Brands, marketers and corporations used to control the majority of the consumption cycle. Following traditional marketing methods, they filtered what information was passed along to consumers at tried and tested touch points. The customer journey was generally linear, and while curveballs arose, they were occasional challenges rather than ongoing and expected shifts in consumer thinking and behavior.
We no longer live in that world. Consumers are continuously seizing away control from the brands that used to dictate their consumption habits. With the emergence of new channels and technologies for testing, discussing, and influencing products, comes increasing consumer freedom. PSFK predicts that the year 2020 will “serve as a preview to not just the fully empowered consumer but the prospect of ‘people as business platforms.’” They reached out to some of today’s industry leaders to discuss the future consumer and how brands and marketers can prepare for what’s to come. Cofounder and Executive Creative Director, Aaron Harvey, weighed in on their four part series, starting with question: The democratization of technology is certainly a big reason for our predicted disruption. But is technology the sole culprit? What else is contributing to consumers’ growing power of choice?”
Tech commoditization powers the American maker movement. Startup brands are able to create digital experiences on par with major retailers. Instead of investing in infrastructure, they are focused on creating high-quality products that influence the fashion conversation. And this plays beautifully into consumers’ desire for social validation. It’s how design entrepreneurs like Slightly Alabama are able to compete with heritage brands like Ghurka.
The new entrepreneur is not looking for wholesale deals to power their future; they are looking for market share. This shift is forcing organizations to change the way they are structured. They must fundamentally reorganize in order to meet consumer demand, benefit from advancements in technology, and compete with this new class of retail entrepreneurs.