What a new music platform can teach us about developing meaningful consumer engagement
Right now I’ve got 8tracks on. 8tracks is a Sydney office favourite. It’s a new crowd pleaser. 8tracks is an online music streaming website made up of playlists each with at least, you guessed it, eight songs. Each playlist is created by users, around a theme or genre, which you can tag into simple categories and then get rated by users so that they are easy to search for. It’s a simple and effective way of discovering new songs and having continuous, and yet varied background music. Its tagline “internet radio created by people, not algorithms” calls its users to action, to contribute to the development of the online community.
Where’s the wine connection in all this? 8tracks is an example of one of the new nine global consumer trends we’ve identified for 2015, which we’ve called Activate. The trend stems from a remarkable piece of counterintuitive human behaviour. For years social theorists fretted that technological advances in leisure of the past 70 years (chiefly television, computer games, the internet) would turn us into sedentary, mindless folk. And yet the same technology is encouraging, particularly among younger people, the kind of activism and mass participation that has never before been possible.
This trend has many facets. It includes the types of social activism, seen for example in the viral community support of #illridewithyou during the recent Sydney terrorist siege. It includes the active approach taken last month by my friend’s finance company whereby, rather than just donating money, employees were given the day off to work with a local charity that prepares food from leftovers to provide meals to local schools (FareShare.com.au).
The importance of the Activate trend for us is simple: consumers are less passive than they used to be.
In the drinks world, the trend is relatively undeveloped, but there are examples that could inspire more ideas. Collaborative brewing; vouchers in exchange for recycling bottles; rows of vines available for rent; even allowing wines to be made according to the demands and tastes of web users.
This idea will be explored further, together with the other eight global consumer trends we’ve identified as key consumer motivations and needs which will shape the future our industry, as part of the Global Consumer Trends Roadshow coming to Australia this week. Limited places are still available. Book at the links below: