MENTEBS What did we learn from the consumer in 2017? Part II

We knew that 2017 would be a complicated year, at the political level we saw many raise their hand to give orders; we experienced a high attrition of the concept of truth in the world and in Colombia. A feeling of fear was generated by the incursion of great powers and their computer soldiers in political campaigns; and the concept of "fake news" served as a way for everyone to disqualify each other.

1) An "extreme polarity" was experienced, it was a time in which we saw little conciliation and much imposition. 2017 was a year of aggressiveness and confrontation. It had been a long time since "power is for power" was seen with such force. However, authoritarianism was not exclusive to politics. Those who had power exercised it and spoke out against or in favor of what they considered harmful to their interests. An example that illustrates this was business leader Elon Musk's decision to publicly announce the cancellation of a Tesla Model X order to an investor who had criticized him for one of his public appearances.

FOR BRANDS... it was a year in which they had to take sides in many cases. It was a time when many causes were openly debated and brands had to declare positions not through speeches, but through actions, demanded by the consumer.

2) Trump's proposal during his campaign, became a symbolic inspiration for the world, each citizen tried to make for his own life, to fence himself, to enclose himself and to ensure his individual well being; this led consumers to form ghettos to protect their emotional, personal and financial space. This led consumers to develop the ability to relax or simply disconnect from the world, which became a form of wealth and power; perhaps re-signifying these two concepts. An example is Noirbnb, the temporary rental platform for apartments and houses, similar to Airbnb, but only for black people as a way to guarantee access to properties totally free of discrimination.

FOR THE BRANDS...they had the chance to unite, connect and break down the walls between consumers, with inclusive brand messages, speaking of closeness and reconciliation, those that succeeded won the favor of many who felt like strangers in a world of walls.

We have no doubt of the tension that we lived during 2017, fear accompanied us and will surely continue in 2018; but it will surely also inspire us in many decisions that impact the consumer from areas of research, marketing, innovation, etc... Spaces of security and tranquility were the greatest opportunities for brands in 2017. The question is, did brands take advantage of these opportunities? Going forward, we must think about continuing to transform the way brands relate, connect and sell from the vision of consumers and the technological changes to come.