In Trendwatching’s most recently released briefing, the trend of brand butlers is introduced. Brand butlers are companies that provide their consumers with information or assistance beyond standard product and service offerings. These brands choose to focus on assisting consumers in their everyday lives in an attempt to retain top-of-mind positioning within a competitive marketplace. Not only does the brand butlers trend speak to the rise in smartphone ownership, the popularity of mobile applications and the widespread use of social media, but it also reveals a new metric that wallet-conscious consumers are using to measure their purchases: added value.
Here are a few examples from the briefing that highlight exceptional use of social media and mobile applications by brand butlers:
Google Labs has launched City Tours, which provides walking tours of popular cities, that you can personalize to your interests.
Olay for You is a website from Olay that creates a personalized skin care plan based on the information provided by the visitor.
The Whole Foods Market Recipe App for the iPhone suggests recipes and informs the user if any ingredients are on sale at the nearest Whole Foods Market.
Since brand butlers was spurred due to brands’ commitment to their consumers, social media and mobile applications offer the ideal platforms for embracing and leveraging this trend. Social media has put brands and their consumers on the same level and each have been granted the ability to speak openly to one another. This open discourse provides an opportunity to collect information that is willingly provided by consumers in the social space and craft a relevant, butler-like service that is tailored specifically to them on behalf of a brand. By doing this, brands have the opportunity to earn relevance and retain their audience of consumers.