Today’s Consumer: A Q4 Excerpt
Our Q4 cultural almanac is here to wrap up the year that was.
Enjoy this preview of our chapter on Today’s Consumer. And if you like what you see, pre-order ZEITGUIDE 2019 to continue to receive these insights throughout the year ahead.
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M&A IS THE WAY TO PLAY
At the start of the year, we looked at how Amazon’s forays into new territory was forcing businesses to rethink the scope of what they do. The speed and efficiency Amazon brings to every industry it enters is resetting consumer expectations for every business. If a brand isn’t the cheapest option, and it can’t be at the customer’s door in two days, where does that leave it?
At the same time, changes to consumers are pushing brands to evolve. New customer groups are manifesting themselves rapidly, creating new opportunities for businesses ready to take advantage.
In just the last several months, we’ve seen innumerable examples of companies expanding what they do as a way to ward off encroachment and expand their footprints with consumers.
SUBSCRIPTIONS OVER ADS
Throughout the year, we’ve been tracking how seemingly every brand and media company has been embracing subscriptions as a way to acquire valuable, first-party insight into who their customers are and to keep a steady flow of money coming in.
Specifically, media companies that once survived entirely on ad revenue have been discovering they need a steady income from readers to keep the lights on.
Since then, thanks to weakening ad revenues, we’ve seen even more companies cutting staff or projecting lower revenue. It’s not surprising, then, that we’re seeing even more publishers innovate with paid models.
SCOOTER MANIA & MICRO-MOBILITY
In Q3, we wrote about how scooter-sharing apps like Lime and Bird are beginning to compete with automakers and public transit for commuter miles. Part of the larger trend of micro-mobility, which includes electric scooters, bikes, Segways, hoverboards and their one-wheeled counterparts, companies in this space are drawing big money and excitement for their potential to address the “last mile” problem in transit—when a bus, subway stop or where you parked your car is more than a short walk away.
By facilitating that last-mile travel, micro-mobility devices may make public transport more convenient, or at least cut down on those short trips for which people may otherwise use a car.
Most recently visible among micro-mobility devices has been the emergence of the electric scooter. Here’s an overview of a few of the companies to watch in this space.
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