Warp speed please captain. Delivering the experience consumers want
Time is one of the most valuable commodities to the modern consumer. The growing number of infrastructures that can facilitate this means that speed is something that consumers will no longer compromise on.
It might be too reductionist to associate this need for speed with the introduction of Amazon’s lightning-fast delivery times, but it has certainly had a monumental influence on consumers perspective of time. Gone are the days where a 3-day delivery period was a great alternative to visiting the shops - nowadays if your order doesn’t arrive the same or next day, the brand is scrutinised for providing a poor consumer experience.
The importance of time is by no means exclusive to online deliveries; consumers expect immediate and responsive service across a broad range of verticles. This is particularly evident in the digital world. For example, online banking apps have simplified the traditional banking experience by cutting down the time it takes to access and control your money. These steps include the ability to view real-time transactions on your phone, deposit cheques through the app and many more brilliant time-saving hacks.
This speed mentality is also reinforced in other daily-use entities such as social media. Social media is renowned for cashing-in on consumers short attention-spans and serving experiences in short bursts to realign succinct and immediate formats as the norm. For example, Twitter has enforced these short formats through a character restriction on Tweets and an interface that encourages users to condense their responses into button taps. Speed is also a key characteristic of other user-generated content platforms such as Tik Tok, Vine and Snapchat, who primarily promote bite-size, quick-burst content. A few years ago, Instagram recognised the growing need for outlets of spontaneous content sharing and has seen huge success with the introduction of Instagram Stories, which has given users the option of posting content with a 24-hour lifespan.
These societal factors, in combination with the abundance of time-saving technology (think contactless payments, check-out free mobile apps), contribute to the rising expectations of consumers. In this world, speed is synonymous with better. As a result, brands are incorporating saving-time as a metric of good consumer experience and have begun to use speed as a competitive advantage over their competitors. For example, in the last year, Pizza Hut has promoted a ‘Speed Guarantee’ whereby consumers receive a £10 voucher if the pizza arrives after 40-minutes¹. This highlights the huge shift to consumers having higher expectations of brands, and the enactment of bigger sanctions for brands if they don’t adjust.
Trends come and go
Similar in nature to the popularity of expiring content, trends are also a time-orientated component that brands must navigate. Trends are great if you ride the wave at the right time. Being alert to and reacting to trends can help brands to show consumers that they are modern, but that they also have a shared understanding of the world. This can help to bridge the metaphorical gap between brands and consumers as the use of a trending meme in their marketing (in a relevant way) is likely to garner respect from consumers as it infers that the brand is cool and engaged with modern society.
However, not all trends stick; a ‘hot trend’ today maybe be nothing more than a fad tomorrow. Therefore brands must respond fluidly to accommodate changes in the market, as employing an out-of-date trend will make the brand look out of touch with the market and its consumers.
Brands must be dynamic
There are big penalties involved for both the wrong products and slow-speed services, and so brands must evolve to accommodate these changes. Firstly, brands must stay alert to the market and their consumers. Secondly, brands must have an infrastructure in place that allows them to adapt quickly.
As a tech-driven mobile-advertising company, this is incredibly important to us - our clients want to be at the forefront of new creative and technological trends, so we need to be responsive and agile. If you’re looking for a streamlined mobile-advertising service, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!