TrendWatching 2015: The Expectation Economy and Beyond

Recently, trend-hungry professionals from across the U.S. were given a sneak peek into the inspirations and applications of industry-driven innovation while attending the New York TrendWatching Conference. The all-day event showcased the most important insights into the future of consumerism, including a trend that’s currently embraced by consumers worldwide – the Expectation Economy. What does this mean to you? We set out to elaborate this movement and uncover new insights while at the conference. Here’s what we learned.
New demands mean changing brands 
Since consumers can interact with brands on paid, earned, and owned channels through various touchpoints, we have now become accustomed to certain expectations and a level of transparency. This has been derived, of course, from brands such as Uber, Airbnb, Yelp, and Amazon. Due to their increased popularity and ease of use, consumers expect fast and speedy service, quality products, and constant innovation. In addition, today’s consumer now requires brands to recognize their own customized buying habits.  
This can be problematic as growing expectations can lead to impatience, resulting in companies scrambling to set new standards for meeting these changing needs. For example, Uber has revolutionized our expectations by offering an on-demand service, but that comes with implications. A recent study released by Uber claims the longer Uber has been in a city directly affects how long consumers are willing to wait for transportation. This has caused Uber to adjust their dispatching algorithms while continuing to make improvements. 
Amazon, another evolutionary in the Expectation Economy, has offered “mayday” or on-demand customer service on Amazon Fire, as well as introduced the Amazon Dash Button which allows consumers to get instant refills of their favorite products. In addition to the changing needs of the consumer, these examples illustrate what companies must do to keep up with adjusting demands.  
How Ebiquity is embracing the Expectation Economy 
While at the conference, a good point was brought up - now more than ever, brands need to understand consumer behavior by analyzing how they interact across multiple channels. Social media, particularly, has become an integral part of this empowerment, helping consumers voice their opinions about brands with the anticipation that their voice will be heard. Through Ebiquity’s services, we are able to help track these opinions across these numerous consumer touchpoints, including advertising and social media analysis. 
As part of our Market Intelligence (MI) division, we provide competitor intelligence around client’s paid, earned, and owned media to help understand who is saying what, where, and why about your brand. By utilizing our tools, we can help inform marcomms strategy and impact communications objectives. We continually strive to help clients identify trends and gaps to understand opportunities and increase their overall reputation. 
But analyzing interactions externally is only part of the story. Truly aware brands also track data internally within their channels. Ebiquity’s Marketing Performance Optimization (MPO) division does this back-end work, measuring how consumers interact with brands by implementing and analyzing multi-channel analytics and performance optimization strategies. Ultimately, all of these elements can work together to provide comprehensive results.  
As we expected, the conference was a success, helping us to gain knowledge into the latest industry trends. It made us even more aware that successful brands that look to continually thrive must adapt and understand the Expectation Economy. This is no easy task but by utilizing the solutions available today, you can give your business the insight to recognize consumer needs.  
Thanks again to TrendWatching New York for the key insight on the Expectation Economy and beyond! For more information, please contact us
By Cara Buscaglia
About the Author:

Cara Buscaglia is ‎Insights Director, Market Intelligence at Ebiquity, plc.

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