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eLearning > Consumers > Consumer Behavior > Module 5 / 5

Consumers and Personal Brand

Instructor: Shelby Walsh
Social Media
Download the Social Media Trend Report
This final module in the consumer behavior course will explore how personal brand has become a 24/7 affair, how brands are successfully co-creating with their customers and how micro-influencers are driving authenticity. One of the key trends unpacked during this module is "Influencer Ubiquity" which details how consumers are curating their personal brands. It also explores thought-provoking examples from brands like Adidas who have increased awareness of new products and launches through the use of influencers.

It's not just micro-influencers or user-generated content that is making a splash when it comes to how people are behaving and their purchasing patterns, however. Celebrities are still playing an important role when it comes to shaping the preferences of consumers today; they're just using different platforms to connect, allowing them to strip down the layers between them and their fans. We'll look into how big names like Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, and Selena Gomez have used visual platforms like IGTV and YouTube to reinvigorate their brand and provide inspiration on how your brand can provide a more effective platform for self-expression.
Related Trend Report: Social Media
Workshop Questions:
1. How can you provide a more effective platform for self-expression?
2. How can your brand become more authentic on social media?
View Innovation Webinars
Featured Insights
Influencer Ubiquity
The influencer industry is no longer limited to marketing and artistic spaces
Implications - From micro to pet influencers, the influencer industry is expanding to accommodate and transform a variety of spaces. With social media giving every individual the opportunity to make themselves "brandable," this shift directly correlates with the individualistic preferences that can be seen in any given group – reflecting both niche and broad consumer interests in a way that is inherently authentic.
Workshop Question - How could your brand leverage influencer popularity?
5.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Insights by Trend Hunter AI
In-Store Influencer
Brands are creating in-store influencer opportunities to increase engagement
Trend - Brands are inviting influencers to their brick-and-mortar retail locations for more interactive and engaging partnerships. These collaborations are often realized as consumer-facing marketing resources, or a way for the brand to help influencers supercharge their social media content.
Workshop Question - How might your brand engage influencers in the retail space?
7.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Hyper-Interactive Pet
Online content & social apps focus on engaging with animals
Trend - Catering to animal lovers and the bond between owners and their pets, social outlets are putting more emphasis on engaging and interacting with them. While animal videos have long been a go-to online destination, a shift toward more live, on-demand experiences are emerging where platforms like Snapchat are creating a more inclusive experience for pets and their owners.
Workshop Question - What are the most important things that your consumers prioritize in their day-to-day life? How could you better incorporate that into your products or service?
4.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Micro-Influence
Micro-blogging platforms allow consumers and influencers more control over content
Trend - Streamlined blogging and social apps are on the rise, as influencers look to better control the content they're able to create and sell, and as consumers look for content that's more personalized to their interests. With social apps like Instagram currently dominating digital culture, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z, creating spaces for smaller communities appeals to those looking for direct and genuine connections with peers and influencers.
Workshop Question - How could your brand establish authentic connections with its customers?
3.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Social-Specific Edit
Editing platforms are created specifically for social media
Trend - With the rise of social media influencers, and consumers looking to become influential, have come editing tools that are specific to social media platforms. Such apps reveal how brands can take advantage of emerging consumer trends in order to offer niche, specialty products or services.
Workshop Question - Consider an emerging consumer ritual within your brand's area of expertise. How could your brand target that ritual?
3.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Curated Feed
Extended tools target the curation of aesthetics and function on social media
Trend - Social media-focused tools are prioritizing customers who are looking to create and curate feeds that are personalized, aesthetically pleasing, and/or streamlined. Such tools come as more consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are focused on having a social media presence that allows them to present themselves as a personal brand.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better involve itself in the social media habits of younger consumers?
3.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Virtual Influencer
Artificial digital influencers are on the rise and collaborating with brands
Implications - Computer-generated social media influencers are on the rise, and so now are their collaborations with big brands due to their enormous popularity online. These virtual models are put together with the popular aesthetics that can be observed on platforms like Instagram, and are unique in their ability to reach millions of young consumers while retaining an air of mystique and intrigue.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize a campaign for younger consumers that would leverage the reach of a virtual influencer.
6.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Animated Influencer
Online influencers and vloggers evolve into digital animations
Implications - Online influencers continue to evolve with emerging platforms and forms of content creation, and with that, we’re seeing a shift toward more digitally animated personas. From Instagram starlets to YouTube vloggers, influencers are emerging not in the form of young Millennials or Gen Z, but digitally created animations that evoke nostalgia and familiarity in their cartoonish form. Not only meant to attract younger audiences, these inanimate, digital creations allow for more playful storytelling techniques as way to present content in a new light.
Workshop Question - How can your brand leverage an unconventional influencer or media persona to add a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality to your brand?
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Influencer Generation
Brands accelerate the process of individuals becoming influencers
Implications - Understanding the power of influencers in the social media age, brands are accelerating the process of individuals becoming influencers by offering a variety of services that help them expand their followings and grow their personal brands. This shift comes as brands recognize the need to more authentically connect with Millennial and Gen Z consumers, on a more micro level.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better leverage the power of influencers?
4.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Milestone Social
The competitive older Millennial is satiated with adult achievement-sharing sites
Implications - The Millennial generation is the largest in North American history; Trend Hunter splits the group into micro generations, identifying the 'Pro Millennial' as the oldest. The Pro Millennial uses social media more competitively than other Millennial groups as it entered into their lives during early adulthood when future planning was already a focus. Social media sites that enable milestone sharing appeal to this generation as they provide an opportunity to share more meaningful content they can be proud of.
Workshop Question - How are you appealing to the Pro Millennial's competitive nature?
4.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Fan-Funded Influencer
Content creators are supported directly by peers as opposed to brands
Implications - Up until this point, the formula for successful influencer marketing was fairly cut and dry; a person becomes an influencer by creating engaging content, gains brand partnerships, and monetizes content as an ambassador. This model is turned on its head with peer-to-peer funding platforms that enable fans to send money directly to content creators. The shift to a many-to-many model speaks to the true intended nature of social media influence, placing more focus on truly entertaining content than the influence or exposure of a third party.
Workshop Question - How could consumer-generated content become a threat to your company, and how are you preparing?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends