PAST: MASS MARKT. FUTURE: THE INDIVIDUAL
Something is changing: the power of the individual
The current tendency that brands are taking towards the individual is becoming more and more important: in order to reach the mass market, they focus more on satisfying individual demands.
For many years, marketing has focused all its efforts on researching and analyzing the large social masses in order to better meet the demands of all of them. Today, this is changing, and their strategies are increasingly focused on satisfying the demands of the population in a more individual way.
Possibly this change has been built by the more democratic relationships that have been established between brands and individuals. Relations that have undoubtedly been cuased by the big technological changes we experienced recently.
The power that individuals are having over brands is increasingly evident. Thanks to the new technologies (especially the use of the internet in mobile phones) the individual is acting as brand enhancers front of other individuals. More and more people are advised on the Internet by other “normal guys” buying specific brands or products, with which “the normal guys” themselves are becoming advisors or ambassadors of those brands.
Word of mouth has always been crucial in marketing, but today word of mouth is so "viral" that brands must control very efficiently the image that is conveyed in each of their products, in each of their sales and in each of their communications, since the "advisors" can heavily push or bring down a brand in a matter of seconds.
It should be noted that brands are adapting more and more to this new social reality. Let’s take the UNILEVER CMO as example: "In the future we will build brands in segments of one". "At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships-I do not believe that a focus on the individual has to mean ‘niche’”.
Do we as individuals finally have gained more power or did we always have? Have we just woken up and only realize by now the power we have always had in our hands?
For whatever reason: the power is increasing and it is here to stay.
Carlos Claver & Neus Carreras