Mindshare 2014 study reveals top cultural trends affecting consumers and brands
23 January, 2014
Data shows brands are in crisis and technology is making consumer lives increasingly complex
— Mindshare today released findings from Culture Vulture 2014, an annual comprehensive overview of the shifts affecting business that draws on a study of 2,000 North American consumers. The study reveals brands are in crisis, and technology is creating more complexity than ease for consumers, along with other surprising insights that will shape trends in advertising/marketing and the general business world in 2014.
Culture Vulture findings show that consumers are falling out of love with brands. For example, in 2010, 66% of consumers agreed with the statement: “When I see or hear something interesting about a brand I like to pass it on.” But in 2013 that number dropped to 47%, a significant shift.
In addition, while consumers seemingly enjoy an ongoing love affair with technology, social media and their devices, 58% of respondents believe the world to be increasingly complex due to the constant connectedness of social media and technology. Although overwhelmed by all the new technology, consumers do feel positive about themselves and their lives, with 59% of adults reporting they have a good work/life balance.
Culture Vulture is Mindshare’s cultural trends program that sets out to identify macro and micro trends that impact the marketing and communications strategies of the agency’s clients. It utilizes a Mindshare proprietary survey, Mindshare’s proprietary network of “leading edge” consumers in cities across North America, and third party resources (including government data, syndicated sources and behavioral data).
“Our findings show that a majority of brands are seeing their relationships with consumers weakening,” said Mark Potts, Managing Director, Mindshare North America. “This is clearly a huge issue for marketers, we know that in this technology and social media age consumers should be connecting with their favorite brands and sharing them. Our findings demonstrate the need for brands to evaluate how they’re adapting to new consumer expectations in order to better connect to their emotions and behaviors.”
Following are other interesting key findings from this Culture Vulture initiative:
· Redefining the Home
Less people today see their home as an expression of personal style than years before. Brands in 2014 can focus on comfort and utility in the home, instead of showy household items.
· Life is Good
Despite coming out of a difficult recession, consumers are more positive, relaxed, mentally healthy and happier than in previous years. Brands should enable consumers’ rising positivity, curiosity and sense of adventure.
· Softer Masculinity
As women ‘lean in’, men are increasingly ‘leaning out’. They’re still embracing traditional male values: duty, competition, self-reliance. But they’re also increasingly able to show their softer side: social responsibility, modesty, and their emotions.
· Everything is Science
2014 will be a tipping point in using integrated social, psychographic and purchasing datasets in communications planning, as well as addressable TV. Additionally, the social sciences (specifically behavioral economics and evolutionary psychology) will pervade further into marketing. The marketer of 2014 will need to be increasingly science-savvy.
Potts sums up, “In 2014 brands can rekindle their relationship with consumers by creating unique content and experiences tailored for their specific interests, lifestyles, and behaviors, which are embedded in science and real-time responsiveness.”
The two Mindshare proprietary sources we included in the Culture Vulture 2014 are the Mindreader survey (last fielded in October 2013) with a sample of 2,000 adults 18 years of age or older, and our Scout Network community (constantly in field).
Mindshare has also released a Culture Vulture video in tandem with the survey findings featuring industry thought leaders sharing insights on brands and marketing.
Mindshare is a global media agency network with billings in excess of US$29.2 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 113 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world’s leading communications services group.
GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.
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