During PSFK‘s research for our Future of Retail Report, we began to notice that consumers are starting to buy in different ways and that their expectations of the retail market have begun to change–therefore the marketing ethos must change as well. The way that brands represent their products has to now reflect their values, and those values have to be positive, sustainable, transparent ones. The increase in mobile technology has created hyper-connected and informed consumers who now have access to a slew of online recommendations and consumer reviews–both negative and positive–right at their fingertips. They no longer have to take the word of the manufacturer or marketer about how great a product really is.
At our recent PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO 2011, Yves Béhar, Joe Fernandez, Eric Ryan and our panel of mobile app experts, describe how the influence of the ‘Average Joe’ has to be acknowledged and respected, and how by creating a strong brand image, message, culture, and business platform, companies can leverage the networked consumer to help them spread awareness about their products and services.
Yves Béhar, founder of design agency fuseproject, discussed with PSFK’s Piers Fawkes, how the ability to interact with other consumers online has given the regular buyer increased insight into a company’s practices and knowledge of what they offer.
Joe Fernandez of Klout describes to PSFK’s Scott Lachut his belief that everyone–even his mother–who creates content on the social web has influence, because in our digitally connected society a large part of how we interact with others is determined by our online presence. Social influence is the new currency of our networked world.
Eric Ryan of Method describes how in the “sea of sameness” that is the cleaning products aisle his company decided to use minimalist design and the creation of a brand culture to market his goods. He says that in this era of transparency it has become difficult to control your brand but you can control who you hire and how you educate them as part of the brand culture to create a product that is also a set of values.
Experts predict that by 2013, there will be 13 billion smartphones, necessitating creative thinking and sharp financial ideas. Users expect a free experience, but the reality is that in order to offer this, mobile developers and brands need a solid business platform. Expert mobile developers Gloria Lin of Flipboard, Michael Callahan of One, Inc., Jack Krawczyk of StumbleUpon, and Jason Oberfest of ngmoco:) gather to discuss their varied experience and tell us the secrets to selling products and services on the small screen.