Consumer nirvana occurs when we don’t need to think. We are shown the correct brand with the correct product, in the right colour, in the right style and at a moment in time that best suits when we want to buy. That is the experience that we all desire, it is simply about personal preferences (brand to product to colour to style to moment in time) aligned to when (and indeed if) we can afford it.
That list makes up some key factors that create the relevance and thus context for creating experiences that resonate with the unconscious mind. I mention unconscious because it is incredibly vital to where we began regarding consumer nirvana - ‘when we don’t need to think’. The unconscious mind has a singular job for the conscious mind it serves, to only engage with relevant experiences. A relevance which is based on your past experiences, choices you have made and this creates a vast database of self. A database that the unconscious checks in a microsecond thousands of times each day, consider how many adverts you see a day, how many people, how much food, the unconscious checks it all down against the self database and voila, that’s how you engage or not with all that life throws at you.
Today’s focus is Consumer Nirvana examining the challenge being created inside the fashion industry.
That’s a decent range of fast fashion, premium and luxury and all doing the same thing; creating massive amounts of irrelevant experiences & decision fatigue. It’s what we call the catalogue based mindset, not much has changed since Peter Craig was in your hands in the 80’s the industry just shifted from physical catalogue to a website. It’s even more of a puzzle than it used to be, the numbers are far bigger.
Yes, there is a menu to all but it assumes multiple things:
I know what I want as a consumer
If I don’t then I am willing to run some Structural Engineering x Sherlock Holmes infrastructure detective work.
That I will enjoy doing it in the first place.
The consumer industry is generating conscious puzzle after conscious puzzle in their experiences. Experiences that demand we think or we will not get what we want. It is the opposite of consumer nirvana. It is losing engagement and it is costing sales (no engagement is the biggest missing link in all optimisation, the industry is too focused on impressions or open rates, the micro is just validation to defend yourself vs when we examine the macro and you find the truth of why things aren’t working and what to do about it) because it puts the puzzle on the individual customer instead of serving them with more relevance and less thinking.
Certainly not calling out those four brands, they are just examples, we have been working on this problem at both ends of the spectrum (for coming up on 5 years, a lot of data, testing and proof available on request) from fast fashion to high street to luxury fashion; what we experience is the same at both ends, the industry has stopped being the servant to the customer, it is more focused on the tool in hand than the customers that interacts with said tool.
The factory efficiency model is dated and is so because of the digital age, as with most human led models, eventually they start to create the opposite of their intent because things change, in this case we have over specialised disciplines and it is creating inefficiencies. All is not lost, it’s a new decade and the change is not one of disruption per se, it’s more about unity. All the tools that exist have one commonality; the individual customer, that’s the puzzle we should be focused on.
This same puzzle is just as true in other industries:
Holidays - Location first, menu led.
Lifestyle - Brand first, menu led.
Technology - Brand first, menu led.
Websites can and should be personalised, in 2020 so far we increased conversions by 562% for a lifestyle brand and sales calls (desired outcome from website) by 48% for one of Europe's leading holidays companies. Websites can be localised and personalised as much as advertising can, it’s a different type of data but data nonetheless.
We just need to look to decode the puzzle based on the human and their personal needs not the tool in hand.
Consumer Nirvana? Forget the tool, focus on the individual human and then connect the dots of all the tools to serve that same human as it will open the door for you to start creating a customer first mindset.