I regularly check out trendwatching.com. (You should too!) It keeps me up to date with all of the latest thinking in all kinds of industries. From time-to-time a trend is identified that relates directly to real estate development marketing.
In order to ensure that we’re all meeting consumer expectations to the best of our ability, I thought I’d share one of their biggest trends of 2010 with you. After all consumers follow trends and ultimately consumers are homebuyers, so it only makes sense.
The Trendwatching folks have labeled this trend Maturialism.
If it sounds made up, that’s because it is. Trendwatching prefers to coin its own trends in order to track them better. Maturialism is the tendency of consumers to be more daring, thus they expect brands to be daring too.
Consumers these days are experienced, and they’re well-versed in being consumers. They are not easily shocked, and they are not willing to tolerate mediocre or uninspiring conversations and messages from brands. They want honest conversations and brands that push boundaries. They are, in a word, more mature consumers. Not mature in the sense of ï¿½olderï¿½ but instead in the sense of ï¿½wiser.ï¿½
You see it illustrated everywhere, especially online. An unhappy customer will eagerly post their opinions and uncensored comments about crappy customer service or shoddy construction on their Facebook page, Twitter profile or public blog ‘ pretty much anywhere they feel like. While they will applaud products and developments that are doing things differently. They are not simply sitting back passively taking in what comes at them.
Are you acknowledging this consumer? Does your development push the boundaries? Are you meeting these experienced consumers’ expectations?
Is it necessary to push the limits of architectural design, in order to establish your brand as one that pushes the boundaries? Absolutely not. Of course, an awe-inspiring structure with daunting precipices and outrageous lines would certainly get people talking, but it’s the way you are promoting that structure or development that needs to be different. Pushing the same old jargon down an already overstuffed gullet doesn’t make for an easy swallow. If one more developer tells me that his/her project is ‘A New Definition of Luxury,’ I think I’ll scream.
The real estate industry has always treated itself as a separate entity – a world apart from other industries – but now more than ever it needs to look cross-industry and be willing to digest new Maturialism. The days of simple mean-nothing kooky headlines and empty promises are over. The kids are grown up, and they want some respect..
Innovative and/or revolutionary customer experiences that happen on a smaller level ultimately transcend to become part of our larger social fabric, and sooner rather than later these smaller trends become broader expectations. Anyone who thinks broad-based macro consumer trends don’t impact the real estate market sector has their head in the sand.