The NOW Gen

Marketing

Brands

Millennials Splurge for Nostalgia

Many Millennials have been accused of being overly sentimental. They are said to live in the past, holding onto childhood memories instead of allowing themselves to adapt and evolve. But what if this is a good thing?

Nostalgia is a bittersweet longing for the past. It can be described as sadness and wistfulness that often accompany childhood, home, and family memories. Nostalgia refers to a yearning for simpler times or the good old days.

We can feel nostalgia for a place, period in time, objects, or experiences. Usually, people get nostalgic at least once every week.

Retailers can use nostalgia as an opportunity for growth. Nostalgia creates joy and comfort, encouraging people to spend more money. Retailers should consider creating nostalgic experiences to boost sales among their Millennial customers.

According to Brandtellers Studio, “Nostalgia marketing consists of using products from the past for the current strategy, awakening the feeling of homesickness in consumers, through the creation of an emotional connection.” These sentiments are crucial to create an emotional bond between the brand and its consumer. 

Whatever it is that makes Millennials feel nostalgic, there’s no doubt that this generation has a strong affinity for things from days gone by. This can be seen not only in their spending habits but also in their style preferences. 

What’s the deal with Millennials and nostalgia?

Nostalgia is a powerful force, and Millennials have it in spades. Studies have found that Millennials are “the most nostalgic generation” as they grew up in the internet age. Exposure to so much information on social media and online certainly has its benefits. Still, it can also lead to anxiety over missing out, which leads some people to seek comfort in their pasts.

Millennials are spending more than ever on retro products like vinyl records and typewriters because of this desire for nostalgia, according to this research from Nielsen.

Does nostalgia have a positive impact on brands?

Nostalgia is a persuasive marketing tool. It’s a way of connecting with people and making people feel good about themselves. Marketers can use nostalgia to sell products and services. 

This is why brands that have been around for decades are still popular today. They tap into our nostalgia for simpler times and remind us what life was like. 

When brands remind people of a past pleasant experience, there is a higher chance of making them feel comfortable and connected. A recent article by Spiralytics mentioned, “People buy certain products that connect them to their childhood because they can keep these items to help the memories stay alive.”

Ways in which your brand can incorporate nostalgia

In a Forbes article, it was stated that nostalgia marketing reaches millennials better than other strategies. “The best campaigns are timely and relevant but must also be authentic with a strong emotional hook to capture the heart.”

Perhaps you are currently considering how to include nostalgia in your brand’s marketing strategy. There are a few ways you can do that; below, I will list three ways.

The first thing to consider is your audience and relevance. You need to understand what customers are looking for in your brand. Millennials are looking to connect with brands like they used to. Being authentic will help your brand stand out as relatable.

To boost sales, you must consider how your products can be sold as nostalgic experiences. By creating an immersive experience that gives customers a sense of belonging and creating a sense of nostalgia, you can increase customer loyalty and make them feel like they’re experiencing something special. 

Bring back products or services but with a twist. Create urgency for consumers by reminding them why the product is unique. This goes hand in hand with learning from your audience. Listen to what they miss from your brand, and bring it back.

In conclusion, nostalgia is a powerful force in the lives of Millennials. Brands can take advantage of this by creating nostalgic experiences that appeal to this generation’s love of memories. Emotional strategies like this one have proven to be successful time and time again. Nostalgia is stronger than ever, and your brand will be too. 

Brands

What Customers Want: Value Proposition

The key to success in business is knowing what your customers want. This knowledge can help you create products that make people’s lives better, more enjoyable, and easier to manage. 

A value proposition statement is the differentiator element that determines whether people will bother learning more about your product or hit the back button. The value proposition is a crucial piece of the puzzle regarding converting visitors into customers.

An industry research study by McKinsey & Co first mentioned the term value proposition in 1988. Its meaning was “a clear, simple statement of the benefits… that the company will provide, along with the approximate price it will charge each customer segment for those benefits.” 

A great value proposition will make you stand out from your competitors, but it’s not just about being different. It’s also about ensuring that what you’re offering provides real value to your audience and aligns with their needs and wants to drive sales over time.

When someone comes across your website and lands on your homepage, they’re probably looking for a reason why they should buy from you instead of someone else. If you can’t provide that reason, the person will go elsewhere.

What is a value proposition?

A value proposition is a statement that describes what your product or service does and why someone should buy it. It’s also why you are different from the competition, which can be a decisive advantage in business.

The unique value proposition of your business is what sets you apart from other companies in its industry. While simplicity is best, you should put a lot of thought into developing the best value proposition for your brand because it can affect your sales figures.

Essential factors for a brand’s value proposition

There are some factors to consider when creating a good value proposition, according to a recent article by Pipedrive. “Sell your product’s benefit, set yourself apart from competitors, choose the right language and make it clear.”

If we follow the previous model, you first need to address the benefits of your product or service to write the value proposition statement for your brand. A value proposition explains what your product or service does, what needs or problems it serves, and why someone should buy it.

The key to writing compelling value propositions is knowing your consumers’ pains. First, you must understand what customers are looking for and how they want it delivered to meet their expectations. Knowing this will help you present your brand as the better option. 

The next step will be to set yourself apart from competitors. Brand positioning is crucial to reach the right audience and be perceived as their best option. In addition, your value proposition will have a more significant impact if you set your brand apart from the rest. 

Your brand is more than just your product or service. Using it to your advantage won’t be difficult if you have been working on positioning your brand. An article from The Branding Journal describes it as “creating brand associations in customer’s minds.” 

Last but not least, the way you present your brand’s value proposition is so important. Using the correct language can ensure that your audience can understand your statement. 

Value proposition is a powerful way to communicate your unique value as a brand and why someone should buy your product or service. It’s also one of the most important factors in business success. Hence why using the correct language goes a long way.

Value proposition statements don’t have to be extensive. Using a few powerful words that convey your message might be better than a lengthy statement. These words can be adjectives that describe your brand specifically in a transparent way. 

A straightforward statement is crucial to remain in your consumers’ minds. As the saying goes, less is more, especially when conveying a convincing value proposition for your brand. 

So, having a value proposition statement is crucial to positioning your products and services. This statement can even aid your brand in being top of mind for your target audience. 

A few things to remember are: products and services are not always a brand value proposition, and value is subjective to each consumer. 

Your brand’s value proposition can be more about your brand as a whole than just about a singular product or service. You are on the right track if you clearly state what your brand stands for.

Value is subjective to your consumers. Therefore, your value proposition has to be an educated statement based on your customers. Our last blog post mentions that data is crucial to better understanding your audience. This will also help you provide content they want to consume. 

A good value proposition can make all the difference in the world regarding business success!

As we mentioned earlier, the value proposition is what converts visitors into customers. It’s one of those things that can set you apart from your competition. So, if you want your company or product to succeed, ensure you have a strong, well-oriented, and customer-centered value proposition.

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Data Analysis is the Key to Marketing Success

Data analysis and marketing go hand in hand. The use of data leads to better-informed decisions and helps shape your marketing strategy. Data analysis can help you understand how to get more value from your marketing data by analyzing statistics such as averages, percentiles, or ratios. Understanding statistics can also help you get more value from your client’s feedback to develop a successful campaign without wasting time or money on ineffective strategies.

Marketing is a dynamic field. You can’t just use the same strategies that worked for you last year and expect them to work this year. Instead, you should be using new tactics every day.

One of the challenges marketers face today is creating content that resonates with their target audience. This becomes even more difficult when so many channels are available for reaching consumers—and it’s hard to know where your audience will be! 

Plus, consumer feedback changes quickly. According to “The History of Analytics” by Unsupervised, agile marketing requires real-time insights that match the customers’ changing expectations. Therefore, an immediate analysis is needed to keep up with how fast consumers and data change. 

Marketing is all about data. Data is the foundation of marketing, and it’s how you make decisions, identify your target audience, understand your audience and develop a marketing strategy.

You need data to understand what people are looking for and how you can reach them with your product or service. You need to know who they are and what they want because then you can sell them something that will make their lives easier or better.

The use of data leads to better decision making

Data analysis is the process of taking a large amount of information and drawing conclusions from it. This can be anything from market research to news reports, but in this case, we’ll focus on how it relates to marketing. Without data analysis, brands will be with untested guesses and assumptions about your target audience—you wouldn’t know if they preferred one product over another or which channels are working best for your campaigns. Instead, data analysis helps you understand what people want and need so that you can create better products and services for them.

The article “Importance of Data Analytics in Marketing and How it Helps with Your Reach” by smith.ai mentions that the most crucial part of a marketing strategy is the customer. A practical understanding of your consumers’ needs should be a priority for your marketing strategy. Catering to their needs can save your brand time and money. 

For example, let’s say that your company has developed two different flavors of ice cream—vanilla bean and hazelnut fudge swirl—and is looking to expand into new markets internationally or domestically. You could use data from previous years’ sales figures (i.e., how many gallons were sold) and consumer feedback surveys about the flavors (i.e., which ones people liked most). With this information, we can see whether either flavor would do better in areas where other similar products have been successful before; based on those results alone, we might decide against making any changes!

Data Analysis is Crucial for a Successful Marketing Campaign

As mentioned above, data analysis collects, organizes, and interprets raw data into meaningful information. It’s a crucial part of any marketing campaign because it helps you to understand your audience better.

If you don’t understand how customers view your products or services, how can you expect them to see value in your offer? Data analysis can help you make better decisions about your marketing campaigns and tools based on user behavior.

Feedback plays a crucial role in developing successful marketing campaigns. Feedback can help you understand how your audience responds to your marketing campaign and adjust accordingly. 

Understanding statistics can help you get more value out of your marketing data

Analyzing data can help you understand how to get more value from your marketing efforts. But it’s not just about having a data scientist on hand and knowing how to use Excel. You also need to understand how statistics work to interpret the numbers correctly and make decisions based on what they tell you.

Understanding statistics is essential for marketers because they see hundreds of thousands of pieces of data every day and need to be able to take this information and translate it into something meaningful for their business. However, suppose they don’t understand the fundamentals behind statistics. In that case, they might end up basing business decisions on inaccurate information—which could lead them down a dead-end road with no way back.

Pestle Analysis mentions in the article: “4 Reasons Why Marketing Data Analysis Is Important” that having the data and doing nothing about it is pointless. If your company already has this valuable information, use it for your benefit. Gather the data, analyze it, and develop solutions and improvement ideas. 

The downline is: data analysis is essential for creating an effective marketing strategy that helps you connect with your audience. It enables you to understand who they are, how best to reach them, and what messages resonate with them most.

Data analysis also plays a vital role in identifying opportunities for improvement in your campaigns and what steps to take next. Therefore, your team should always analyze your data to see where there’s room for improvement, whether in terms of better targeting or more effective messaging.

Marketers, you should not sleep on data analysis. It will help you understand your audience better so you can deliver content they want to consume. It will also enable you to make more effective decisions about how best to reach them with your product or service offerings.

Brands

Customer Experience: Is All About Relationships

Most businesses know about customer experience (CX) strategies. They know they should be doing something but don’t know what. They might have an annual CX strategy meeting to discuss how their brand could improve CX. But, unfortunately, there’s often little follow-through.

In reality, improving customer experience is not about creating a strategy or developing a list of actions to enhance mentioned experiences. Instead, it’s about creating an organizational culture where everyone in the company understands why customers are important and how we can cultivate relationships with them in every interaction.

You must remember that customer experience, or CX, according to Econsultancy, is the sum of all customer interactions with a brand. In other words, the relationship between a company and its customers. Leader CX brands keep their customer at the center of everything they do.

We live in a new digital age, and the NOW generation expects instant gratification and a great customer experience. Today’s consumers are looking for brands to connect with through various channels, is your brand searching for this connection?

Brands have focused on attracting mass traffic to their virtual storefront. In this technologically advanced era, there is nothing wrong with creating a great digital experience for your customers, but having a good relationship with them is also essential for your brand. 

You may have some customers who love your company. Do you have a relationship with them? For a connection to be successful, both parties must be willing and able to work on building the bond.

According to QualtricsXM, customer experience isn’t something you can control entirely from your end because customer interactions define their experience. Then, we can optimize the parts of CX that we can handle by understanding your audience and their needs, values, and behaviors. 

To create experiences that build relationships and inspire loyalty, companies must listen to and engage with their customers throughout the journey. The first step is listening to customers, not just at the beginning of their experience but throughout it. 

In our last blog we mentioned: “When you have a consumer relationship, they’re more likely to stay with your brand and recommend it to others.” This is because connecting with them will make them feel part of your brand’s community and hence be loyal to your products/services.

Listening to your customers will make a difference in your brand’s growth because it will help you reach your audience better. Plus, listening to and taking customer feedback into account helps brands improve.

As HubSpot’s article: “What is Customer Experience?” mentions, the more contact with your customers, the more you will be able to give them an exceptional customer experience. 

Another critical step is to remain consistent throughout channels. People like to connect with others through different media for different reasons. So, continue listening to your consumers and reach them through their preferred channels. This will make your brand go from being intrusive or annoying to meeting the customer where they feel most comfortable. 

Customer experience goes beyond strategies, digital expertise, and customer service. Relationships with your customers will open a broader way to connect with them and could potentially transform your brand’s CX.

This series of actions have been gaining momentum in recent years, but there are still so many things companies can do to improve how they interact with their customers. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that when companies get better at creating incredible experiences for their customers, they tend to see better results than their competitors who don’t focus on these areas as much or at all!

Brands

Advantages of Consumer Relationships

The relationship with your customers is a topic that’s been getting more attention in recent years, and for good reason. Developing strong customer relationships can lead to increased customer loyalty, better customer engagement rates, and higher sales numbers. This article will explore some of the most important benefits of consumer relationships and how they can help your business grow by improving your relationship with customers.

Having a relationship with your consumers is the best way to grow a community for your brand. This is something that the NOW Generation values. Having a community where consumers can interact with each other and brand ambassadors or representatives. The benefits for customers of developing relationships with brands include customer loyalty, better customer service, and positive word-of-mouth promotion. Plus getting to know your segment on a deeper level.  

As a business owner, you know that customer service is crucial to your success. It’s important for you and your team members to be able to provide the best possible service in order for consumers to want to do business with you again. With customer relationship management (CRM), however, it’s easier than ever before for customers and businesses alike to interact with each other in ways that were never possible before.

According to Forbes, CRM’s core function is to collect data that helps businesses understand and communicate with customers. This basic management tool can open pathways to having great relationships with your consumers, and learning about them and how they connect with your brand. Besides increasing business profits. 

It’s important to consider the benefits of CRM in terms of a company’s bottom line. The most obvious benefit is increased brand loyalty, which in turn leads to more positive word-of-mouth promotion and brand awareness. Some companies estimate that customer retention rates can increase by 25% when they implement a CRM strategy.

In addition, having an extended relationship with customers can help you better understand their needs and wants as well as their preferences for products and services, allowing you to better cater to them in the future. When you have a consumer relationship, they’re more likely to stay with your brand and recommend it to others. This is because they feel like they’re part of a community that shares the same values as them. 

According to a recent study on customer expectations, 79% of consumers consider personalized service more important than marketing. Consumers want to be known and treated like so. Especially if we look at minority groups we can find that a feeling of belonging allows consumers to become loyal to a brand. 

When consumers are loyal to a brand, they can make it easier for you by buying from you again in the future. They’ll also be more willing to refer your product or service to others who may need what you have.

Engagement is a two-way street. Customers need to feel like they are being heard, and businesses need to make sure that their customers feel valued. When customers know they’re being listened to, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the brand. 

In addition to this effect on sales and loyalty-building efforts, engaging with your customer base also has other benefits such as increased employee engagement (for example by sharing positive feedback).

The bottom line is that customer relationships are beneficial to both customers and businesses. Businesses can improve their marketing and sales efforts by engaging with their customers, while customers will receive better service and personalized offers in return.

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This is Why Brands are Using NFTs

By now, the amount of talk about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has reached almost everyone on the internet. There are some things to note about NFTs; today, we will cover some of the things that make them relevant.

Let’s begin by mentioning that NFTs are invaluable; however, at the same time can be purchased and sold. They are unique like diamonds in that no two NFTs, or diamonds, are exactly alike. This is what makes them desirable: uniqueness and scarcity.

A big plus of NFTs is their transparency. Not only are they transparent because they are literally digital, but there are traceable. No matter how many times whoever purchases it, the original owner will be able to track it because of their smart contracts.

An article by The Art Newspaper stated that these smart contracts in NFTs ensure their uniqueness and that the digital assets remain undivided and non-replicable.

It wasn’t long until relevant brands started to use NFTs, which is simple: this is the future they are creating. We are currently moving from an experimental to a more mainstream approach.

According to an article from Zeno Fine Art, “2021 became the year of the NFT, and there was a huge explosion and surge in NFT supply and demand.” This journey began in 2012 with the creation of the first tokens, and big brands started to get involved in the last couple of years.

So, what can we expect from NFTs in the future? First of all, they are here to stay. As we mentioned in our last blog about the Metaverse, they are the future of the internet experience as we know it. 

And this is because the NOW Generation is involved in real and digital experiences. NFTs play a big part in this because they allow consumers to purchase a digital representation of an original asset. In other words, they can represent art, audio, video, virtual real estate, virtual worlds, fashion, and so much more, making NFTs important to brands.

Consumers worldwide seek the best experiences, from instant gratification to exciting assets. NFTs are a great way to give consumers a unique experience that will put your brand ahead of the competition. Also, brands must stick to NFTs that are akin to them. 

Using NFTs to increase brand awareness needs to be specifically curated for the consumer community of the brand. This means that to continue to bring awareness, brands need to know how their fans perceive them and use NFTs to grow this recognition. 

As Web3 settles in, the interaction between consumers and brands will shift. NFTs are essential to maintain and improve these relationships. This innovative aspect of the virtual world can open opportunities to connect with consumers. It is not just about digital items, a digital community for a brand’s biggest fans. 

NFTs are relevant to the NOW Gen. Thus, brands will continue incorporating them into their digital marketing strategies. They are a new connection bridge between high-value customers and the brand products and services.

The expectations for the NFTs are still developing. We can’t be a hundred percent sure of what the future holds for these virtual tokens. However, how we virtually connect is changing, and brands must stand on the leading edge of these trends to remain relevant. 

Is your brand looking into the future of NFTs? What is your strategy to be part of this trend? 

Brands

Metaverse: The Future is NOW!

There’s a lot of buzz about the Metaverse. But, what really is this new cyberspace, and how far are we from fully joining it? The term “metaverse” was first mentioned in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash; it referred to a three-dimensional virtual world where people interacted with computer-generated avatars. Sounds familiar? 

According to an article from Wired, the word metaverse can be used interchangeably with “cyberspace.” Because just like Stephenson described it 30 years ago, the metaverse will be a different way to experience the cyberspace we currently surf. 

Today, the metaverse is somewhat accessible to us through videogames like Fortnite or Roblox, on which you can participate in group activities, like missions that are part of the game or even concerts in these virtual worlds. However, the future metaverse will house ways to work, shop, play, and any other activity you could think of.

First, we need to understand that the metaverse is not only one thing or place that will come, but rather a mixture of many different ways to experience the future of cyberspace. This so-called 3-D web seamlessly sets in with various prominent companies putting their brands and money on it. The fast pace of these investments means that great things are coming. 

We must also remember that these kinds of shifts, in the way we experience life, happen every few decades. And with change comes the opportunity to enhance these new experiences.

For example, in the previous decade, we could never imagine using the internet for more than just finding information or communicating with coworkers via e-mail. Now we have a constant flow of content beyond simple texts or e-mails. We have applications full of video content, graphics, video calls, and much more that we can experience on the internet.

Online spaces are a complement to our lives. We share our life experiences on social media, interact with others, and consume creative content online. Although we didn’t believe this would be possible, we can instantly connect with many other people through the internet, and it has become an integral part of life and communication.

Matthew Ball, the author of The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, forecasts that the evolution of the virtual trend will move from being a depiction of our lives into a place where we’ll exist. This means that besides everything we can currently do online, we will be able to be present in this new cyberspace simultaneously. 

Although it will still take some time for the Metaverse to be fully adopted, leading brands are already taking steps toward marketing in this new space. As mentioned above, the metaverse will bring change to more than one aspect of life, including marketing and how marketers target their audiences. 

According to a McKinsey article on the metaverse, now is the time to open our minds to test and learn. The best way to adapt to new experiences is by learning, and when something is so brand new, there isn’t much more than trial and error to understand what works for your brand. 

The NOW Gen is looking at the metaverse as today’s top-notch innovation. Consumers are eager to find and experience brands’ innovation in the metaverse. As marketers, we must aim to deliver innovative consumer experiences for the metaverse, the direction is marked, and the limits are expanding more and more each day.

Brands need instant gratification and cutting-edge experiences for consumers. Our duty as professional marketers is to stay at the forefront of innovation, and the metaverse is just the beginning of a myriad of brand growth and innovative opportunities.

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Globalization, New Challenges for Brands

Globalization is not a new trend, but it remains relevant because of its impact on the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. Globalization has been present around the globe for a long time, and many brands strive to use it to their advantage. 

Making your brand global is not an easy task. While many successful brands have been able to become globally recognized, the process is not easy, and it doesn’t come without challenges. 

Besides these challenges, the new globalization is here. The fourth industrial revolution, geopolitics, and the escalating effects of climate change are the three primary forces propelling a new chapter in the history of globalization. 

According to an expert panel held by The Drum, these three things have all happened in the past, just not at the same time. As a result, companies are now figuring out strategies, markets, and how they position themselves. 

With the new globalization comes the need for speed. This makes sense because the NOW generation is all for instant gratification, and when it comes to growing a brand in a global market, how fast can it approach new consumers on a local scale.

Digitalization is also taking a big part in this new era of globalization. With the numerous products available to your market, brand culture, lifestyle, and behavior habits are the most helpful in reaching your consumers.

From a consumer point of view, depending on where they live,  people worldwide consume the same products. However, through social and mass media, people find similarities between their consumption habits and those of people on the other side of the globe. This is called glocalization. 

Glocalization is the ability to penetrate various global markets while meeting the needs of each local geography. Even though it is not a new concept, not all businesses with global aspirations have mastered the art of glocalization. Therefore, companies must excel at integrating local resources, modifying procedures, and implementing global technologies to create effective glocalization strategies.

Entrepreneur India shared in an article the importance of acclimating brands to global growth. According to their article, success at glocalization comes from being sensitive to local culture, social norms, and consumer habits. Basically adapting to the area where your brand is arriving.

Even major brands have struggled to bring their business to a new location. “One size fits all” doesn’t apply in globalization. Brands need to consider that the need for their product in different places may not be the same. 

This may be accomplished; many companies have successfully arrived in new markets and tropicalized their brand to the local market. For example, big food chain brands have noticed that just bringing products they already sell and not incorporating anything local to their menus is not as successful as adding an item with a local taste for the consumer. This is how you can glocalize your business.

Another way businesses can adapt to a new culture is by hiring local professionals. Local associations within your company will help your brand access specific insight on a microeconomic scale while remaining globally relevant. This is a big step because once you know the culture, you can find better ways to approach the consumer and provide them with what they need.

Globalization is not about completely changing your brand but about being flexible and willing to adapt to your consumer’s culture. The need to grow is a constant in the current global business environment. However, growth in a globalized world would not be possible without learning from the NOW generation.

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The New Brick-and-Mortar: Social Commerce

As a society, we constantly look for more convenient ways to cover our need for speed. During the COVID pandemic, formulated marketing strategies to supply consumers’ need for instant gratification were established, like e-commerce and its successor, social commerce. 

Social Commerce started appearing in the U.S. a couple of years ago on popular social media platforms. Although social commerce can be new and confusing for many marketers and brands out there, social commerce has come into existence quite seamlessly in the past years. 

Social commerce, stemming from eCommerce, refers to the shopping experience that occurs directly on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok. This trend relates directly to the time consumers spend on social media platforms. 

According to Forbes’ article “The Future Of Selling Is Social: Social Commerce Vs. E-Commerce,” consumers spend more time on mobile apps than web browsers. Making social media platforms a most powerful advertising tool than any search engine. “Given that consumers spend more time on mobile apps than on their mobile web browsers, wishful thinking may imply an indirect paradigm shift away from Google, as the world’s most powerful advertising platform, to Facebook.”  

The NOW Gen is all about using social media for entertainment, communication, staying in the loop of news and trends, learning, and even commerce. This instant-gratification-looking generation has made the swift move from traditional e-commerce to social commerce because it feels natural to instantly shop what you are discovering in your social media timelines. The seamless addition of social commerce to the consumer’s routine of social media usage will allow its growth and fulfillment.

In the past couple of years, various social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, have invested in features to facilitate selling products. These people-connecting platforms are now integrating live stream events, digital stores, and more to become a selling point to its users. 

Social commerce for the U.S. is still in its early stages, but it is expected to be just as big as in the Asian markets. On the other side of the globe, specifically in China, social commerce is a popular trend amongst social media users. “About 51.5% … of social media users have or continue to purchase via a social media channel.” It is no surprise, since China is also the global eCommerce market’s leader, that they are also leading this social commerce trend globally. “China continues to lead the global e-commerce market, accounting for 52.1% of all retail e-commerce sales worldwide, with total online sales just over the $2 trillion mark in 2021. It also has the world’s most digital buyers, 824.5 million, representing 38.5% of the global total.”

Many brands are getting on social commerce because the consumer is asking for it. As mentioned above, the NOW generation is known for its need for instant gratification. Therefore, the paramount convenience of social commerce is immediacy. 

Consumers are also looking for “mouth-to-mouth” product recommendations, and social commerce allows them to hear directly from brand ambassadors. The social shopping experience is richer than a regular shopping experience. With added social factors, consumers can seamlessly complement their social interactions with the brands they know, trust, and hear from new products or brands.  

As Ad Age has mentioned in their article, “Shopping Trends Every Marketer Should Embrace In 2022”, getting on board with the social commerce experience will give consumers the convenience and engagement they are looking for. “Expanding virtual shopping experiences appearing on social platforms will entice consumers who want a more engaging and convenient way to shop online. The in-store experience will never look the same as everything from easing curbside pickup to concierge services to enhanced AR/VR visualizations will become normal features. Moving forward, brands that engage directly with consumers via content and creator-influenced experiences that come enabled with commerce functionality will capture significant market share.”

Brands are learning from China to implement social commerce strategies. Some trends you can look out for include: video, live stream shopping, live chat, and social influencers. The consumer is looking for these things to be convinced that your product, and brand, is the best option. If you are looking to join the social commerce movement, consider the following ideas:

Choose the right platform and format to showcase your business. It is critical to understand what social platform is used more by your consumer segment. Also, evaluate how you will present your products on social media, now your newest storefront.

Prioritize quality visuals. The social media consumer is constantly flooded with thousands of videos on social media. Your business needs to stand out from the rest to make an impactful shopping experience. Take your time to tailor these assets for your brand and product.

Finally, although this new way of commerce is significantly increasing in our markets, don’t forget to constantly evaluate and adjust your strategy. With the NOW generation, speed and change are crucial to success. Social commerce is here to stay; take advantage of it. 

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Beating Stereotypes: Diversity and Inclusion for the NOW Gen

There is a lot of talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion going on globally. This isn’t about fitting the global trend to our companies but joining the NOW generation in this matter. 

In previous blog posts, we have addressed this global issue, and it continues to be an essential topic for the NOW generation. NOW Gen brands are in the middle of this conversation and are focusing on making a real change.

NOW Gen brands have a unique opportunity to change history with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, systemic discrimination and racism, just like they are changing history by moving us into the digital age, but without DEI transformation, digital transformation won’t be any transformation at all.” 

In a recent SXSW panel titled “Beyond Black Stereotypes: Redefining Black Fatherhood,” Kendricks Thacker shared some insights about what needs to be done to incorporate better DEI practices. He said that brands couldn’t just start talking when convenient, especially when they wade into topics they never previously championed. 

“Don’t say nothing, if you haven’t said anything before,” Thacker said. “In those cases, the best a brand can do is listen, and donate their platforms to voices that understand the issues.” 

As Thacker mentioned in this panel, to overcome the stereotypes of adapting DEI practices incorrectly, we must first learn to listen to those in the middle of the issue and understand their movements. We must not act before we think because DEI is not a vane issue and its impact on our society goes beyond participating as a brand or not.

With change comes trial and error; it will be utopic to believe that just making one change will forever change the global conversation. However, making this kind of amendment will often make us face errors. For example, DE&I has been one of the main focuses for many global companies for a while now. And although inclusion is vital to this global change, the mistake we are making is stereotyping that inclusivity. So from being stereotypical in the ways we present our DEI to making inclusion a stereotype. 

In the case of DEI, stereotypes are fogging our judgment and blinding our inclusion. We are so used to boxing people according to their race, gender, religion, and even their jobs that we see individuals as groups of people. Stereotypes have been known to humans for a long time now, and much work has been done to eradicate them in society, but the truth is that stereotyping is more natural to our minds than we can imagine. We could blame heuristics for this, but the truth is we can all do better. 

Heuristics, where stereotyping begins, are useful mental shortcuts that help us navigate life. These rule-of-thumb strategies help us shorten decision-making time and allow us to function without constantly wondering what needs to happen next. Overall, heuristics is a fantastic tool called “common sense,” but the downside is that it can lead to inaccurate judgments or biases, like stereotypes.

Theoretically, we should replace stereotypes with actual knowledge. Realistically, stereotypes are seldom challenged unless something creates a reason to change them. But this current DEI issue is a practical reason to make an effort to break from assumptions and demolish stereotypes. As Now gen brands encounter these roadblocks, they must stick to their DEI efforts and strive to make changes happen. 

“The past year has shed light on what many people already knew: Much of the onus (obligations) of diversity, equity and inclusion was on the appointed DE&I leader, who historically often worked in isolation to carry out these objectives.”

In short, as companies, we must find ways to set objectives to beat stereotypes and be more inclusive. Still, we must learn to hear those affected by the situation and work together to impact how they are perceived in society positively. In the eyes of The NOW Generation, being inclusive speaks volumes, and as the saying goes: actions say more than words.