As marketers, we’re taught to look for patterns. Research, we are told, will give us the insights we need to predict how whole swathes of our society will react. Brands are looking to predict how buyers will act or react so that they know what to expect. Consumers themselves of course operate under no such constraints. They happily accept their own behaviours as making sense to them.
One of the great challenges we face as branders is appealing to the mercurial side of consumers. Getting to grips with the fact that they won’t always behave the way we think they should, that they will do the unexpected, the illogical, the unprecedented and the unresearchable – and that they are all the more exciting and interesting as people because of that.
Across your business, across your channels – where could you promote/allow/celebrate impulsive moments? How could you be a platform for what consumers themselves just feel like doing, and how can you improve loyalty and profitability by doing that?
A simple way to start may be by changing one question. Instead of asking “what should happen next?” try asking “what could happen now (that people would just love to see, do or experience)?”
There just may be one thing better than being (pleasantly) surprised as a consumer. And that is (pleasantly) surprising others – or perhaps yourself.