioural economics, describes how we are socially influenced within three categories (59): Information- if lots of people do something it may indicate what might be best for you to do Peer pressure- if you care about what people think of you then you may go along with the crowd to gain their favour or avoid rejection. Priming- if an idea is put into your head by someone else, you may be more inclined to do it.
It is important to consider all cultures when understanding group dynamics, as values and beliefs will vary from each society, influenced by their history and morals. Richard Nisbett’s cross cultural psychological studies demonstrates that we in the west think differently from those from oriental cultures. ‘We think in terms of individuals and causes; they think in terms of groups, relationships and systems’ (Earls, Herd; 90). Their whole social system is based on a completely different philosophy to our own due to a variation in politics and religion. In a country such as Japan, with its strong belief in authority and strict hierarchical structure, there is clear evidence of conformity within their society. The DK eyewitness travel guide to Japan (2013) states that ‘one key to understanding Japanese society is that of the emphasis on the group.’ This strong group mentality can be witnessed by the abundance of their tour groups at tourist destinations. A popular Japanese proverb ‘deru kugi ha utareru’, translating to ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down’ further highlights the Japanese opposition to individualism. (Watanabe, 2012). However individuals of the new connected generation within these societies are challenging these cultural traditions. Increased exposure to Western society and its social norms are causing individuals to question their culture. Social unrest in China is related to the growth and spread of information and communication technology which is improving their availability to global information and advancements (Gobel & Ong, 2012). Instead we are seeing a global change of online community, creating a digital society of creative freedom as a result of constant connectivity.
Fig.32 Jeffrey Friedl, (2011)
This provokes an interesting question as to whether groups are shaped by their communal surroundings, as a result of social norms. Are tribes created due to a following of one authoritative individual or, or as a result of combined beliefs bringing like-minded individuals together (eg. Cultural customs)? The later view takes the ethnosociological approach, which looks at the shared emotion between people and what factors pull them together. Taking a far more holistic view, it moves away from the idea of individualism and instead comes hand in hand with the study of ethnoconsumerism (Meamber and Venkatesh, 2000; Venkatesh, 1995), looking at consumption from the viewpoint of the particular group in question.
This interaction between people is often overlooked in consumer research, which ‘has been mainly devoted to the individual and macro-levels of analysis’ (Cova, 2002: 8) (see appendix H4). Marketers often target individual responses or mass group response at the exclusion of peer-to-peer relationships and dynamics. It is highly advantageous for brands to understand this process, as a method of influencing and harnessing control over a whole consumer group. Brands should consider this micro-social level, which helps to understand how consumption trends spread from person to person, creating the influential consumer tribes we see today. Understanding how an individuals relate to each another and their interaction is crucial in our modern climate when peerapproval is more apparent than ever. We now live in a society where an endless
amount of information is at our fingertips and we have the resources to question and comment on any idea that is presented to us. This has meant that consumers of today now ‘require multiple exposures to a message from a variety of sources before they will accept it.’ (Earls, 2009: 200). Past generations may have accepted advertising messages through traditional methods, establishing these authoritative sources as trustworthy. The new generation gathers additional information from trusted sources of individuals they relate to, such as colleagues, friends and family, choosing to ignore the saturated advertising market, before they make their informed decision.
‘Context is king’ (Hughes, 2013)
Fig.33 Rory Natkiel, (2013)
‘ALL HUMAN BEHAVIOUR HAPPENS IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT- BE IT CONSUMPTION, MATING, OR RELIGION’ (EARLS, HERD: 95)
Figure 34. Kieley Kimmel, (2013)
If society were completely individual there would be no global movements. For example the 1930’s would not have seen the Rastafari movement if all those people had not adopted this African-rooted ideology and spread the word that this was the new trend to join. The Rastafarians were born out of a shared interest and passion for a spiritual belief, which allowed people to connect on mutual grounds. As Seth Godin explains, (2009) Bob Marley, the icon of this movement, did not invent Rastafarianism himself, he simply stepped into an influential stance within the tribe taking an authoritative position, and thus a new leader was born. Schelling (2006) talks about colonies of Ants and their group dynamics that can be likened to tribal behaviour. He explains how each ant responds to its immediate environment and acts upon signals of un-known origin, essentially living in their own individual worlds. ‘Each ant has certain things that it does, in coordinated association with other ants, but there is nobody minding the whole store’ (Schelling, 2006:21).
There is a comparable aspect of this idea within consumer groups, where some group members have no particular ‘title’, yet play a role within the group from a more subtle position. An abundance of people within a group will create a variety of personality types that will drive different behaviour, adopting an authoritative or more obeying role. ‘As long as there are diverse personality types, there will be first movers and leaders and there will be followers’ (Hughes, 2013) It is not possible for every individual to take on the role as an influence leader, as Bob Marley did. It is clear that from the past to the present day, some people are naturally born leaders, and there are others that will follow. Leaders possess a certain influence over their followers, which is measured by the collective action that they can initiate. The discussion will now continue to identify the attributes and variations of Influencers.
Leaders possess a certain influence over their followers, which is measured by the collective action that they can initiate. The discussion will now continue to identify the attributes and variations of Influencers.
InfLuence -ers WHO SPREADS IT?
Figure 35. Anon, (2013)
what ...IS AN INFLUENCER? ‘It’s a person who can take an idea, a brand, a concept, that is not in the mainstream consciousness and bring it to mainstream consciousness.’ –Deirdre Maloney (cofounder, BPMW agency) =An individual with a respected, interesting and engaging voice that people want to listen to, naturally, will be heard. They have that unidentifiable power and presence to make something perceived as ‘uncool’ to suddenly become ‘cool’ within society.
‘Someone that other people listen to and react to’ - Jeff Staple (Founder, Staple Design) =An individual that is followed and watched by others. They have attributes/ style/ confidence that people want to copy and be a part of.
‘Influencers are all relative to personal taste’ - Jon Cohen (CEO, Cornerstone) = An individual may been influential for a one person, and then completely insignificant for the next- this is personal opinion. source: R+I Creative (2010) Figure 36. Anon, (2013) Figure 37. LaModa, (2013) Figure 38. MusicRadio, (2013)
...IS AN INFLUENCER?
Different people have different types of influence, depending on their personality and approach to a situation. Just as Rogers’ ‘innovativeness’ scale identified different groups and their likeliness to adopt an idea, Gladwell (MediaLab, 2012) noted three different types of influencers: Firstly Mavens, who are experts within a certain market or over a wide range of subjects; Connectors, whose contacts allow them to translate an idea from one individual or group to the next; and Salesmen who have the power of persuasion in discussions. An influencer may be identified in just one of these categories or may be perceived as a combination of these titles. Individuals who are active in discussion about a category are also known as Transmitters, essentially communicating to the remainder of the group, recognized as Receivers. A study by Media Lab (2012) found that 86% of adults qualified as transmitters in at least one of the 21 consumer and non-consumer categories, such as the ‘environment’ and ‘religion’. Again, this explains the notion that influencers cannot easily be classified within one particular category- what allows someone to pass as a transmitter in fashion may not necessarily make them a transmitter in politics.
where ...IS AN INFLUENCER? The influencing power of an influencer can entirely depend on the social context. This may depend on the amount of susceptible individuals there are within a group, the intensity of the group interest or even the industry the consumer tribe is categorised within. One influencer may not be significantly more influential than the next, but they may have more authority over their group, depending on the situation.
Shop the Hangout with Diane Von Frustenberg The first ever â€˜shopableâ€™ Google Hangout was hosted by Diane Von Frustenberg and Eva Chen (editor-in-chief, Lucky Magazine) to allow women worldwide to ask life and style advice and interact with live sales. (DVF, 2013) Figure 39. YouTube, (2013)
‘SOME CONSUMERS WILL BE MORE INFLUENTIAL WITHIN THEIR PARTICULAR SOCIAL SYSTEM THAN OTHERS’ (Evans, consumer behaviour: 344)
Figure 40. Cal Aurand, (2013)
who has a voice
CYA, CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT The authenticity of the Gen C influencers is what wins them the trust of the consumers. When trying to engage their target market, brands need to reconsider who they are using to engage and promote their message within this new social climate. Celebrity endorsement is no longer an attractive influencer for future generations.
Figure 41. Keith Allison, (2012)
Their trust is being lost in creative icons such as Jay-Z, as they are questioning the nature of his role in the artistic process, according to celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev (Taube, 2013). This distrust in celebrities could potentially result in negative association with a brand. Of course, Jay-Z and other A-listers are still hugely popular within society, but Gen C are beginning to critically consider the motivations of celebrities involved in marketing campaigns, An online survey (see appendix B) revealed 45% of Gen C consumers are influenced by ‘A Friend’ when purchasing clothing, closely followed by ‘A Blogger/ Online figure’ (21%). In contrast only 17% choose ‘A Celebrity’. This research suggests that celebrity endorsement is having has less impact than it has had in the past. Marketers may need to consider refocusing their attention on the peer-to-peer influence and influencers within smaller social groups, in an attempt to ensure they are connecting with the future generations.
people as brands THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL
The ‘Power of an Individual’ has never been more apparent within a generation, understood by their mass following and online authority. Now is the time for brands to connect with todays Gen C influencers, who are becoming one of the ‘most powerful forces within entertainment and marketing’ (Mahdara, 2013). Present in the form of globally recognised Bloggers, YouTubers, Pinners (Pinterest) and Instagramers, they are their own ‘brand’; understand the audience they are communicating with and connecting on a level playing field. The advancement in technology and online tools available today are dramatically increasing the speed individuals can communicate, enhancing their ‘personal brand’. Meet two examples of the most successful YouTubers that are influencing the new generation:
70 Figure 42. DGE, (2013)
Figure 43. Michelle Phan(2013)
WHAT?YouTube make-up demonstrator (american)
By branching out her influence via different social media networks she has been able to gain extensive followers. This has increased her brand awareness and made her a powerful online presence.
WHO LISTENS? Followers:
YouTube= 5.6million Facebook= 1.8milliom Instagram= 1.1million Twitter: 450,000+
‘people listen because she created herself - on her own time she uploaded over 200 videos on YouTube. She makes her own content’- (Mahdara, 2013)
WHO? Charlie McDonnell/ charlieissocoollike WHAT? YouTube Video-Blogger and musician HOW?
His 2007 video ‘How to get featured on YouTube’ was his claim to fame, earning him 4,400 followers in 2 days. Collaborations with other YouTubers and appearances on various entertainment platforms, has given him an influential voice in the digital world.
WHO LISTENS? Followers: YouTube= 5.6million
Facebook= 1.8milliom Instagram= 1.1million Twitter: 450,000+
Figure 44. Anon,(2013).
HOURS UPLOADED EVERY MINUTE (Lewis, 2013)
MILLION VISITORS EVERY MONTH
PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE EARNING AT LEAST
FROM YOUTUBE ADVERTISING REVENUES (Cheshire, 2013)
‘Creators involve their audience in the creative process’ -Sam Mormino (YouTube content director) (Lewis, 2013) 73
What does all this mean?
The emergence of a super connected generation, surfacing parallel to the online social revolution, has transformed the consumer journey into a digitallydriven, complex process. Although social influence and group conformity are still strongly evident within consumer society, this behavior is transferring its presence to habituate via online platforms. The retail industry is experiencing a culture of change. A change that requires the understanding of a new wave of influencers and trusted digital relationships. As a result of social innovation, the divide between the consumer and the creators is becoming increasingly transparent; a narrowing division that should be embraced by brands in order to connect with Gen Câ€™s content driven behaviour. Connection, Creation, Curation and Community are an integral part of future consumer language, which should become a native part of a brands dialect. This, along with an understanding of group dynamics and a shift in trust are important themes to take forward into the recommendations.
RECCOMENDATIONS HOW TO CONNECT WITH THE INFLUENCERS AND CONSUMERS OF THE FUTURE
Through a variety of research methodology, key themes have been recognised and will be developed into future recommendations:
1 2 3 4 5
As highly sociable animals we naturally form into groups and tribes, which, due to a variety of personality types, consist of both influential and susceptible individuals- resulting in the spread of trends and concepts. The introduction of Generation C and Z has changed the way ideas and influence spread: taking the stance as ‘digital natives’ (Varney, 2013), they have created a constantly connected social society. Technology advancements have seen a change in the approach of retail, showing an increase in online opportunities as a way to reach this connected generation and join their virtual consumer groups. This has resulted in a global trend of connectivity, removing the constraints of traditional communication, to allow ideas to spread from a local to global scale= Glocal There is no longer a divide between the creator and consumer, presenting opportunities of co-creation and emphasising the new rise of the ‘Power of the Individual’
As highly sociable animals we naturally form into groups and tribes, which, due to a variety of personality types, consist of both influential and susceptible individuals- resulting in the spread of trends and concepts.
Spend time understanding the key influencers and the more susceptible individuals by visualising the network of connections.
DOT-TO-DOT Within a social channel, many people are only separated by one or two degreesan idea that was first introduced by Stanley Milgram in 1967 (MediaLab, 2012). The notion of this ‘small world effect’ has become more apparent over time, due to technology advancements increasing the rate of connectivity. Brands need to utilise the fact that only a few, well considered steps can link them to key influencers and widen their brand community. In order to understand the full breadth of their consumer group and the critical connections linking their consumers to each other, influence-mapping systems are a credible solution. By designing influence campaigns (see appendix C.1) with an end goal in mind, mapping systems can help to pick appropriate influencers based on the outcome desired (Solis, 2012). Visualising their consumer network also enables brands to identify the more susceptible players, allowing them to gain an advantageous stance in terms of influence. These systems can also help to identify consumers’ other interests, providing more background knowledge to help contextualise and give brand content more influence.
example NODEXL provides social network analysis in the form of influence maps.
TRIBBER allows bloggers and influencers to come together in tribes to share content ‘How do you easily and effectively tribe-up with 100s of people who will support you, and you them? If I could only find a platform that would do that, I could make my blog even more successful. Alas, no such platform existed, so we built one’ -Dino Dogan (2013),founder of Tribber.
KLOUT gives you a ‘KloutScore based on your onfluence within networks
Fig 45. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
RECOMMENDATION 2: Engage with the lifestyle, choices, hobbies, and aspirations of the target consumers, to help assist the growth of social communities
BATTING FOR THE OTHER SIDE Spending time understanding Gen C and Zâ€™s lifestyle habits is vital. As a generation who are connecting with others around shared themes and interests is expressed in the form of consumer tribes, they are a collective power. Google Hangouts and online Forums are enabling Gen C to become digital â€˜chameleonsâ€™, dubbed by a Nielson report (2010:online), meaning they are frequently changing their identities to allow them to be part of numerous tribes. Brands must realise the multi-dimensionality of these consumers and immerse themselves within their tribes to become part of the fast-paced conversations, allowing them to become a credible source within a trusted network of individuals. Rather than focusing on connecting consumers to the brand, it is important to help connect Gen C individuals to others, working as a social connector to gain the trust and authority within a group.
apply it WHO? Holland & Barrett (health food chain) AIM?
To connect current customers to other customers to create trusted relationships and regular conversations
Create an online interactive community hub for customers to connect. To allow sharing of health tips, recipes and active lifestyle habits. Customer created sections such as ‘Recipe of the day’ and ‘Health tip of the week’ would encourage the curation of ideas through a visual format. An online forum could also create a twoway dialogue between the customers to build relationships around a brand they care about. A good example of this is the Urban Outfitters Community. Health and fitness related events, such as charity fun-runs, could also be organised via the community to encourage social interaction around the brand.
WHY? This community would allow Holland & Barrett to excite their online presence and create loyal consumer groups who can connect around common interests.
It would provide a youthful revitalisation for the brand to attract a younger consumer base through the social interaction that Gen C require.
Fig 46. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
RECOMMENDATION 3: Talk to the tribes rather than the individual and understand group mentality.
MARCH IN LINE Brands must create content and services that talks to the tribe and community rather than the individual. 85% of youths rely on peer approval for their buying decisions (Nielsen, 2010), gained by connecting with their tribe through the extensive social media platforms. A successful tactic would be the use of peer recommendation services or rating systems to allow Gen C and Z to continue to make their decisions as part of a ‘social-squad’ (Solis, 2012). By realising that the consumer decision-making process is now a team-sport, brands can build a community of trust around their products.
Figure 47Jamie Chung, (2013).
With Gen Z consumers stating that online popularity was important to them (see appendix D.), retail e-commerce sites could introduce more peer-driven filters to organise the appearance of products. For example the ‘Most pinned’ ‘Most liked on Facebook’.
WHO? Fashion e-commerce sites. AIM? To increase sales by showing customers what items are ‘perceived’ as popular.
Most liked (facebook) Most Pinned (Pinterest)
Create a ‘Sort By’ filter which orders the clothing by their activity of social media sites, such as ‘most-liked’ and ‘most-pinned’.
Peer-approval and recommendation is a key trait of Gen C consumers, therefore these filters would provide them with the confidence that the items they choose are socially accepted,
This also allows the customer to feel they are making a group decision by selecting products that have already been liked by other members of their consumer tribe.
Fig 48. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
The introduction of Generation C and Z has changed the way ideas and influence spread: taking the stance as ‘digital natives’ (Varney, 2013), they have created a constantly connected social society.
RECOMMENDATION 1: Ensure content is consistent, relevant and timely.
JOIN THE INSOMNIA Brands need to provide content that meets the expectations of Gen C’s constant engagement in community conversations, day and night. This generation live for their social connectivity. This emphasises the importance of brands ensuring they appear in the eyesight of these social-savvy individuals. Disconnection is not an option for these future consumers who claim that prolonged disconnection for them leads to a distressing case of FOMO (fear of missing out) (see appendix D), and a perceived decrease in their social credibility. Disconnection should not be heard of within a brands communication methods. Constant updating of brand social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all vital. The next step is to engage in the future social sites/ apps that will drive consumer change. Sedge Beswick, ASOS’s social media manager explains that social media is all about the 24/7 engagement and creating a ‘social democracy’ (Beswick, 2013). Understanding this social democracy is critical for brands to even be considered within Gen C’s radar. Research shows that during their constant connectivity the average teen consumes 13 hours of content, daily (Nielsen, 2010: online). Brands therefore need to be more relevant and creative than EVER in order to stand out. This can be achieved through tone of voice, unconventional content to provoke conversation and hype, or shareable attention-grabbing stunts. The content that brands are sharing must be well-timed and appropriate in order to gain a positive effect. As an ultra-connected society, Gen C spread information at a tremendous speed; hindsight is not a recognisable trait. 84
Brands must realised that any message they push online has the potential to be shared negatively by an individual to their group of followers, which could contain multiples of thousands. To decrease the chance of bad exposure, consumers need to be positively entertained and focused on positive content. However especially for niche brands, â€˜all publicity is good publicityâ€™ (Shontell, 2011). If negative coverage is experienced brands need to respond in a punchy and witty way to win back this generations respect.
example CONNECTING THE CONSUMER Clothing brand Rebecca Minkoff joined Snapchat to allow customers to be involved in Fashion Week, acknowledging their need for constant connection.
EMBRACING THE NEGATIVE Sanitary towel brand, Bodyform, embraced a negative email challenging their company by responding with a tongue-in-cheek comeback video. The stunt earned them widespread internet kudos and the respect of modern consumers who demand to be listened to.
CONSISTENT WITTINESS James Blunt strengthens his personal brand with a constant stream of witty comebacks against the regular twitter abuse he receives. This consistency has earned him the respect of new followers.
Fig 49. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
RECOMMENDATION 2: Personalise the products and social experience.
MAKE IT ABOUT THEM Dale Carnegie (1998) said the use of an individuals name when communicating with them is very important. â€˜A personâ€™s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.â€™ (87) A name is part of our core identity, hearing it validates our existence; marketing methods should incorporate the direct addressing of consumers into their messages in order to establish a relationship. Jan Kitcher (2013), a marketing expert, explains the importance of personalising customer experience, which can be demonstrated through individually curated brand subscription/newsletter emails (see appendix C4). The majority of the retail industry focuses on catering for the masses to produce the most profit. Niche brands try to focus on a more focused market, which allows them to give a more personalised service. This concept needs to be pushed further. The patient-centred care strategy of the Healthcare industry could be used as a model to encourage a more individual-focused service for the retail industry. Retail brands need to provide the same one-on-one attention for their consumers (whilst still talking to the group) in order to gain their loyalty and to prevent the occurrence of negative brand feedback. The concept of customisation should extend beyond the shopping experience and even to the products themselves, such as selecting custom colours or personal engravings. There is a huge opportunity for small enterprises to create a niche market against the big retailers by customising products (Price, 2013). Figure 50. shows Islanders Personal Shopping Experience, through the method of a pop-up shop presenting a collection of handpicked pieces by their stylists to provide unique, one-off items for customers.
Fig 50. Podenco, (2013)
‘In 2014, retailers will have access to more information about their customers’ preferences and shopping habits than ever before. As more shoppers embrace multiple channels when shopping, retailers must take steps to better understand the journey that customers take. This insight will give retailers the understanding they need to develop relevant content and personalised deals, and ultimately help to generate more sales.’ - Shingo Murakami, MD at Rakuten’s Play.com (Price, 2013)
Technology advancements have seen a change in the nature of retail, showing an increase in online opportunities as a way to reach this connected generation and join their virtual consumer groups.
RECOMMENDATION 1: Create an Omni-channel strategy to ensure a constant online presence and increase sale opportunities.
BE EVERYWHERE Gen C are a society who use digital devices simultaneously, with the mobile phone being the key device for the teens of the future generation Z (JWT, 2012). Chris Osborne, (Retail, SAP UK and Ireland) explains that â€˜What must be a top consideration for retailers today is to ensure that customers can shop across multiple channels and still enjoy a consistent and cohesive experienceâ€™ (Brandweiner, 2013). If not already applicable, brands must ensure that their services spread across a variety of channels, such as m-commerce (mobile) to satisfy the consumersâ€™ expectations of researching, shopping and receiving customer service in whatever way they choose (Brandweiner, 2013). Analysis of the consumer decision journey is critical for brands to create a successful omni-channel strategy. If more consumers are shopping via tablet then brands must acknowledge this trend and create a relevant experience. These channels must work and integrate seamlessly together in order for brands to gain comprehensive consumer profiles (Baker 2013).
apply it WHO? WHSmith (book and stationary retailer) AIM?
To have a more authoritative online presence to communicate with consumers through a multi-channel strategy
Create an easy to use mobile site to allow customers to reserve books and items in-store to shorten their purchasing process. Seamless payments by pre-ordering via mobile can offer a more time-effective and consistent shopping experience. Allow the purchasing of E-books in-store for iPad and Kindle users - customers can browse books instore, then deciding whether or not to purchase the digital copy.
Whatâ€™s your favourite book?
Create a conversation within their brand community and encourage customer interaction through a Pinterest board of customers â€˜Favourite Booksâ€™.
This multi-channel strategy enhances the customer experience and allows a more personalised purchase journey. This strategy acknowledges the connected nature of Gen C consumers and creates a more accessible service for individuals who expect connection from their multiple devices.
Fig 51. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
RECOMMENDATION 2: Use online strategies and offline experiences to compliment each other.
CREATE PLAYTIME The emerging trend dubbed ‘click to bricks’ is suggesting that online brands need to add a physical space to their presence (Baker 3013). A tangible experience needs to be provided to help Gen C escape their heavily digital saturated world. This strategy is not relevant for all brands, however one solution is a pop-up store, which according to Ross Bailey (Baker 2013) even for a short time will be highly effective as ‘shoppers will love the interaction’. This strategy gives consumers the opportunity to experience a brand outside of its digital presence, and strengthen its core identity. Reports show that Gen Z orientate in-store by contrast and colour, before beginning to explore product features (Fitch, 2013). It is important to create an experience that is sensitive to consumers’ senses, as tangibility is key for Gen Z&C as an escape from the digital landscape. Brands should fully engage the consumer through visually dominating techniques in order to then transfer their attention onto brand products.
It is equally important for highstreet retailers to ensure a dominant online presence, to allow consumers to glide seamlessly between online and offline services (Jopson, 2013). Gen Z consumers’ path to purchase focuses greatly on the ‘comparison’ step (see p.46) and brands need to assist this process. Retailers should create opportunities to research online, then compare instore, receive discounts via email, and then finally purchase instore; brands should focus on restricting the offline to online barrier.
‘Having stores and online is a huge benefit, but only if you leverage those resources . . . If you don’t have a fully integrated experience, those assets are not utilised.’ Faisal Masud- (Baker, 2013)
apply it WHO?
Feel Unique (online beauty retailer) Create a physical presence to
encourage customer interaction with the brands stocked online
To Create Pop-up stores to allow
customers to try-and-test products which they are unable to do online and discover more niche brands
Pop-up Maybelline store
that FeelUnique stock online.
Provides an alternative customer-brand
connection through a tangible experience and strengthens their brand identity.
Sports Direct (sports retailer)
Create a more engaging instore
environment to attract a wider physical consumer base.
Feature pop-up activities in-store, such
as a climbing wall or football shoot-outs.
Provide a social â€˜hang-outâ€™ for sports enthusiasts to interact and watch sporting TV.
Creates a fun, energetic atmosphere to
strengthen brand identity and encourage customer
Adidas shoebox pop-up
participation. It will also create hype and revitalise the shopping experience.
Fig 52. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
This has resulted in a global trend of connectivity, removing the constraints of traditional communication, to allow ideas to spread from a local to global scale- ‘Glocal’
RECOMMENDATION 1: Create content that has the ‘share-ability factor’.
SHARING IS CARING The connected generations, C & Z, possess a constant need to document, share and explore options through social media, changing their shopping habits (Fitch, 2010). Content must be created that these consumers are willing to share and voice their opinion on. Brands need to create dynamic, exciting topics to assist the ‘sharing’ action. Gen C gains social kudos from their peers through the expression of their opinions and sharing abilities. Therefore, brands need to ensure their content is refreshingly different within an information-saturated market to engage with the consumer For example, by creating content such as a YouTube video that has viral capability, it would be predicted that a number of versions or spoofs of this video would follow, spreading their message on a global scale. A good example of this is the Topshop Harlem Shake video, which got over 1million YouTube views. If brands understand the importance of the fact that behaviour will be copied and mimicked, they have the potential to dictate this behaviour. By creating content that’s is easy to imitate and share, they could place themselves one step ahead of the consumer, predicting their possible actions.
apply it WHO? Sweaty Betty (active-wear retailer) AIM?
To create content that customers will want to share to increase brand awareness.
Create entertaining YouTube videos that have the potential to be shared by viewers through social networks. A video that has a humourous or ‘spoof’ style could work well and help promote the brand in a youthful, relevant way. An example of this are the figures below: an entertaining spoof video documenting what would happen if guys and girls changed roles at the gym, and a comedy group representing Gym ‘Stereotypes’- viewed by over 3 million people.
By creating ‘share-able’ content, the brand is encouraging customers to interact and engage with brand messages and themes, potentially acting as brand advocates. This strategy is an effective way to connect with the Gen C consumers who are avid YouTube users and want to be provided with exciting content to share with their peers.
Fig 53. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
There is no longer a divide between the creator and consumer, presenting opportunities of co-creation and emphasising the new rise of the ‘Power of the Individual’.
RECOMMENDATIONS : Understand these creators who are presenting themselves as entertainment ‘brands’. Identify the relevant influencer and harness their power as an awarenessdriving tool.
Unlike traditional marketing methods there isn’t the obvious separation between the creator and the consumer. Instead, in these social networks, ‘creators are consumers and consumers are creators’ (Gahan, 2014). This gives the notion that potentially any individual can mimic the success of the YouTube and Blogging stars, essentially allowing the audience to become the creators. This fine line creates authentic and intimate relationships that are not always possible for brands to achieve with their audience. Brands must understand they are competing with these new entertainers and either learn from or find a way to collaborate with them. Co-creation is a key aspect of the Gen C consumer (Neilsen, 2010), suggesting that these social vehicles are only going to carry on driving success. Brands need to engage with these influential individuals who have gained online kudos and authority as the voices of consumer society. The category of online influencer needs to be considered in order for the influencer to be effective for the brand. Knowing what entertainment the audience respond positively to, whether it is videos (YouTube), images (Instagram) or words (Blog), or even a combination of methods will help a brand select an influencer accordingly. This can be discovered using recommendation 1 and discovering the consumers’ social network to discover their interests.
Fig 53. Anon, (2010).
BLOGGER BOOM The blogging world, is ranked higher than Twitter and Facebook in shaping opinions and activating purchasing decisions (Konopinski, 2013). This factor is helps the researching nature of Gen C consumers, providing a relatable evaluation service. Providing their audience with honest opinions through both positive and negative reviews of brand products, bloggers are an increasingly attractive, subjective information source for consumers.
Fig 55. Stylecaster (2013).
Brands need to invest time in understanding what blogging communities their target audience are actively involved within, through analysis of where their audience are engaging their interest, online and offline. Currently very few brands are conscious of their spending being aligned with what their customers value and are influenced by. Some high-end brands have understood the importance of these online influencers, and will typically target the bloggers with the highest online traffic. This is true of the 2010 collaboration between American brand Forever 21, and blogger Rumi Neely of FashionToast (see Fig.54), acting as the perfect advocate for the young, energetic collection. Although bloggers with the highest amount of followers seem like the most attractive option, research has shown (Konopinski, 2013) that smaller more niche communities have a greater influence over consumers than large ones. Essentially this is the result of building strong and trusted relationships, which strengthens the influence process and results in consumer action. Brands must immerse themselves within the blogosphere to discover potential talent to work with that will compliment their identity and increase brand knowledge.
Sincerely Jules X Finders Keepers
Fanny Lyckman X Estradeur
Fig 56. Talilla Henchoz, (2014)
YouTubers start uploading content drawn from a personal interest, built on a genuine passion. Grown from the platform’s motto ‘Broadcast Yourself’, these individuals are increasingly relatable to the everyday consumer, compared to the digital and print marketing methods that saturate the market.
Sara Mormino, the director of YouTube content operations explains that the critical part of their success is due to their ability to interact with their audience, through commenting, collaboration and sharing (Cheshire, 2013:online).
‘It’s a two-way dialogue that was not possible with traditional media.’ -Sara Mormino
Brands should focus on the ‘share-ability’ factor of YouTube. Creative content should be produced which has the potential for well-known YouTubbers to comment on, share or even feature in their own videos. Essentially YouTube is a sharing platform allowing interaction and individual responsestherefore brands need to create a CONVERSATION. This will allow them to engage in a dialogue with their consumer; this may be through brand-curated content or collaboration with a relevant YouTuber. Niche brands must create content that earns the respect and trust of this video-streaming community to enable them to engage with a wider consumer base. By no longer only relying on traditional media, but instead earning the respect of this growing interactive platform, brands can build a trusted consumer relationships.
Fig 57. Brendan Gahan, (2014)
Through the exploration of generation C and Z, a new perspective on consumer behaviour has been recognised. By understanding the psychological processes involved within group mentality, combined with a new surge of social innovations and identification of key authoritative voices within the retail industry, the term ‘influence’ requires a new interpretation. With the virtual world allowing individuals to build and create themselves as ‘influence-leaders’. Retailers needs to recognise and acknowledge these experts as an important aspect of building their brand, when communicating with an audience who require constant connectivity, the opportunity to co-create and demand to be an integral part of the brand conversation. This is the era of influence.
Declaration List of References List of Illustrations Bibliography
A: Methodology Table
G: Theories 1. Tipping Point 2. Curve of Innovators 3.Group Behaviour 4. Influence Plan
B: Purchase Influences Questionnaire C: Industry Opinions 1. Craig Hughes 2. Morgaine Gaye 3. Dino Dogan 4. Jan Kitcher 5. Claire Madden D: Gen Z Focus Group
H: Visual/ Layout Inspiration I:Tutorial Records J: Ethical checklist
E: Gen C Consumer Profiles 1. Shannon Peter 2. Mitchell Henchoz 3. Laura Hobson
F: Case Studies 1. Sephora
Talilla Henchoz/ N0376186 Research Report/ FASH3001 Fashion Communication&Promotion Word Count: 8,692
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Illustrations Figure 1. Melbles, (2013) Dipped Hand, (online). Available at: http://www.melbles.com/filter/ projects/Black (accessed: 2.1.2014) Figure 2. Mctygue,(2013) Shoe Display, (online). Available at: http://annamctygue.wordpress. com/2013/06/04/madrid-day-14/ (accessed: 2.1.2014) Figure 3. Google, (2013) Google Glass, (online). Available at: http://www.google.co.uk/glass/start/ (accessed 2.1.2014) Figure 4. C&A,(2012) Facebook Hanger, (online). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/ ceaBrasil (accessed: 5.1.2014) Figure 5. Vogue,(2012) Burberry Flagship, (online). Available at: http://www.vogue.co.uk/ news/2012/09/13/burberry-regent-street-flagship-opens/gallery/843893 (accessed: 5.1.2014) Figure 6. Bytelight, (2013) Bytelight, (online). Available at: http://www.bytelight.com/ (accessed 5.1.2014) Figure 7. Josh Valcarcel, (2013) Ibeacon, (online). Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/ archive/2013-12/12/apple-ibeacon (accessed 5.1.2014) Figure 8. Dominik Tarabanski, (2012) No identity, (online). Available at: http://trendland.com/ svrface-by-dominik-tarabanski/ (accessed 2.1.2014) Figure 9. Martin Schoeller, (2013) Eyes, (online). Available at: http://proof.nationalgeographic. com/2013/09/17/visualizing-change/ (accessed 5.1.2014) Figure 10. C&A, (2012) Facebook Hanger, (online). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/ ceaBrasil (accessed: 5.1.2014) Figure 11. Gaston Thauvin, (2013) Spreading, (online). Available at: http://recipes.howstuffworks. com/tools-and-techniques/questions-about-cooking-with-butter.htm (accessed 2.1.2014) Figure 12. Anon, (2013) Monochrome Trend, (online). Available at: http://thestylevoyager. com/2013/10/06/special-report-new-york-fashion-week-spring-2014/ (accessed 18.1.2014) Figure 13. Alexandra Bellissimo, (2011), Innovator, (online). Available at: http://trendland.com/ alexandra-bellissimo-human-nature-collages/ (accessed 20.12.2013) Figure 14. FrogGooseandBear, (2012), Pass it on, (online). http://froggooseandbear.blogspot. co.uk/2013_04_01_archive.html (accessed 5.1.2014)
Figure 15. Ari Versluis, (2012), Exaxtitudes, (online). Available at: http://www.exactitudes.com/ index.php?/series/all/144/3 (accessed. 2.1.2014) Figure 16. Japan Times, (2013), Phone Crowd, (online). Available at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/ news/2013/06/28/world/bands-urge-fans-to-ditch-phones/#.UuBagGTFLR1 (accessed 15.1.2014) Figure 17. Anon, (2013), Digital Evolution, (online). Available at: http://www.callcentre.co.uk/getdigital-or-get-ditched-but-what-about-service-and-support/ (accessed 15.1.2014) Figure 18. Anon (20120, Community, (online). Available at: http://christianscience.com/community/ circle-of-faith-ecumenical-and-interfaith (accessed 20.12.2013) Figure 19. Anon, (2012), Computer Head, (online). Available at: http://galleryqui.wordpress. com/2012/08/10/ (accessed 20.12.2013) Figure 20. Google (2014), Creating Content (online), Available at: https://www.google.com/think/ articles/the-power-of-gen-c-connecting-with-your-best-customers.html (accessed 20.1.2014) Figure 21. Talilla Henchoz, (2013) Gen C Infographic. Figure 22. Talilla Henchoz, (2013) Consumer Profile- Shannon. Figure 23. Talilla Henchoz, (2013) Consumer Profile- Mitchell. Figure 24. Talilla Henchoz, (2013) Consumer Profile- Laura. Figure 25. Stylus, (2013), Gen Z, (online). Available at: http://www.stylus.com/mgnjfd (accessed 20.1.2014) Figure 26. Alexandra Catiere (2011), Teens, (online). Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/ artsandculture/gallery/16984/10/alexandra-catiere (accessed: 2.1.2014) Figure 27. Talilla Henchoz, (2013) Consumer decision journey. My infogrphics Figure 28. Harry Bursell, (2013) Monkey Tribe, (online). Available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ harrybursell/8277682899/sizes/o/ (accessed 5.1.2014) Figure 29. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) FaceBook Group Screen shot. Figure 30. Sam Kaplan, (2013) Individual coke, (online). Available at: http://trendland.com/samkaplans-still-life-series/ (accessed 20.12.2013)
Figure 31. Anon, (2013) March in Line, (online). Available at: http://thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr. com/post/41880845723 (accessed 20.12.2013) Figure 32. Jeffrey Friedl, (2011) Street Crowd, (online). Available at: http://regex.info/blog/2011-0714/1819 (accessed 15.1.2014) Figure 33. Rory Natkiel, (2013) Content Question, (online). Available at: http://www.blonde.net/ blog/2013/10/31/context-king (accessed 19.1.2014) Figure 34. Kieley Kimmel, (2013) Led Dog, (online). Available at: http://kieleykimmel.com/ (accessed 21.1.2014) Figure 35. Anon, (2013) Nelson Mandela, (online) Available at: http://certifiedsonofgod.wordpress. com/tag/nelson-mandela/ (accessed 13.1.2014) Figure 36. Anon, (2013) Jay-z, (online) Available at: http://streetz945.com/proof/jay-z-underinvestigation-for-a-lavish-gift/ http://kvil.cbslocal.com/2013/07/03/one-direction-is-the-loudestconcert-you-will-attend-all-year/ (accessed 13.1.2014) Figure 37. LaModa, (2013) Blogger, (online). Available at: http://www.lamodauk.com/blog/2013/08/ fashion-blogger-stylemexiquer-the-suzan/ (accessed 13.1.2014) Figure 38. MusicRadio, (2013) DJ, (online). Available at: http://www.musicradiocreative.com/ (accessed 6.1.2014) Figure 39. YouTube, (2013) Google Hangout, (online). Available at: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=nPQSAWPOi-A ) (accessed 6.1.2014) Figure 40. Cal Aurand, (2013)1D, (online). Available at: http://kvil.cbslocal.com/2013/07/03/onedirection-is-the-loudest-concert-you-will-attend-all-year/ (accessed 6.1.2014) Figure 41. Keith Allison, (2012) Tiger Woods, (online). Available at: http://customerfaithful.com/in100-words-celebrity-endorsement/ (accessed 6.1.2014) Figure 42. DGE, (2013) Branded, (online). Available at: http://dgesolutions.co.uk/contact (accessed 6.1.2014) Figure 44. Anon, (2013) Charlieissocoollike, (online). Available at: http://happyperson133. deviantart.com/art/charlieissocoollike-1-245221897 (accessed 20.1.2014) Figure 45. Talilla Henchoz, (2014). Influence methods. (Feature: NodeXL (2010) Twitter Influence Map (online). Available at: http://www.connectedaction.net/nodexl/ (accessed 24.1.2014) and Klout (2013) Klout Score (online). Available at: klout.com/home (accessed 21.1.2014) 114
Figure 46. Talilla Henchoz, (2014). Holland and Barrett. (Feature Urban Outfitters Community Screen Shot (online) Available at: http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/scat/community (accessed 21.1.2014) Figure 47. Jamie Chung, (2013). Consumable. (online) Available at: http://trendland.com/ consumable-photography-by-jamie-chung/ (accessed 12.12.2013) Figure 48. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) Peer approved content. (Feature Twitter screen shot and BodyForm (2012), BodyForm responds: the Truth, (online). Available at: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Bpy75q2DDow (screen shot: 22.1.2014) Figure 49. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) Brand connectivity. (Feature screen shots via http://www. missselfridge.com/ and Instagram) Figure 50. Podenco, (2013) Personlisation. (online) Available at: http://podencoclothing.com/ podenco-loves-personalized-shopping-at-islanders/ (accessed 21.1.2014) Figure 51. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) WHSmith Omni-channel. (Feature Guardian (2012) Amazon Kindle, (online). Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/may/21/amazon-kindleebook-instore (accessed 10.1.2014) Figure 52. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) Pop-up shops. (Feature MarieClaire (2010) Maybelline Pop-up, (online). Available at: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/beauty/499660/want-to-be-a-model-heres-your-chance.html (accessed 10.1.2014) Figure 53. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) SweatyBetty Case study. (Feature YouTube screen shots) Figure 54. Anon, (2010) Forever 21 collaboration. (online) Available at: http://www.mahryska. com/2010/06/23/fashion-toast-for-forever21/ (accessed 2.1.2014) Figure 55. Stylecaster (2013) WeWoreWhat (online). Available at: http://stylecaster.com/fashionbloggers-brand-collaborations/ (accessed 24.1.2014) Figure 56. Talilla Henchoz, (2014) Blogger Collaboration. (Feature SelfsService, (2012) Sincerely Jules, (online). Available at: http://selfserviceuk.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/moondance-in-miami/ (accessed 24.1.2014) and FannyLyckman, (2013) FannyLyckmann, (online) Available at: http:// imnext.se/fannylyckman/page/41/?attachment_id=vjvnmiyialwegz (accessed 20.1.2014) Fig. 57. Brendan Gahan, (2014) Audience as the new currency.(online) Available at: http://www. briansolis.com/2014/01/audience-as-the-new-currency-youtube-and-its-impact-on-hollywood-andsocial-media/ (accessed 15.1.2014)
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Newman, D. (2013) 2014: The Year of the Brand Influencer. (online) Available at: http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-newman/brand-influencing-2014_b_4518836.html (accessed 3.1.2014) Nielsen (2013) Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages (online). Nielsen. Available at: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/global-trust-in-advertising-andbrand-messages.html (accessed 20.1.2014) NYUStern, (2012). NYU Stern Professors Develop New Method to Measure Influence and Susceptibility in Social Networks (online). NYUStern Available at: http://www.stern.nyu. edu/experience-stern/news-events/measure-social-networks (Accessed 18.01.2014) O’Reilly, L. (2013) Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking ad technology.(online) Marketing Week. Available at: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/google-patents-payper-gaze-eye-tracking-ad-technology/4007674.article (accessed 18.11.2013) Price, A. (2014). The Five RetailTrends you need to know about in 2014. (online) BusinessZone. Available at: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/topic/marketing-pr/five-retailtrends-you-need-know-about-2014/55249 (accessed 14.1.2014) PSFK (2013) The Future of Retail 2014 (online) Available at: http://www.psfk.com/ publishing/future-of-retail-2014#!szHBl (accessed 12.11.2013) PSFK. (2013). Opt-in hardware and software solutions serve up relevant product details and other information to help inform purchase decisions. PSFK Labs Available at: http:// www.psfk.com/2013/11/contextual-support-manifestations-future-retail.html#!szIwI (accessed: 13.12.2013) Ratcliffe, R., (2012) YouToo can earn £100,000 on YouTube (online) Available at: http:// www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jan/13/earn-money-youtube-viral-video (accessed 12.1.2014) Seidel, A. (2010) Luxury Lab. Generation Next:Understanding Tomorrow’s Affluent Consumer. (online) Business of Fashion. Available at: http://www.businessoffashion. com/2010/05/luxury-lab-generation-next-understanding-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-affluentconsumer.html (accessed: 13.12.2013) Shontell, A. (2011). Really, There Is No Such Thing As Bad PR. (online) Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/there-2011-2 (accessed 4.1.2014) Slee, N., (2013) 5 point guide to Hyperfeel with Bart Hess (online). Available at: http:// www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/17583/1/five-point-guide-to-hyperfeel-with-barthess?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=M_I_
Solis, B,. (2013) The Coming C-Change in Customer Behaviour.(online) Available at: http:// www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131002101158-2293140-the-coming-c-change-incustomer-behavior (accessed at 15.1.2014) Solis, B. (2012) Report: The Rise of Digital Influence and How to Measure It. (online) Available at: http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/report-the-rise-of-digital-influence/ (accessed 10.1.2014) Stoodley, D. (2013) Social Media Egagement. (online) Available at: http://www.wearesquared. com/family-guy-rosanne/ (accessed 20.1.2013) Strugatz, R., (2013) Fohr Card Aims to Link Brands, Bloggers (online) Available at: http:// www.wwd.com/media-news/digital/fohr-card-aims-to-link-brands-bloggers-6616140 (accessed 18.1.2014) Sutherland, R. (2013) Rory Sutherland knows how to save marketing. (online) Wired. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2013/06/feature-rory-sutherland/rorysutherland-knows-how-to-save-marketing (accessed 3.1.2014) Taube, A. (2013). Jay-Z’s brand is Suffering Because People don’t’ trust him Anymore. (online) Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/jay-zs-brand-issuffering-because-people-dont-trust-him-anymore-2013-12 (accessed 20.12.2013) Varney, C. (2013). The Future of Social: What Jobs Will Generation Z Have? (online) BrandWatch. Available at: http://www.brandwatch.com/2013/10/generation-z-the-future-ofcareers-infographic/ (accessed 10.1.2014) Vejlgaard, H. Q & As on Trend Forecasting and the Trend Process. (online) Henrik Vejlgaard (accessed: 5.1.2014) Watanabe, A. (2012) ‘The Nail that stick out gets hammered down’: Bullying in Japan. (online) Asian Correspondent. Available at: http://asiancorrespondent.com/86005/the-nail-that-sticksout-gets-hammered-down-bullying-in-japan/. (accessed 17.1.2014) Wu, M. (2012) Why don’t companies understand Digital influence? (online). Wired. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-11/27/digital-influence (accessed 18.12.2012)
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Reports Allsop, D. T., Bassett, B. R., and Hoskins, J. A. (2007). Word-of-mouth research: principles and applications. Journal of Advertising Research, 47 (4), 398-411. A.T. Kearney Korea LLC,(2012) ATKearney- Global Retail Expansion: Keeps on Moving (online) Available via: McKinsey& company (accessed 5.1.2013) Cova, B. (2002). Tribal Marketing- The tribalisation of society. European Journal of Marketing (online). Vol 36 No. 5/6., p.595-620. Available at: Emerald (accessed 2.11.2013) KPMG, (2013) Digital Consumers (online) Available via: KPMG International Cooperative (accessed 10.1.2013) McKinsey (2012) The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies (online). Available via: McKinsey Global Institute. (accessed 15.12.2013) Meamber, L. and Venkatesh, A. (2000), ‘Ethonoconsumerist Methodology for Cultural and Cross-Cultural Consumer Research’ in Beckmann, S. and Elliott, R.H. Interpretive Consumer Research: Paradigms, Methodologies & Applications, pp. 87-108, CBS Press, Copenhagen. Media Lab (2005). Where’s Debbie? (online) Available at: MECGlobal. (accessed 3.1.2014) Shankar, A. and Elliott, R. 1999, ‘Consuming Popular Music: Critical Socio- Cultural Perspectives and Research Implications’, WP Bristol Business School, Bristol Turnbull, P., Meenaghan, A., (2007) Diffusion of Innovation and Opinion Leadership. European Journal of Marketing 14,I p3-33. Available via: Emerald. (accessed 18.12.2013) Vankatesh, A. (1995), ‘Ethnoconsumerism: A new paradigm to study Cultural and CrossCultural Consumer Behavior;, in Costa, J.A. and Bamossy, G.J, Marketing in a Multicultural World: Ethnicity, Nationalism and Cultural Identity. Pp. 26-27, Sage, Thousand Oaks,
Lectures Hughes, M., (2012). Nudging and Behaviour Change. (Lecture to Fashion Communication&Promotion, NTU) 16 November. Hughes, M., (2012). Understanding Consumer Behaviour. (Lecture to Fashion Communication&Promotion, NTU) 23 February. Hughes, M., (2013). Tipping Points. (Lecture to Fashion Communication&Promotion, NTU) 22 February.
Dogan, D., (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2014. Influencers of The Future. 8.01.2014 Email to: Talilla Henchoz (email@example.com) Gaye, M., (M.Gaye@morgainegaye.com) 2013. Sensory Branding Research. 9.11.2013 Email to: Talilla Henchoz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hughes, C. (email@example.com) 2013. Research Help. 12.11.2013 Email to: Talilla Henchoz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Kitcher, J. ( email@example.com) 2014.The Importance of Personalisation. 18.1.2014 Email to: Talilla Henchoz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Madden, C., (email@example.com) 2014. Research Help. 23.1.2014. Email to Talilla Henchoz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To gain expert insight into consumer behavior and influencers within society.
Contact on twitter and then email key questions. Or Skype/ phone
Gen Z Focus Group
To understand the target consumertheir lifestyle preferences, social media habits and influence sources.
A focus group conducted with 8 people of various ages and backgrounds. The conversation was very chatty and informal, to allow the participants to engage with each others opinions.
Gen C Consumer profiles
To create an influence map to understand the connected consumers and their habits.
A short interview with 3 different consumers along with a visual influence profile.
Purchase Influences Questionnaire
To understand what individuals’ key influences are within their decision making process.
Send an online survey to a variety of people under the age of 25 to reach the more connected generation.
Yes, gained clear insight into online influencers that drive participants purchase. More questions could have been added, however 3 questions meant that participants were more likely to complete the survey. Yes, got some interesting views on each topic. Some also provided me with relevant case studies to support research. With their time constraints, email worked well. Yes, some very useful insights into their lives and what technology they are engaging with. A ‘day-in-the-life’ of one of the participants may have been a useful to understand the lifestyle differences to other generations. Yes, it showed how they are connecting on a daily basis and the main influences within their lives.
Books -to identify the models and theories on consumer behaviour and the retail landscape.
The books provided good background knowledge regarding group mentality and herd behaviour to contextualise my report.
They enabled me to hear opinions from Ted Talks (online) -to engage with industry expert opinions industry experts that I would not have
physical access to. Topics were covered that I have not thought about during research, so helped with my evaluation process. Yes, they provided a different perspective for my research- providing information in a more entertaining way which I could translate into my writing.
Documentaries - to provide an alternative source of information on surrounding topics Online Interviews - to understand what conversations are already happening around my topic
Interviews with experts online enabled me to gain content around topics that I had not previously though about. Questions asked provoked further ideas within my writing.
These provided good insight into the Brand Case Studies communication methods brands are - to understand how brands currently connect and engage with their audiences adopting to help me recommend future methods.
Twiiter -to understand what conversations are occurring around the themes I am exploring
By searching keywords I was able to understand what conversations are occurring around my topic to ensure it is timely and relevant.
B. Purchase influences Questionnaire An online survey asked a variety of 67 people under the age of 25 what their key influencers are within their decision making process.
answers: Little Mix Brother Roger Federer Beckham Model Megan Fox He spoke style Mija Blog Fashionisto diaries 5 inch and up, milkteef, etc Bryan Boy Fashion blogs written by non celebritiesLauren Conrad Often Kavita from shewearsfashion shewearsfashion Sister Miranda Kerr Girlfriend Mija Charlotte Martin Blog 129
Mother/sister sincerly Jules My friend Tom My girlfriend Sister Street blogs Housemates Auntie Mother Girlfriend :( A blogger/online figure Phoebe Lettice Dulceida, sincerly Jules, song of style etc Fanny Lyckman One Direction Me Joey Essex People I follow on Instagram
C.1 Industry Opinions Craig Hughes (PeerIndex)
PeerIndex have developed technology to understand how individuals and communities behave online.
1. In your opinion what is more powerful/ leads to greater success: Brand persuasion or peer influence? Every Marketing tactic suffers from diminishing returns over time. In the early days of the internet (90s), it wasn’t uncommon for display ads to deliver CTRs 5-‐10%. Over time, consumers get savvy and resistant to tactics they’re over exposed to. Marketers will invest in and repeat activities that work, it becomes standard industry practice and the returns drop off. Today you’re actually more likely to climb Mount Everest than click a banner ad, and the average CTR is 0.1% (although, how many of those are human is debatable!) We’re in a period of decline of effectiveness and trust in traditional advertising messages. 92% of consumers trust word of mouth and peer recommendations (earned media), compared to 47% of consumers trust traditional advertising (paid media), a decline of 25% in just 3 years (Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey). Peer recommendations, general word of mouth and consumer influence are becoming much more important for brands to understand. That being said, I don’t think brand persuasion and peer influence should live in isolation. Social media has given everyone a voice, democratising influence to a huge extent. No longer are we restricted, as individuals, to localised influence (friends and family). Now we can all have a much stronger impact on a much bigger scale. Traditionally, influence was a top down, hierarchical construct with government, the media and (more recently) celebrities at the top influencing the actions and thoughts of the masses. There is, though, a growing realisation of our individual and collective ability to influence each other and to cause real change, to disrupt. Every week we see new examples of this happening in the world around us. It was the outrage on Social Media about Starbucks’ tax avoidance that caused increased media coverage and, eventually, Starbucks relenting and making a contribution. In terms of ability to affect perception and purchase intent, peer influence is much more powerful than a traditional advertising. However, scale is a consideration. The challenge is in understanding how to activate legions of brand ambassadors with large audiences and the desire to advocate on your behalf.
Social media has increased the power of the consumer, but it hasn’t removed the importance of brand persuasion. Social Media has increased the scale at which brands can have one to one relationships with their consumers. Brand messages can travel much further and much more quickly. Having control of brand perception is much harder today than it ever has been, so the discipline of brand persuasion just has to expand to include Influence Marketing. 2. Do you believe that current brands are aware/successful in connecting with the influence leaders within their target consumer group? (are there any good examples?) Influence Marketing has existed for decades, with celebrity endorsement being a consistently used example. That being said, it’s a relatively recent development that the consumer can disrupt corporations so rapidly. We’re only a few years into this journey and it will take the majority of brands a while to turn this to their advantage. There is a noticeable change in awareness, receptiveness and desire to adapt to these changes, though. PeerIndex have worked with brands a huge range of brands, from Ford to Samsung, Coldplay to Ray-‐Ban, Cravendale and Reebok to startups and financial institutions. The most forward thinking marketers are keen to investigate the impact of consumer influence on their business and tap into it. Much of our early work was around influencer engagement campaigns, where a brand would be keen to identify influencers in relevant topics and treat them to a brand-‐relevant unique experience or reward, obligation free, knowing that they were likely to speak positively about that experience to their large, responsive audiences. I will share a few case studies that show how this worked and the kind of impact they had. I think your questions hits the nail on the head when you say ‘within their target consumer group’ – context is king. A PeerIndex score (or any influence score, such as Klout’s) is borderline useless to marketers. If you’re not interested in context (what are you doing in Marketing…!) then you might as well just use follower count to judge influence, which doesn’t tell the whole story. There are many examples of this being done really well, such as Reebok identifying fitness and running influencers, treating them to a gift of their new running trainers. Guinness wanted to find influential beer fans, flying some on a private jet to Dublin for a Guinness night out. Jack Wills gave their new dress to fashion influencers, such as Rosie Londoner. Ford wanted to engage and impress innovative minds, such as architects and urban designers, using new technologies to create 3d holograms of the new B-‐MAX and 3d printed versions of the new Fiesta. Key to campaign based influencer engagement are relevance and context, in terms of the influencers themselves and the incentive to engage. 3. Do you think that society is becoming more individually minded, rather than conforming to the opinions of others? Or is there still a huge ‘herd’ culture that brands need to take advantage of? Human behaviour and underlying motivations change extremely slowly. As such, I don’t think that we are suddenly becoming more or less individually minded. Social Media may well have exacerbated an underlying human weakness (the id), that desire for attention and self promotion that manifests itself much more overtly in some than others. The prevalence of the ‘Selfie’ certainly lends credibility to the assertion that attention and self promotion motivate people. As long as there are diverse personality types, there will be first movers and leaders and there will be followers/herd mentality.
Guinness Case Study
C.2 Morgaine Gaye (Scentologist) Morgaine is a Food Futurologist and an expert in sensory branding.
From: TJ Henchoz [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 09 November 2013 15:31 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Sensory Branding Research Hi Morgain, I was in the seminar you took with us last year at Nottingham Trent on the power of scent and scent marketing, and found it all very interesting and insightful. I am now researching into the future of Sensory Branding for my dissertation; looking at the future of our senses and our sensory perception as well as peer influence on consumer behaviour. It would be fantastic to get your expert opinion on a few questions I have to help contextualise and support my ideas, and also any views you have around the subject. I’ve listed a few questions below so if you have the time I’d love to know what you think! 1. Do you believe brands are currently using sensory branding/ marketing to their full advantage? Are there any ‘stand-out’ examples who have got the Sensory Experience perfected? sensory branding is just at the beginning of the mass of possibility it will offer brands. Sensory experience has been used in a number of ways such as scent branding, data face recognition in vending and all kinds of things inbetween… 2. Do you agree with the idea that brands can/could completely control our perception? (Perhaps through learned association or by manipulating our initial ideas with tailored experiences...) yes, we are and can be controlled in so many ways…the brightness of lighting, colour of walls/ plates, shapes of objects and signs, music, scent…we are hyper sensitive as a consumer and human being. 3. In your opinion what does the future hold for our senses? In terms of technological advancements/ manipulation and experimentation. As brands learn more about how they can influence choice, there will be people producing things which protect the consumer…we already see people trying to protect themselves by abastaining from media or wearing protective garmets to fend off EMF…so many ways in which brands will learn the best ways to influence behaviour and we are in the very early stages of that. We will see actually laws coming in to protect the consumer from these things too. Thankyou for your time and I hope to hear from you, Talilla Henchoz
Dino Dogan- (Founder of Tribber) Tribber is an Influencer Marketing Platform- A community of talented Bloggers and Influencers come together to read and share great content
1. In todays connected generation, everyone has their own social media outlet with their own ‘voice’. Do you believe this is making society more individually minded, or is there still a large conforming/ ‘herd’ culture that brands can use to their advantage? There is most definitely a herd/tribe mentality. The best technology works along the grain of human nature, which is tribal at its core. Where my tribe goes, that’s where you’ll find me. What is cool is that technology is making it possible to break outside of our physical tribes. If you’re interested in some super-obscure topic which no one you know is interested in, you can go online and find others who love it. Our tribes used to be confined to physical spaces, and now they are liberated to exist inside our computers. And I think that’s pretty cool. The problem that brands have is that in the age of mass media, there used to be 3 channels on TV (CBS, NBC, ABC) and the entire family would gather in front of one screen. As a brand, all you had to do is put your ad spot on one of those channels. And BOOM! Instant success. Now, there are 100s of channels on TV, but that’s not the real problem. Now every family member has at least 3 screens (mobile, tablet, laptop), and no one is watching the same channel. Mass media has become fragmented media. 2. In your opinion are current retail brands fully aware/successful in connecting with the influence leaders within their target consumer group? (are there any good examples?) Nope. Brands are not very good at all at this. Even brands that are supposed to be good at it and have had some success, are really barely limping along. For example. One brand I worked with has had an influencer program for years. It was essentially an Excel spreadsheet of names, emails, and topics. After a single campaign on Triberr, they decided to chuck their list and use us exclusively. Meanwhile, they were building their list for over 5 years. This was very early in Triberr’s influencer program. We ourselves kinda sucked at it. But we were way better than anything they’ve seen or experienced before. Why? Because brands and agencies don’t understand the creative class of bloggers, podcasters, and youtubers. It’s an age old problem of business-y types trying to work with the creative types. We inserted ourselves as an intermediary in order to mitigate the insanity. 136
3. As the founder of Triberr, what drove the inspirations behind the idea of the platform? and has it been a successful innovation so far? The inspiration behind Triberr was simple. I had friends who’s content I’d share and commenton on regular basis. And they would do the same for me. It’s super-important to have a group of people -a tribe, if you will- that will validate your existence, and act as a core group of supporters. It takes a village, as they say. It was impossible for me to scale this circle of supporters beyond 20 people that were in my tribe back then. So, I started dreaming of a platform that would make the scaling possible. How do you easily and effectively tribe-up with 100s of people who will support you, and you them? If I could only find a platform that would do that, I could make my blog even more successful. Alas, no such platform existed, so we built one :-) Since the very beginning, we had brands that approached us in order to put them in front of our user base. Brands always wanted something really lame, uncreative, and morally ambiguous. Like, to be featured in our newsletter, or ads in the sidebar a la Facebook. We never felt comfortable with any of that. But eventually, we stumbled upon a model that works for both brands AND bloggers/podcasters/ youtubers. Influence Marketing. 4. Finally, what do you believe is the key for more niche brands to successfully connect and create a conversation with future generations? This question is built upon a false premise. Most brands are not interested in connecting with future generations. Most brands don’t think past the next quarter. The success of the brand is measured in monthly and quarterly reports. Brands are not interested in building a lasting value. I’m generalizing, of course. I wish brands would start thinking long term. Jeff Bazos, the Founder and CEO of Amazon is a rare breed of CEO that is looking to build a lasting business. He’s an exception, unfortunately. Assuming the brand wanted to connect with people over long term, they would have to start by bringing value into the ecosystem, whichever ecosystem they are looking to inhabit. Social sales cycle is 2-3 years long. And most brands are looking for ROI now. That’s an obstacle for most brands.
Hope this is useful, and good luck.
C.4 Jan Kitcher- (Customer Service expert) Jan has worked at a variety of Health club chains in project and general manager positions and is a freelance customer service consultant.
Hi Talilla, Very Happy to help, I have attached my thoughts and some potential examples of customer experience and personalistation for your appendix (?). I hope this helps and good luck! Regard, Jan
‘I’m talking to YOU!’ Emails that appear to be personalised (use of first name) do still resonate with customers who in reality, understand that this is a technology trick, but it still leaves a positive feeling about the company; provided that their systems are fit for purpose. Mistakes can turn a positive into an ongoing negative: Marks and Spencer – contact me by email, using my surname only – a real switch off, with negative thoughts prevailing whenever they communicate. Basic checks / searches can be run, to easily avoid this problem, even on huge databases. ‘Very interesting’ The content of the communication is obviously key, if it’s the right content, it’s not so important if it’s via generic a non personalised email. ‘Tell us all about it’ Internet savvy over 50’s and retired customers will spend more time reviewing emails, actively engaging with the brands they like, giving feedback, and eventually becoming advocates and promoters. They will also participate in more detailed requests for feedback if there is an incentive. ‘Making it fun’ At the end their customer survey, Certainly Wood (Firewood company) added a fun and optional question – ‘Who lights your fire? – which celebrity would you most like to snuggle up to in front of a fabulous fire) resulted in a 75% response to the question. The level of response provided the opportunity to use the results for other PR, marketing and awareness initiatives. 2. Do you believe brands are currently successful in providing a personalised customer experience, or could they learn from other patient-centred industries such as Health Care? All areas of retail need to step up to the plate and monitor their own customer experience and service, and also, that of their competitors. Retailers are now recognising the potential rewards in improving their customer experience in every area, whether it be in store, delivery, website, buying online, or social media. Experience engineering and the customer journey are critical not just to the hospitality and leisure sectors, but also to all areas of retail. Customer feedback is more important than ever before, now that more people are buying online and reviewing the product and the service ratings of the customers who have already purchased and used the product themselves. This is incredibly powerful for potential buyers, and poor ratings will ultimately turn initially interested purchasers to alternative product and / or supplier. 139
3. Are there any good/ bad examples you have regarding the personalisation of customer service, online and offline? Elmbank Logistics - Sophisticated delivery communication – emailing the actual name of the driver who is delivering the order, the name of the delivery company DPD and a specific delivery time within a one hour timeframe – and it arrived on time.
How to create personalised engagement: Opportunities to profile and target specific groups on online databases, rather than doing a generic communication to the whole database: • Those who’ve subscribed but never purchased – special introductory discount offer and code. • Regular purchasers, who haven’t purchase within a specific period of time – discount code with short end date. • Recommend a friend rewards – discount codes for both – the existing customer and the new customer. • Loyalty rewards for regular customers – based on the total value of their purchases to date. Thanking them for their support and offering a loyalty discount off their next order • Next – offer a £10 voucher if an existing online subscriber and customer refers a friend as an online customer – £10 voucher for the introducer and £10 for the introduced.
How to track engagement: Tracking the number of subscriber emails that are actually opened, to gauge the number of people who are actually ‘listening’ to your brand. Regular analysis of website traffic and activity, average length of time spent on the website, popularity of specific pages and time spent on each – enabling companies to gauge the popularity of the online content and link it to the success of specific campaigns and promotions.
C.5 Claire Madden- (Social researcher and Next-gen expert) Claire is fluent in the social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers.
Thanks for your email (and follow up). Sorry for my slow reply - I was away over the break and at a course last week so still getting on top of emails and things! Here are some thoughts for you: 1. In your opinion are current retail brands fully aware/successful in connecting with the influence leaders within their target consumer group? (are there any good examples?) Brands are working hard at a number of levels to engage their consumer group - traditional advertising and marketing campaigns as well as the need for social media and viral campaigns. An example of a successful one was the Share a Coke campaign - successful at engaging people both online and offline. It would become the conversation topic in the lunch rooms when someone had a Coke with a name of someone they knew, and it was spread all over social media sites as people took photos of cans of Coke that had their friend’s name on it and posted it on their Facebook wall. 2. In todays connected generation, everyone has their own social media outlet with their own ‘voice’. Do you believe this is making society more individually minded, or is there still a large conforming/ ‘herd’ culture that brands can use to their advantage? From an early age, young people are becoming their own personal ‘brand managers’ - they are constantly filtering events and experiences in their lives through the lens of what makes a good social media post, and what photos, status updates and comments will present them in a way they want to be seen in their public profile. Whilst there is definitely a greater empahsis on the ‘individual’ in our society, there is also a greater level of connectedness than ever before because of the impact of globalisation and the rapid technological advancements. 3. With 80% of Millenials being made up of Gen C, and with Gen Z being the consumers of the future, what do you believe is the most successful way for retail brands to influence these consumers? In the world of consumer blogs, the people with the influence has shifted from the advertisers to the users - before making a purchase, consumers are likely to check reviews on blogs by other users - so by making quality products that the users are fans of, and creating a context for an online community where these users can share their views is a potential way to increase influence with these consumers. 141
D. Gen z Focus group ‘Who/ what are the influencers/ influences of Gen Z?’ A focus group involving 8 individuals within the Generation Z age range (1994-2004), to understand ther lifestyle preferences, social media habits and influence sources. Participants: Mitchell (18), Claire (16), Fayruz (16), Jasmine (17) , Henry(19), Ben (18), Matty (17), Georgie (19)
Quick briefing given on the topic of discussion and explain ethical conduct. Me: Hi guys thanks for coming today. Ok, so as I’ve said the topic of this discussion is Influence and Influencers. So to start off very broad and this is completely up to your interpretation… What do you think makes someone influential? Georgie: maybe, someone that’s always in the news and in the eye of the public? Like lots of people are watching them so they are pretty influential Ben: um, I think someone that has a lot of followers Mitchell: yeah, who have a lot of followers on Instagram and Twitter. Um, I think also definitely someone who has confidence in what they are saying…they need to be able to persuade their fans and I guess therefore need to be quite strong in what they say. Claire: yeah, and I think they need to be older than me. I would personally think someone is more influential if they are older…gives it a bit more authority Me: ok, that’s interesting Who is one person that you would say influencers what you wear or buy on a day-to-day basis? Fayruz: just one person? Me: Yes if you can, or a few people…Just those that you follow or connect with on a daily basis for inspiration etc? Fayruz: Well I follow a lot of bloggers, I think I follow about 30 different ones on BlogLovin. I use the app on my phone too so I get notifications when there are 142 new posts.
Georgie: ah yes I love Mija.
Georgie: ah yes I love Mija. Fayruz: Yeah! Georgie: I follow We Wore What too, I usually check her insta Matty: um I dunno I guess people around me, my friends… My friend George is a bit different in what he wears compared to other people at school, so I guess he is someone I notice in terms of style. Henry: I tend to wear similar things to my older brother…He is in a full time job so has a bit more money to spend, so I usually ask him where he got things. He also usually buys me clothes for presents. Mitchell: Probably my sister…not even joking (laughs)! I usually ask her what she thinks of something if I’m going to buy it online and sometimes we go to the shopping centers together. She’s a fashion student so I think that’s why I trust her! Me: Where do you guys buy most your clothes? In-store or online? Georgie: Online, always on ASOS…especially the Marketplace, there are so many cool things on there. Mitchell: um I just go stores in town or at shopping centers Ben: Yeh same Fayruz: online, I do a lot on Ebay too…I like to find discounted items on there Claire: A bit of both I think, but at the moment online because I have a lot of work so haven’t got time to go to stores Henry: nah, I think instore, just because I can try the clothes on Jasmine: I usually go to shopping centers with my friends or parents on the weekend Matty: um yeah I’d say online, that way I can find the deals. I use Ebay too or outlet sites Me: ok great, and Do you tend to shop with anyone else when you go to physical stores? Fayruz: yes, I always go with the girls, most weekend actually (laughs)…I need their opinion Georgie: that’s same for me to be honest, I hate going on my own because I always need a second opinion…otherwise I’m sending them outfit pics on my phone 143
Me: (laughs) ah yes done that too many times Mitchell: Yeah I go with my sister a bit or sometimes after college with friends Matty: If people are about town then I guess I would. I wouldn’t really just go into a store alone. I would shop online otherwise. Me: Yeah that makes sense. Ok I want to talk a bit about how you guys go about purchasing items instore and online...the process of it all, essentially your decision journey… I’m guessing you start off with seeing an item on a friend or social media site or advertisement, is that right? Claire: yeah I’d say so… I follow a lot of brands on instagram and so there are a lot of outfit posts which I always see items I like. Georgie: yeah same Mitchell: Well wouldn’t you see it instore? Me: Yes, and I’m assuming you might buy it there and then if you are out looking for it… But thinking about when your not instore and don’t necessarily have a purchase in mind? Mitchell: oh ok, well yeah I guess I’d see it on a friend or family member. Sometimes my sister sends me links to things she thinks I’ll like. Jasmine: I usually see something I Like on the blogs- and they have links to the websites. Me: right so you start off by seeing it, and then would you buy it straight away? Matty: No I wouldn’t. I’m a bit of a bargain hunter so I usually will check a few websites and Ebay and stuff to see if I can find it cheaper Ben: Oh yeah I would do that too, theres always discounted websites Fayruz: hmm I don’t think I would straight out. Usually I see a really nice top but it might be a bit expensive so will check for another version or whatever. Also I would usually link the item to one of my friends and see what they think… Me: is that quite important to you, that you check that they think it’s an ok item? Fayruz: yeah because I know they’ll be honest and tell me if its shit! (laughs) 144
Jasmine: (laughs) actually yeah that’s true, my girls always say what they think! Matty: I’m not too bothered what my friends think, I won’t link them or anything. I might show my older sister if she’s about. Me: Yeah. So thinking online now, if you’re shopping on say Amazon, would you say you consider the ‘rating’ of items when purchasing? Or for example, would you be more likely to choose an item if it has higher popularity or has been the ‘most pinned’ on a site? Georgie: um, I don’t really shop on Amazon… but actually, yeah, when I’m on Topshop I always order the items by rating usually. I guess because that’s what on trend. Me: Do you do that for most sites? Georgie: Yeah I think so, probably without realising (laughs).. and actually I’m on Pinterest quite a lot and see clothes on there that have been pinned then I usually go to a site from there and buy an item, especially if they have been pinned a few times. Fayruz: yeah I do the same, I follow a lot of style boards on there and so my feed is usually full of items I want to buy! Henry: I always look at the ratings on Amazon yeah, just because you can read the comments people have left too and I kind of trust them… I would say it would definitely put me off if something had low ratings. Matty: yeah I agree Me: What social sites are you using on a daily basis? Claire: Twitter, Insta and Facebook are my top 3 I think Jasmine: Yeah, I’m also always on Tumblr Claire: oh yes me too Henry: I use Soundcloud a lot and Youtube, they are probably the two I visit the most… Oh and Buzzfeed Fayruz: Pretty much the same as them yeah Georgie: I’m loving Vine at the mo, me and my friends are always sending them to each other, Best Vines on Facebook is amazing. I probably check instagram at least 5 times a day though 145
Fayruz: Oh I also use Pinterest, it’s so addictive thoughJasmine:Yes! Me too. I think Instagram is my top one Me: Can any of you say how many times you check your phone every day? Claire: Oh god, I’m literally never without it... Henry: Yep, me too, even when I’m at the gym. I probabbly check it at least 10 times every hour... I feel weird without it! Jasmine: I have no idea, way too many times to count. I just get worried that I’m missing out on something if I dont have it! Ben: (laughs) FOMO! Jasmine: (laughs) Major FOMO! Mitchell: I don’t check it that much...I usually have it on loud so if I get a notification I’ll check it then. Georgie: Yeah I do carry it everywhere with me, but i don’t really think about it to be honest... Fayruz: Yeah exactly, it’s just like attached to me (laughs) Me:ok, and out of interest do any of you actually Blog or upload content to YouTube? Georgie: yes I actually have a blog, its pretty basic like just for sharing image inspo…and actually I was recommended that it would be a good idea when applying for uni’s Me: yeah I got told that too. So how often are you uploading content? Georgie: I try to do it weekly…it’s not too hard though because I’m just reposting other content most of the time Mitchell: I’ve uploaded a few bits to YouTube, mainly because I got a GoPro, so I’ve been putting up some videos of holidays and stuff. Its just for my friends and family really though Henry: think I have some videos up too, I know I have a channel… Makes it a bit too mainstream I think. 146
Claire: I don’t have a blog, but I kind of use Instagram…I post a lot of outfit posts up. I follow a lot of style bloggers on there to, but yeah I’ve got quite a few followers, I find once you hashtag #ootd you get loads of likes. Georgie: (laughs) yes I always see that… I think I Instagram every day… occasionally twice, its just too addictive Ben: I don’t really do either…but my brother is always uploading random videos, and he actually gets quite a few hits…god knows why (laughs) Me: Do you think that if an item is celebrity endorsed it would make you more inclined to buy that item? Henry: no not for me, I don’t really care about that Matty: I don’t really take notice in what celebrities are used… I wouldn’t say that it would affect what I buy anyway Fayruz: umm sometimes maybe, I love the Kardashians (laughs)…guilty pleasure! But I don’t tend to follow many celebrities in terms of what products they promote and stuff. Georgie: I try to stay well clear of anything with a big celeb name on it…I feel like if I bought a top that some big celebrity is endorsing, that everyone will have it. Ben: hmm yeah, it’s all a bit overdone and fake sometimes. I mean I will always buy Gillete products no matter what celebrity is promoting the brand, that doesn’t really bother me. Me: that’s interesting. Ok well I think that’s it really. Thank you so much for helping out guys!
Gen C Consumer Profiles
To understand the Influences of Gen C Consumers, 3 different consumer profiles were completed. Questions asked focused on their lifestyle and purchasing habits, influences and interests.
Shannon (21) What do you believe makes someone influent? Someone that has a strong presence and that people take time to listen to. Who is one person that influences what you wear on a day-to-day basis? I follow quite a few blogs, my favourite is probably Sincerely Jules, I check her website most days. Why, How? I like her style, it’s very relaxed which is similar to my own. I have the Bloglovin app on my phone so I check her site via that or on my laptop. I also follow her and other bloggers on Instagram. Where do you buy- Online or in store? Usually online because it’s much quicker and easier and I like to have a lot of sites up at once so I can compare items. I also tend to find more discounts online. Where do you shop? I tend to use ASOS or Topshop because they have a lot of choice. In terms of highstreet I like Urban Outfitters because they have some unique stuff and the stores are pretty cool. How would your describe your style? Sports-luxe...I wear trainers most days but dress it up with other items. Very relaxed urban style. What do you use every day to connect to people? I’m on whatsapp pretty much 24/7 and Facebook. I tweet a lot from my phone too,. They are my most used apps I guess. Who are your favourite ‘Tweeters’? I like Trendland and DesignMilk, purely for the interesting articles they post and it helps a lot with my work. What Magazines/newspapers do you read? I’ve interned at ELLE and Stylist so I’m pretty loyal to them, I also like i-D for layouts and visuals. 150
Would you buy a product because of celeb endorsement? No, I really tend to stay away from all that, I like finding individual things, if a celebrity is wearing it I feel like it’s over already. What would make you buy something more? Price or friend recommended? I rely on my friends for pretty much everything, I’m always linking them items from ASOS to get their opinion. If something is cheap though I’m a sucker for a deal. How likely are you to buy something that has been: Recommended on Amazon? 6/10 Shared on Facebook? 8/10 Shared on Instagram:9/10
What are a few of your personal interests?: I’m a bit of a beauty obsessive. I read a lot of books too, especially biographies. I like to keep active too, it’s a nice break from all my uni work. Do you create content online? Yes, I have a blog where I document personal interests and some of my photography. I have an online portfolio too which I update regularly with new content. Are you part of any online communities? I comment on a lot of blogs so I guess I’m quite involved in that community, I also participate in a few beauty groups on Facebook. Out of a percentage of 100, how much would you say you are ‘connected’ (online, to friends etc) a day? It would have to be near enough 100%, I’m never without my phone and I’m on my laptop every day.
2. Mitchell (18) What do you believe makes someone influent? Someone that is relatable and has confidence in what they’re saying. Also, definitely someone that is older that me. Who is one person that influences what you wear on a day-to-day basis? My Sister Why, How? I trust her opinion, and she is a fashion student therefore I know she knows what she’s talking about. She has bought me some clothes in the past. Where do you buy- Online or in store? In store. I like to try them and make sure they fit. Where do you shop? Department stores or designer outlets- much easier don’t want the experience of shopping I just wanna buy it in one go. Go with family and friends- need their opinion. How would your describe your style? Very mainstream, not very adventurous, however I am conscious with what I wear. What do you use every day to connect to people? Facebook, I message, snapchat, instagram, twitter, Who are your favourite ‘Tweeters’? Greg James, Example, snoop dog, rizzlekicks and upcoming bands What Magazines/newspapers do you read? Sky news app, BBC news app, Eye paper (independent) Would you buy a product because of celeb endorsement? I don’t care either way, but I would most likely buy what a friend has recommended.
What would make you buy something more? Price or friend recommended? A friend because I don’t buy things that often, so I’m willing to spend more when someone says something is good. How likely are you to buy something that has been: Recommended on Amazon? 7/10 Shared on Facebook? 5/10 Shared on Instagram:7/10
What are a few of your personal interests?: I love my go-pro- I like to capture great footage everywhere I go. I also enjoy editing it after. I listen to a lot of music, online and I try to go to gigs as much as I can. Do you create content online? Yes, I have a YouTube channel and I upload a lot of my Go-pro videos onto that. I also share them as stills on my Instagram and Facebook. Are you part of any online communities? I’m part of a lot of Facebook groups and I guess I comment on a lot of YouTube videos so I’ve met quite a few people on there who I talk to/exchange ideas with. Out of a percentage of 100, how much would you say you are ‘connected’ (online, to friends etc) a day? 100% without a doubt, if not on my phone, I’m on my laptop or Ipod or watching TV, or everything at once (laughs).
3. Laura (22) What do you believe makes someone influent? Someone with a lot of followers and has strong opinions. Who is one person that influences what you wear on a day-to-day basis? Olivia Palmero Why, How? She has style and taste in clothes and a similar body type to me. I check her blog and follow her on Pinterest. Where do you buy- Online or in store? Online- I’m an ASOS addict. Where do you shop? ASOS is my favourite place to buy from, and I go on Ebay occasionally. Offline I would say Zara. How would your describe your style? Pretty classic with a bit of an edge. It varies quite a lot, but comfort is an important factor for me. What do you use every day to connect to people? Facebook and Imessage. Who are your favourite ‘Tweeters’? Daily Mail- keeps me up to date with all the news. I like CoolHunting too, they tweet some really good stuff. What Magazines/newspapers do you read? I don’t really read physical magazines, I tend to use my Ipad to read ASOS magazine and Wired magazine. Would you buy a product because of celeb endorsement? I might do, I don’t think about that too much, but if I see an item pinned by a celebrity I follow I might do.
What would make you buy something more? Price or friend recommended? Price because I like to save money. But I am conscious of what my friends think. How likely are you to buy something that has been: Recommended on Amazon? 8/10 Shared on Facebook? 5/10 Shared on Instagram? 5/10
What are a few of your personal interests?: I love drawing and making things. I love films, on pretty much anything. I also enjoy art shows and events. Do you create content online? Yes, I have an online portfolio and I create websites for clients. I also have a blog that I post fashion interest onto. Oh, and another one that I post my illustrations onto. Are you part of any online communities? I am part of Linkedin groups so I can connect and collaborate with similar creatives. Out of a percentage of 100, how much would you say you are â€˜connectedâ€™ (online, to friends etc) a day? 100%. I take my Ipad everywhere and my job requires me to be online and creating content pretty much every day.
Case Study - Sephora Brand using Social media
SEPHORA- ‘Nailspotting’ IDEA In 2012, Sephora noticed an emerging beauty trend—Pinterest users were regularly saving their favorite beauty products and inspiration onto Pinterest boards, and many of those images were from Sephora. This meant that more and more people were discovering the brand via Pinterest, so to help continue this discovery and allow the sharing and saving of products they added the PIN IT BUTTON to their product pages. within a few months, involving various campaigns, Pinterest became a top 10 referring site for Sephora.
GOALS 1.Make it easy to pin from Sephora.com 2.Use email to encourage Pinterest engagement 3.Encourage clients to pin their beauty ‘shopping lists’
FURTHER SUCCESS Sephora also creates Pinterest-centric emails and enables people to pin products from directly within the email. This allowed increased pinning activity for their new products and in the month following the first ‘pin-able’ email, the brand saw 60% growth in traffic from Pinterest. They have introduced ‘It Lists’ curated by the Sephora staff to highlight their favourite products as well as beauty tips- allowing customers to re-pin these to their own boards. ANALYSIS Sephora have nearly 300,000 followers and 6,090 pins. They are also able to use the Pinterest Web Analytics to monitor what content is most-pinned and liked to allow them to use this in product analysis. Essentially Sephora are aware of what their beauty community want and preference, meaning they are able to provide an on-going dialogue and excelent customer service. Sephora (2012). Sephora delivers a beautiful experience for pinners. (online) available at: http://business.pinterest.com/casestudy-sephora/ (accessed 23.1.2013)
G.1 TRENDS ‘The Tipping Point’ - Malcolm Gladwell Gladwell created the term ‘Tipping Point’ to descrive when a trend or phenomena reaches its moment of critical mass, essentially it’s threshold. He explains that this is the key moment when isolated events are unified into a significant trend and reach mainstream attention. This threshold effect describes how these trends and ideas rapidly spread once they each this critical mass. He also introduces the three variables that determine how and when the tipping point will occur: the ‘three rules of epidemics’. 1. Law of the Few 2.The Stickiness Factor 3. The Power of Context. The graph below shows how trends increase gradually untill the number of connections becomes enough for the trend to reach its ‘tipping point’ and the rate of adoption increases dramatically.
Gladwell, M. (2000). The tipping point: how little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown.
2. â€˜Diffusion of Innovationâ€™ - Everett M.Rogers This model visualises the theory of how new ideas and trends spread through cultures. The graph shows the different categories of adopters that are involved in the process: Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. These categories are defined within their social system on the basis of innovativeness. Innovators- These are the individuals first to adopt an innovation and have the highest social interaction with others. Early adopters- These are the second group to adopt the innovation and usually possess high levels of leadership and tend to be young. Early majority- These individuals are slower in the adoption process but usually have close contact with the early adopters. Late majortity- These individuals adopt innovations at a much slower rate than than average society due to their skepticism on innovations and lack of contact with the above groups. Laggards- These are the last to adopt innovations, tend to be the oldest in society and have contact with only family and close friends.
Rogers, E. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations- 4th edition. New York: Simon & Schuster International.
3. GROUP BEHAVIOUR Levels of observation of Consumption
This model can be used in consumer research to identify different levels of consumption. The Micro-social level in discussion involves the interaction between people whether face-to-face or in large gatherings. It is made up of everyday emotions and interactions which is a powerful level to understand when connecting with consumers. This level is all about creating social links and a societal frame.
Cova, B. (2002). Tribal Marketing- The tribalisation of society. European Journal of Marketing (online). Vol 36 No. 5/6., p.595-620. Available at: Emerald (accessed 2.11.2013) 162
4. INFLUENCE ACTION MAP
The altimeter group provides an influence action plan to help develop programmes for brands who want to experiment with digital influence. It is divided into 3 components: Objectives, Steps and Elements. These contribute to the foundation of the influence plan which is developed into a multi-channel strategy. This strategy is then put into action to target the key influences within the brand network.
Altimeter (2012). The Rise of Digital Influence (online). Available at: http:// www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-rise-of-digital-influence (accessed 15.12.2013) 163
H. Design & Layout inspo
Fig 1-3. Jean Christophe (2013), Colour inspiration (online).
Inspired by the following photography I wanted to use contrasting colours in a ‘block’ style to give a visual contrast. My colour palette follows the colour theme of Jean Christophe’s photographs above- the blue and yellow provide a powerful aesthetic which I wanted to reproduce within my work. I used slightly more rich colours to allow my content to have more of an impact Fig 4.Anon (2013), Pastel Colour (online).
I also wanted to use white text and imagery over a dominant colour which was inspired by the still life photography I researched- seen in Fig. 5. I wanted a very neutral palette because of the consumer-based nature of the report- but the vibrant colours allowed me to give it a eye-catching aspect and give energy to my words. I chose some tongue-in-cheek photography to assist my title pages to demonstrate my themes in a more humourous style, to keep the audience entertained.
Fig 5.Susanna Martin, (2011) Contrast ,(online)
fig. 6 NaughtyFish (2012) Block Layout (online).
fig. 9. Margaret Howell (2011) Contrast (online).
fig. 7. Vuelco Mag (2013) Block colour (online).
fig. 10. Loop mag (2013) Image placement (online). fig. 8. Pure Mag (2013) Full Bleed (online).
I was inspired by the clean but vibrant layouts of these magazines. I wanted to use strong visuals to represent my key themes and I was inspired by the full bleed effect of these layouts (Fig 8, 10). To represent the new Generation C who are all about curation and creativity, I wanted to produce visuals that represented the exciting nature of the individuals, through a fresh, youthful style. Content was very important, therefore I wanted visuals and layouts that complimented the information, and added value in a consistent aesthetic. I wanted to create a â€˜handbookâ€™ style aesthetic- for future brands to feel is timely and relatable, whilst still maintaining a professional structure.
Tutorial Record Sheets (Week 1-8)
A handbook looking at how consumers are 'Under the Influence' and how to engage with the consumers of the future.