Changing consumer behaviour – demand

There are several drivers which necessitate organisations to increase the speed of innovation to remain competitive and relevant.

The main drivers are people, money, politics and technology.

The most obvious driver for the need of rapid innovation in business is the possibilities available by making use of new technology. This, coupled with the availability of technology to virtually everyone, make innovation opportunities legion.

The fact that we live in a world where the level of education, social and political awareness, plus access to capital and technology have increased significantly in the last 30 years, has had a significant impact on the need and appetite for new and innovative things.

Many of these innovations do not necessarily favour incumbents anymore, and the barriers to entry for most innovations are significantly lower than twenty years ago!

Growing up with technology has also brought about a social and consciousness shift in new generations and these “new ways of thinking”, and behaviours are often drivers for innovation – especially if the product or service remained pretty much the same for the last 30 years.

We are not going to have a detailed discussion about generations and their attributes – we will look at the world before digital (BD) and the world after digital (AD). When we talk about the AD world, we will use the term for communities and individuals as Digital Natives, as oppose to non-digital natives.

If you grew up with a computer connected to the internet or a phone in your hand – you are a digital native.

Digital natives experience the world differently, and their consumer behaviours are markedly different when compared to non-natives. The digital age caters for digital natives, and if you want to play in the digital world – you would get that and quickly!

Digital natives are far more likely to work well in teams and need social fabric to keep themselves connected and involved. They expect frequent feedback, are less likely to work well in rigid and regimented environments and see technology as part of everything they do.

Performing is important but so too is work-life-balance. They want to be socially responsible and involved in making the world a better place. It’s not all about themselves, and profit or status as a measure of success.

Digital natives are different consumers and consumers of the future. They demand an engaging customer-centric consumer experience, if you are not digitally ready with your products and services -you will lose them as a demographic and your consumer pool will shrink as it ages.

Don’t misunderstand – it’s not about online shopping, a recent Accenture study showed that 82% prefer to go to a brick and mortar store, but while there they will be on their phone and compare your offering to the competition. You can’t slack anywhere, not in the physical or in the cross channel digital world!

They tend to be more cost-conscious, and although they love brands, they will often compromise based on price!

To win you need to provide a consistently good cross-channel experience, provide personalised interactions, be connected and offer connected everything. You also have to have flexible fulfilment options and enrich the consumer experience with integrated marketing and merchandising faster and better service and make every interaction with your organisation a memorable one!

Everything any product or service provider do in future should be designed for consumption of digital natives, they are discerning and demanding customers. The only way to win with them, is to get it right!