Big growth can stem from small opportunities
Chief Expertise Officer
The growth of a business or brand is not always a steady trajectory, or even a series of large gains following key turning points. In fact, strong growth can be achieved when brands seize upon key moments in people’s lives – from life-changing events right down to the smallest of happenings. It is these moments that provide brands with opportunities to deliver something special to an individual.
The relationship between companies and consumers is becoming more and more complex, confronting companies with a major challenge: how to identify precisely the moments that lead to growth opportunities. Three main factors characterize the complexity of this relationship and provide a framework for reflection on the crucial role that the notion of "moments" can play in marketing strategies.
1 Consumer needs are more subtle. Consumers are more demanding and have a higher level of expectations than ever before. Their needs are more specific and are often linked to a particular moment of their life - not just whether they are millennials or seniors, for instance, but the precise point in their day. Are they planning a meal or having lunch on the go? Are their children with them or not ? Brands need to understand people’s needs in these specific moments if they are to have meaningful interaction with their customers and prospects – and if they’re to operate more efficiently.
2 Markets are becoming increasingly competitive. New competitors now regularly arrive in the market to propose disruptive solutions that are better adapted to the expectations of consumers than legacy offerings. Brands that operate their own service platforms are especially adept at this. And in many countries, multinationals are faced with increasing competition from local businesses, which better understand the market conditions and the cultural factors that determine the needs of local people linked to particular moments.
3 The number of contact points is exploding. Technology and the prevalence of smartphones are accentuating the complexity and fragmentation of people’s interactions, both with each other and with the world around them. Consumers engage in more frequent and shorter online activities. According to Google, there are nearly 100 billion "moments" spent every day in the world that are interactions on a smartphone. These are, potentially, 100 billion opportunities to understand the behavior of customers and prospects, and potentially to interact with them. If we add to this the multiplicity of offline contact points with which we interact daily, the difficulties that companies face become clear. And still, the opportunities for brands grow, if the right message, the right targets, in the right channel is delivered at the right time. Nothing changes, but everything changes.
Naturally, there are risks. The key to success is to focus precisely on the most important moments for both consumers and brands. But where do you look for these, and how do you identify the most important moments for a brand? These moments of opportunity for the brand can be everyday events, ephemeral, or rarer moments, but moments that are loaded with meaning in the lives of its customers. Thus truly disruptive and incremental innovations are constructed in a new and unique response to an unmet need associated with a particular moment.
The growth of a brand depends on its ability to identify specific moments that offer opportunities; and, with their communications, their ability to target particular moments rather than a channel. An example: if a company manages to identify and anticipate moments of frustration and sorrow, it can turn them into positive experiences; the brand can then share with someone an emotional interaction that satisfies them, meets their needs in that moment, and fuels brand preference.
Whether the objective is to generate growth through customer experience, product experience or brand experience via communication, the key to success lies in the precise identification of these moments of life, both small and large, and in the full exploitation of the opportunities they offer. This is what we call a strategy focused on "moments of growth".