“Cultural Intelligence: Translating the Consumer Market with Trends” was an informative and engaging presentation given to The Social Lights® Community Manager Training Program class by Mary Meehan, co-founder & CEO of consumer research company Panoramix Global.
Meehan, an expert on consumer marketing and trends, presented students with information and statistics on the Star Trek film franchise, the 2010 World Cup, and Apple products and then asked students the following questions:
- What do we know about the consumer that we didn’t know before?
- What is the relationship between the consumer and the brand?
- What are the motivators for engaging with the brand?
In a presentation that was equal parts informative and participatory, students reflected and discussed the relationship between the brand and consumer and what drives the consumerism of a particular product.
Meehan touched upon information vs. intelligence, quoting Malcolm Gladwell as saying, “The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”
Students learned the difference between values and trends as well. Values are the core relationship between the consumer and brand and drive consumer behavior, while trends signify consumer demand and desire. The difference between fads and trends was also discussed, with Meehan explaining that certain products’ novelty wears off quickly (fads) while others exponentially grow in popularity and demand (trends).
“It was a great insight into the importance, significance, and architecture of the relationship between the consumer and the brand,” said CMTP student Talia Schmitz. “I really enjoyed the whole presentation, and learned a lot from the activity/application portion of the evening.”
Students broke into groups and were given three topics to discuss: chicken coops, the television series “Downton Abbey,” and food trucks. This group exercise was both an informative and enjoyable brainstorming session, with students learning hands on about what drives behavior and what causes trends.
“In order for companies to grow or for brands to be relevant they need to build intelligence,” Meehan explained. “Trends are an important place to start building that understanding.”
Empowering the consumer helps develop brand recognition and loyalty, as was explained by Meehan in this interesting presentation. As members of a community manager class, students learned what makes for a successful brand with staying power.
“I feel like I was just at a TED Talk,” said student Maggie Hughes, which essentially summed up how truly informative and eye-opening Mary Meehan’s presentation was.