It’s almost time to put the 2009 predictions to bed, but my buddies and MindSalt, a branding and PR firm here in Louisville, added a fun bell and whistle to the process I thought was worth bringing to your attention. First, the meat.
MindSalt’s 2009 predictions for the marketing and branding world include the following, the full list of which can be found on their blog:
Honesty & simplicity drive consumer decisions.
2008 was a year of mixed messages. From politics to business, consumers are being bombarded from all sides with broad claims of little substance. In 2009, clarity will be key. Clear messages served up in simple, creative ways will be essential to building and maintaining trust with consumers.
Time-snippets replace time-slots.
Attention is the biggest hurdle for marketers to overcome. No longer do we carve out specific time for watching TV, reading the newspaper, or even surfing the web. We grab snippets of media throughout the day, 2 minutes here, 20 minutes there. Brands that are able to engage their consumers in short burst are the ones that will get the attention.
Employees become your best marketing asset.
Businesses are all struggling to create strong advocates for their brands, however, the best consumer advocates are actually all around you â€“ your employees. Everyone in your organization is an ambassador of your brand. To create a word of mouth program, start by giving your employees something to talk about.
Businesses must give first.
To get attention in 2009, businesses must give something away first. Now we donâ€™t mean for all businesses to go out and buy stress balls for their customers. We mean that businesses must deliver value prior to a sale through some means of education, entertainment or sample that reflects your businessâ€™ product or service offering.
The last one is my favorite, of course, because businesses and brands are all too often caught up in what they get out of it with no mind at all to the consumer experience. They believe that their product or service alone is all the need to bring to the table. Guess what? You have competitors which means you’d better bring that and then some. Giving … the economy of free … the Because Effect … karma … call it what you will. Giving is how you will ultimately get in our new, consumer-driven economy.
And to add a little sizzle to the prediction, the MindSalt gang has developed a Magic 9-Ball for predictions. Check it out here. You can even file away your own prediction answer so the tool is a fun little play thing that consumers can add to as well.
Good work guys. And good thoughts as well.