"The EXPECTATION ECONOMY is an economy inhabited by experienced, well-informed consumers from Canada to South Korea who have a long list of high expectations that they apply to each and every good, service and experience on offer.
Their expectations are based on years of self-training in hyperconsumption, and on the biblical flood of new-style, readily available information sources, curators and BS filters. Which all help them track down and expect not just basic standards of quality, but the 'best of the best'."
The above is a quote from this months trend briefing from TrendWatching.com. Apparently, someone else has attempted to dig into the inner core mentality of my generation. (Well, not only my generation, but they always seem to be very focused on what the Gen-Y-er's are doing. BTW - I hate the term Generation Y - they really couldn't come up with a better name for us? Just because we came after Generation X? And I don't like the term "Millenials" either - I was born in the 80's - I lived more than half my life so far in the last millennium, so I don't want to be dumped in with a group who never saw or don't remember the 20th century. Please think of something else to call us. Thank you for bearing with my generation rant.)
Fine - so we'll go with it. The article basically talks about how we as consumers have set impossibly high standards for every product or service available, and get bored and irritated with anyone or anything that doesn't live up to those standards. In addition, all new websites are dedicated to nothing more than making those standards higher.
It also states that we don't care what industry the standards were set in. For example: “Tomboy Trades, a Canadian start-up aimed at DIY for women, has developed steel-toe boots in pink, green, blue and red. Matching tool belts, safety glasses and hard hats soon followed, as did retail partnerships with Home Depot and Zellers, a Canadian department store. Expectations being set here? Female versions of everything and anything!”
It is supposed to serve as a warning for companies who otherwise might not be keeping up – assuming any of them actually care – and it’s advice that should be carefully considered. I’ve been reading Joeseph Jaffe’s latest book, Join the Conversation (more on that to come), and in it, he talks about the importance of brands to form actual, meaningful relationships with their customers. He’s been busy proving that it can be done by using these methods to promote the book.
However, what this article comes back to is that if your product isn’t living up to people’s high expectations, then it won’t be long before people won’t want to have a conversation with you. Consumers are happy to comment on brands that have are already satisfying them, and they will even throw comments toward brands that are unforgivably terrible. But a complete lack of loyalty and general feeling of apathy toward the vast majority of mediocre brands leads to a complete lack of attention.
Figure out what people want – what we really want – and then we’ll start giving you a chance to talk to us. But you might want to hurry, because what we want will likely change tomorrow.