Our collective cultural changes every day due to different factors such as migration changes, generational changes, economic changes etc. As a result of cultural changes, there are changes in consumption that your brand must adapt to in order to continue to drive sales.
For example, in the last 10 years, women have decreased the frequency of hair washing. This cultural change has led to less consumption of shampoo. Therefore, shampoo brands must adapt to this cultural change or accept falling sales. As a result, many shampoo brands have launched brand extensions that include deep conditioners meant to be used with less frequency as well as products to use between washes such as dry shampoos. These changes led to the survival of many brands as they chose to focus on hair care in a new era and not just shampoo sales.
In the shampoo example, the hair care brands were able to develop a strategy that adapted to the cultural changes by first understanding the very fact that the post-cultural shift consumers did not stop washing their hair as often because they didn’t care about haircare. In fact, the hair washing frequency declined due to a concern about the damage caused by over-washing with harsh chemicals. By understanding this, shampoo brands were able to transform into haircare brands that served this new consumer with an array of products such as deep conditioners, paraben and alcohol-free shampoos, and dry shampoos. It all leads back to the basic premise that as a brand, your purpose is to first understand your target audience or captured consumer base and then you must do everything in your power to meet their needs. If your consumer’s needs change over time, your brand must continue to adapt to meet these needs in order to continue being successful.
Once you understand your consumer and develop products and branding to meet his or her ever-changing needs, you must then find ways to connect with your consumer. Cultural changes lead to changes in the consumption of products such as the decrease in shampoo usage from our example above. However, cultural changes can also lead to changes in the consumption of media and the way a consumer connects and interacts with the world. For example, millennials are less invested in traditional media, more likely to trust peer’s opinions over that of a professional, and have an increased affinity for user-generated content. As a result of this generational-driven cultural change, your brand will need to adapt the way it connects with millennials. Your brand’s success will depend on influencers more than ever, social media ad spend must be factored into your media mix, and you are more likely to have a two-way interaction with your millennial audience through the use of social media.
The world is ever-changing and so are consumer’s needs and consumption patterns. In order to be successful, brands must be ever-changing in order adapt to cultural changes and keep in mind that a myopic view of business is no longer an option.