Readers of this blog will know the increasing importance of social media and digital marketing in influencing consumers to engage with brands. Consumer trend firm trendwatching.com, in their latest research titled “The F-FACTOR”, shows how friends, fans & followers greatly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions in ever-more sophisticated ways.
“Consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans, and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways. As a result, it’s never been more important for brands to make sure they too have the F-FACTOR.
“Of course, consumption has always been social: people have forever been influenced by what those around them think and buy… But, just as with so many consumer trends, while the core consumer behavior isn’t new, technological developments are unlocking new manifestations of that behavior, which here amplify its importance and impact.
“Indeed, the F-FACTOR is being fueled by new tools and platforms available to both consumers and brands, and by the sheer numbers of people now using and contributing to these tools.”
Trendwatching.com lists the following attributes of the F-FACTOR:
— Consumers are looking to other like-minded consumers to discover the best of the best.
— Consumers are increasingly being served up relevant recommendations and reviews from their digital networks, where and when they need them.
— Consumers can ask their friends and followers to improve and validate their buying decisions.
— Shopping is becoming increasingly social, even when consumers and their peers are not physically together. Examples of this includes people grouping together to get group discount deals.
— Consumer’s social networks are literally turned into products and services based on the activities and outputs of one’s social network. An example of this is Flipboard, an application that integrates tweets and Facebook updates into a single, personalized online magazine.