In the early 1900’s, products sold based on their features. A few decades later, marketers stepped their game up and realised it was the benefits that people wanted. 1975 saw the differentiator between products was the experience of using the product. Fast forward to 2021, marketers now invest in a mix of consumer experience, features, and benefits. It’s gone from what the product has, to what it does, to how it makes people feel. But where to from here?
The trends haven’t stopped. People still want all the above. But today, we’re seeing a shift towards the building of the Meaning Economy—where the brands that thrive are the ones that allow people to reinforce their identity and enable them to express their values.
Brands are ditching plastic for paper—because people care about the environment.
Brands are talking about who they employ—because people care about equality and diversity.
Brands are donating a part of their profits—because people care about philanthropy.
People are asking themselves: “If I buy this brand, what does that make me?”
The challenge for brands today is how they can provide added value by offering meaning to people at deeper and even more emotional levels to build brand loyalty.