On Monday I participated in a panel at the MediaTel Connected Consumer conference, debating finding, distributing and sharing content.
The first theme we discussed was about emerging behaviour around new devices. I wanted to be man prepared, so I took along some notes to prompt me.
The first thing I had written in front of me, is that people’s connections to other people, brands and content used to be largely restricted to a particular space – the home. This changed over time, with the uptake of the compact camera and the Sony Walkman.
Especially through the smart phone, we are now in a time in which people make connections to brands, people and content wherever and whenever they are, however they want and for whatever reason. Much of this has been said before, but it’s worth repeating. People make more choices and exert more control over their connections, according to their desires, expectations, goals and objectives which change throughout their day and from day to day. Of course, people do this in front of the television, but not to the same degree (although this is changing). People’s connections are much more about pulling off and accessing content rather than viewing and listening to content pushed to them.
An implication of this is that people largely see their connections as their own private connections. This should not be underestimated. This means brands need to earn the right to be involved in people’s connections, and they need to make themselves relevant. They need to make sure that amid the choices available to people, they offer something that people want and prefer over competing voices, and they need to be available on people’s own terms, and not on those of brands.
Brands importantly need to create experiences that enhance people's connections to other people - their personal communities. Our research shows that people are most likely to share online experiences that stimulate four things: the senses, thinking, behaviour, and especially emotions. We are also beginning work that benchmarks how brands perform more generally on these four experiences (senses, emotions, thinking and behaviour), which will help us and brand owners to design experiences depending on what they want to achieve.