Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Generation C = New Consumer

At the core of all consumer trends is the new consumer, who creates his or her own playground, own comfort zone, own universe.

It's the 'empowered' and 'better informed' and 'switched on' consumer combined into something profound. At the core is control: psychologists don't agree on much, except for the belief that human beings want to be in charge of their own destiny.

Or at least have the illusion of being in charge.

And because they can now get this control in entirely new ways, aided by an online, low cost, creativity-hugging revolution that's still in its infancy, young and old (but particularly young) consumers now weave webs of unrivaled connectivity and relish instant knowledge gratification.

They exercise total control over creative collections, including their own creative assets, assume different identities in cyberspace at a whim, wallow in DIY / Customization / Personalization / Co-Creation to make companies deliver whatever and whenever, on their own terms.

And it's not all about Adidas, Levi's and online travel. It's about philanthropy, developing nations, education, health and leveling out some of the inequalities of this world.

So, what's next in the metaverse?

Second Life will no doubt continue to expand, especially if they manage to partner with the Flickrs, eBays, Playaheads, MySpaces and Yahoos of this world. Meanwhile, Google is said to be eyeing a metaverse entry, combining Google Earth and Google Sketchup (a 3-D modeling program).

The company is now encouraging developers to build 3-D layers on top of Google Earth. For examples, see the 3D warehouse. This prompted the designers at Form Fonts 3D to create 97 virtual pieces of IKEA furniture, ready to download, which can then be used to furnish one's SketchUp dream house.

If you ignore online branding, rest assured a member of Generation C will launch your brand for you, just keep your fingers crossed that they'll do it to your liking.

** Gen C = consumers who produce and share content. They mix their own music, edit their own videos, post their photography to the Internet, or publish a blog or a book.
They are a big group, and one that's constantly growing. More than 53 million adults in the US have created online content, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.


Also keep an eye on new metaverse platforms like Active Worlds, Open Croquet Project and Multiverse, all aiming to help independent game developers create high-quality Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and non-game virtual worlds for less money and in less time than ever before.

As this is still early days, this is prime territory to claim many a 'first' in online branding (read: IOs and NGOs - wake-up).

Time to set up a meeting with these guys?

1 Comments:

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12:18 PM, December 04, 2006  

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