One of the biggest consumer trends we're tracking for 2011 and beyond is what we call the “action/retraction dichotomy.”
We believe that, for the foreseeable future, consumers will operate in two speeds: one in which they take a measured and protected – almost cautious – approach and one in which they will be ready, open, and moving.
Our targets' lives will be filled with these seemingly stop/start moments as they attempt to find balance and control.
What does this mean for communicators? The challenges are clear.
How can we anticipate which mode our target is in and engage them at the right time for our brand? Is there different ammunition we can use to engage them whether they are acting or retracting? Flexibility and dynamic storytelling are also key to clearly communicating what role your brand plays and how it can be part of the target's world at both speeds.
The answers lie not just in understanding the duality of audiences, but also in understanding your brand and your message.
Kim Sample is CEO of Emanate.