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3 Consumer Trends to Know About in 2014

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What Your Business Needs to Succeed

By Rachel Anderson

January finds most of us busy planning the road to success this new year setting goals and making game plans. If you’re success includes making your product or service a 2014 hit, you’ll find that taking time to figure out what consumers want and then providing it to be the trick.

Here are 3 up and coming 2014 consumer trends to help get you started.

Stop Collecting Data & Start Providing Service

There is a fine line between providing customers with a valuable service and freaking them out by getting too personal. Your customers want to feel catered to- not stalked. It’s going to be a challenge for businesses to strike a balance between earning customers trust and getting enough data to make their services personal and beneficial. Things like providing recommendations and personalizing services (things customers generally appreciate and find useful) require data. Consider how much data your business actually needs and how much customers feel comfortable providing. Respecting consumer privacy is an increasingly big deal.

Here are some stats:

“82% of global consumers believe that companies collect too much information on consumers.” (Adobe, June 2013)

“86% of US internet users have attempted to remove or mark their online activities, despite only 37% believing it is possible to be completely anonymous online.” (Pew Research Center, September 2013)

“93% of email users believe that users should be able to opt-out if they don’t want the content of their emails to be scanned in order to target ads.” (GfK & Microsoft, November 2013)

All Status, No Guilt

We have stats to spare on the effects of consumer consumption on the planet. It’s impossible to be ignorant to the fact that some of the things we can’t do without cause irreversible damage. The biggest drive behind consumer behavior will probably always be status. Why not take advantage of inner battle to indulge by making it relatively painless?  Provide products with all the status customers seek without any of the guilt.

We’ve seen a few examples of this already like the Tesla Model S, a luxury electric vehicle. It began shipping to Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands in August 2013 and by September it was the best-selling car in Norway. Benefits like allowing electric cars to use the bus lanes to maneuver past traffic jams no doubt played a role in this success. People could feel the thrill of their status symbol while playing the part of a responsible, earth-conscience consumer.

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Let the Crowd Speak for Itself

Just like 2013 and years previous, 2014 will see more people pool their profiles and preferences to mold new products and services. Connected people, with their endless trails of data from music preferences to almost literal play by plays of their daily activities will change the way products and services are created, used and offered. On a small scale, crowds may influence the music at a venue by merely checking in with their device. A crowdsourced jukebox called CheckinDJ complies playlists to suit the overall taste of the people currently there. People can register online or with an app and once at a participating location can check in. This automatically considers that person’s taste in music and adjusts the playlist accordingly. This amazing system was developed by Mobile Radicals, a UK based group.

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Apply it!

Don’t stop here! Continue to research consumer trends and find out what else consumers are hoping for. Once you have a good idea of what consumers want, start applying it. Adjust your product or service to align with what consumers actually want. Help alleviate some of the concerns and paranoia consumers have developed. You’ll see an uptick in trust, customers, and fans!

Rachel Anderson is a Pay Per Click Advertising Strategist at Netmark.com. Off the job she enjoys photography, good food, being outside, and spending time with her husband. Share your thoughts with Rachel on Twitter @gladygirl, Google+ or Facebook- she’d love to hear from you!

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