Consumer Trend: 'Cocooning' to Transition to 'Butterflying'
For years, marketers have been able to count on consumers to "cocoon". This lifestyle will change according to Unity Marketing, a marketing research and consulting firm that helps companies apply the concept of emotional marketing to corporate branding and marketing initiatives.
"Consumers are emerging from their self-involved, self-centered cocoons to reconnect with the outside world. As they break forth from the cocoon, they are assuming a new leadership position in the social, political, cultural landscapes that define their identity in relation to the outside world," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, today at the National Retail Federation Convention, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York.
"Consumers seek a new equilibrium between the roles they play in their inner and external worlds," according to Danziger, whose firm, in partnership with House & Garden magazine, just finished a study on luxury consumers that uncovered the trend toward "connecting."
Unity Marketing studied homeowners with income of $100,000 or more and who have purchased luxury products and services in the last year. They rationalize that this demographic segment represents early adopters and their habits are harbingers of coming cultural and consumer trends.
Unity calls this new demographic segment "Butterflies". It represents a trend towards more outward facing community involvement and connectedness between people and groups.
"For marketers the single biggest challenge is that we must truly connect with our consumers by developing an ongoing, meaningful, two-way dialogue with customers, potential customers, and future customers. In the past, advertising and public relations, both one-way communications originating from the company, have dominated. But with the Internet, company web sites will become the central hub for two-way communication with customers. Every point of contact between a brand and the consumer must be reconfigured for two-way interconnectedness and new methods of communications must be established between customers, retailers, distribution partners and the company," said Unity's Danziger.
"As the desire to cocoon retreats and the need to interconnect becomes the new dominant lifestyle trend, connecting why people buy your product or your brand with how you reach them and where you reach them takes on new meaning. Even more important will be linking the consumer with the brand and the company through meaningful two-way communications," added Danziger.
Unity Marketing: "Butterfly" Consumers Emerge from their Cocoons