141 is a place where continuous learning is encouraged and every second Friday of the month we have a two hour session called LEARNOSPHERES where we edify the minds of our employees on the current happenings in the realm of media and advertising. This month we have the privilege of having Dr Tunde Ajagbe who is a one of Nigeria’s lead strategy consultants. Here’s a summary of his lecture:

CONSUMER TREND is a new manifestation amongst people- in behavior, attitude, or expectation of a fundamental human need, want or desire.

From trends, one can design a product for the consumer in anticipation of their desire: no longer filling questionnaires with a desire to know what consumers want. For example, the city of Dubai was fashioned from the concept of the consumer’s expectation of a world class modern city.

The Era of ‘Engagement’: now through applications used by mobile phones and tablets where brands and consumer communication is instant, this engagement era has equally ushered in a new ‘transparent’ epoch in branding known as ‘glass box brands’ which has eclipsed its predecessor ‘black box brands’. In the former, consumers through constant engagement are able to get ‘real-time’ updates on their brand’s evolution in contrast to the latter (black box) whereby brands paint the image/color which their consumers view them while oblivious to the reason behind the image presented to them.

A ‘Consumer Centric Era’: today, people are creating an unrivalled consumer experience which is essential to capturing customers. Therefore, a brand’s advert must be realistic and easily appeal to consumers, for studies have shown that 97% of what’s experienced is never forgotten. This unforgettable experience is what propels consumers to promote your brand. This user experience is an ‘on demand’ one just like Uber which is a consequence of today’s time conscious consumer. Keeping in mind that consumers do not know (the details of a product) until you tell them. Hence, perception management is key, let them know only what you’ll like them to know.

Simplicity: helps a brand to increase their sales and revenue, for the simpler the brand’s outlook, message and delivery, the better its understanding by consumers and their acceptability.

Utility: this should not be confused with more robust marketing techniques as the “value/utility” experience would make brands stand the test of time. Hence, your brand should be willingly consumed due to its value proposition which is something they might even pay for regardless of their affinity to another brand. Therefore, value for money is important as it makes the brand irreplaceable. However, consistency is paramount to maintaining this value experience. This is where strategy comes in.

It is up to creative agencies to develop a deeper content of opportunity for brands to explore- helping brands to create what they’ll be selling next. More importantly, knowing what is trending would help brands meet consumers’ expectations consequently influencing their content which would be ‘consumer-centric’ in line with the current era.

Creative agencies should be the drivers of the drivers of personalization helping their clients i.e. brands to connect with consumers on numerous platforms keeping in mind that consumers are not the same when viewing on their smartphones as they are on their television sets. This is done through a well-planned strategy.

Written by Chukwuemeka Anyiam-Osigwe