How many brands closely watch ‘consumer cues’ to drive brand decisions? After all its the consumers whom actually create trends, push trends or even squash trends. So if its the very consumer whom decides the fate of your brand it begs the question – how much are you paying attention?
Culture can have a profound impact on the success of brands. Observing past sub cultures that make their way to mainstream trends as in the case of hip hop music in America one could have foretold the burgling success brands like Rockport, Adidas, Reebok and others had whilst embracing early signs of the now ‘popular culture’. However it was never rosy to begin with – there are many tales of the ‘establishment’ knocking down the movement that was fast transcending beyond urban black culture.
What happened during the early eighties with hip hop is a process that occurs over and over again as sub cultures emerge, disappear and sometimes boom. So what are they? And how do you find it? Firstly with the expense of stating the obvious – you gotta listen to your people. Partake in active dialogue with your consumers (and better yet the ones who don’t like you) and create a funnel of delicious insights that can be used to quench the appetite for your brand and strategic development.
People change. Trends change. Attitudes change. And all this faster than you think. Just ask Reebok with the height of the 80-90’s in athletic wear about management ignoring the signs, the authenticity of the brand and the brigade of fans shifting to any alternative. It can happen to any brand at any point. A more recent case is Myspace – don’t we all remember that one.
Listening, observing, responding are three steps you can issue to embrace change and to stay ‘relevant’. The current is always moving – so ask yourself ‘are you going with or against it?’