When was the last time you walked into a “video store,” perused the shelves, picked out a video, rented it and took it home to watch? This was the topic of one of my conversations yesterday, in which the two of us realized: all of the video stores we used to visit as kids, teens and college-aged adolescents are actually gone. Why? Because — times have changed.
As this Fast Co. article points out, “Americans now value access over assets. They care about getting to their destination, not owning a car. Watching movies, not collecting DVDs.” Whereas people used to value the act of having a physical DVD (or VHS) to pop into their high-tech player, today most of us value being able to immediately access the HD version of a movie by streaming it via Amazon, Netflix or our Apple TV. Similarly, whereas we used to pay top dollar for the hardback version of a new book, most of us are more excited by being able to get whatever the hottest book is, immediately, via our electronic reader (hence, the higher rate of popularity for e-books than tried and true paper copies).
With all of this said, the big question is: How do brands remain relevant to their audience(s)/consumer(s) in this new age of access > assets? Fast Company points out three ways to do so, from which we pulled these short and sweet tips:
1. Give Them Access
“Whether your company has products on the shelves or a service to provide, think about how your product or service allows customers to get behind the velvet ropes of an experience they desire. If it can be replaced by a product or service that offers more access at a lower cost of ownership, soon enough it will be.”
2. Make Them Famous
“All kinds of companies can tap into this desire by designing their product or service to recognize the accomplishments and creations of their customers.”
3. Help Them Make Their Mark
“Rather than thinking about how your company can be more socially responsible, think about how your customers can directly affect a cause with your product.”
Though times have changed, one thing hasn’t: successful brands focus on the user experience, which is ultimately what has morphed in today’s day and age. The user experience today is all about making users feel empowered, strong, independent and important. If you’re privy to this, your brand will become significantly more valuable to your audience and your consumers — and your brand will benefit as a result.
If you want help creating the best user experience for your audience, let us know — it’s what we do best!