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When seeking to understanding their customers over the years, brands and organizations have had little option but to rely on blunt instruments and generalized patterns. The valuable work of marketers, analysts and strategists centred on segmenting society into broad groups based on gender, ethnicity or geographic location. These groupings would then inform how products and messaging could be tailored for relevance. In the modern age of data analytics, however, it is not only possible to understand and target an audience of one but it is increasingly becoming the expectation.

From online shopping to online dating, the digital age has introduced people to a range of options that previous generations could only have dreamed of. For every option that is swiped left or scrolled past, there is an array of others waiting that may or may not be better suited to our personal preferences.

COVID has drastically changed the way we shop. Online shopping, direct to consumer business models, curb-side pick up and e-commerce have all skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic, leaving many businesses scrambling to catch up. With COVID having accelerated the transformation of consumer behaviour, businesses and brands need to move their position in line with the times.

Here are four ways to reposition your business or brand:

It wasn’t always trendy to be sustainable. In the past, speaking and acting on issues of climate change and the environment often rendered you a hippie or a leftie, or worse still, a vegan. However, what was once an issue kept in the margins is now overwhelming the mainstream, with the need for urgent action being widely acknowledged by businesses, leaders and public officials alike.

The empowered consumer is a trend that has been changing the marketplace for years. As consumers have a louder voice, more access to information and a larger array of options than ever before, the relationship between businesses and customers is changing and the balance of power tipping in favour of the customer. COVID accelerated this to a new level altogether.

We have always known that the future of our work will look dramatically different from the present. What we did not know is that the global pandemic would pave much of the groundwork for this future’s arrival.

While trends are known to come and go, it is not often you see the economy come full circle. Over 100 years ago, before the turn of the century and the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the notion of a salary was not commonplace. Some estimate that as little as 10% of workers had one, the rest of the population surviving off what we would now refer to as the ‘gig economy’.

What if instead of going to the shops, the shops came to you? For years, the idea of ‘going shopping’ has been understood as a kind of event; shops have been considered a destination for outings, socialising and buying, and a source of retail therapy. However, changes on the social and technological scene in the last decade are now seeing the retail experience evolve into something that renders the idea of ‘going shopping’ almost outdated.

When the world was in deep lockdown last year, a major trend that dominated social media surrounded people’s memories of ‘normal’ life. Clips of life before lockdown boasted scenes of exotic travel locations, shots of passports in hand, bustling crowds, concerts, festivals and interestingly, cinemas.

One example of this trend that circled platforms like TikTok in particular, promised to take viewers back to pre-COVID life as it played the familiar sounds of popular cinema ads, shots of popcorn and dimmed lights, and the famed 20th Century Fox intro.

However, coinciding with this was the seeming demise of cinemas and theatres with the proliferation of streaming services and the accelerating effects of lockdown on these trends. Platforms like this proved to be an unforeseen plot twist in the standing film industry narrative.

‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.’[1] We have all heard the adage, so much so that it is often dismissed as a cliché.

While most of us know this statement and agree with the philosophy behind it, the reality is that very few teachers and schools genuinely involve students in learning and make education active. Despite John Dewey’s urging over a century ago to embrace experiential education and abandon the model of students being passive receivers of learning, the ‘expounding’ approach persists.[2]

We often think of emerging technology as the field of high-level businesspeople and Silicon Valley tech wizards. We don’t often see today’s innovations as being a tool for enhancing accessibility, increasing affordability and empowering equality.

However, recent developments have seen it do just this. Here are 3 fields in which technology is making everyday life more affordable and more accessible for the everyday consumer.

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