The Near Future of Media

At LHBS, we are curious about brand opportunities that are at the crossroads of emerging consumer needs, enabling technology and market dynamics. What we learn, we like to share. That is why we have created the Near Futures Series of inspiration and insights reports designed to highlight what is happening today and how it can shape tomorrow for brands and business.

Our next issue is on The Near Future of Media. 

"While the landscape of content is rapidly changing, this fast pace opens opportunities for innovation in the way content expands, reaches and captivates audiences.

Key content partnerships are forming to keep up with where audiences are going, while the familiar channels are being constantly invigorated with new means of storytelling.

Publishers are constantly raising the bar on not only how content is delivered, but also how audiences experience content. Things are getting more immersive, and technology is helping to transport audiences beyond mere spectatorship to a more active, sense-heightening participation."

Below, you can explore our full report with accompanying trends, insights and signs, followed by actionable implications which are included in a hands-on framework.


Inspiration Snapshot August 2015

The LHBS Snapshot is a monthly series of cases including some of the most interesting insights and inspiration from the three following areas: business development, brand building & customer experience. 

All signs come straight out of LHBS Inspiration-Hub, a digital platform that tracks changes in people, markets and technology to bring customized & curated insights and inspiration to organizations.


Inspiration Snapshot July 2015

LHBS continuously tracks changes in people, markets and technology to deliver curated and customized information to different organisations.

With a team of researchers collecting data on a daily basis for the Inspiration-Hub– a digital tool to monitor change and deliver relevant insights and inspiration– we would like to share these findings with our readers in a new way.

The LHBS Snapshot is a monthly series of cases including some of the most interesting insights and inspiration from the three following areas: business development, brand building & customer experience. 

In case you would like to find out more about how to efficiently track opportunities and fuel innovation in your organization, please get in touch with us.


GlossyBox: How to Potentially Evolve a Subscription Model

GlossyBox, a beauty product subscription service, has recently expanded their business model by introducing a magazine into their monthly box of curated beauty products. The service stems from targeting consumers of beauty products through adding an appealing subscription service to an important aspect of the beauty and cosmetics industry: product sampling (Discovery Marketing). As such, their business model initially focused on getting subscriptions from consumers of beauty products. With the introduction of a new magazine into each box, GlossyBox has expanded their business model to provide further value to brands looking to be connected with GlossyBox’s consumers in the form of content marketing.

Through an analysis of the GlossyBox business model, we see that it simultaneously delivers value to brands as an agent for sample distribution, and customers for its regular, tailored selection of pampering beauty products from all over the world. Yet, as we shall discuss, we can see a greater opportunity for GlossyBox to expand and capitalize even further on its content platform to further amplify the value that the service delivers to their consumers and their partner brands.

The beauty of surprise: a high end beauty box subscription

GlossyBox is a beauty sample subscription service based out of Berlin. Part of Rocket Internet, the company was founded in 2011, and since has grown to operate in several markets– amassing 200,000 subscribers. The concept is simple. Each month a customer pays 15€ for a box filled with a curated selection of five high quality beauty products. The thrill of the surprise box is almost as appealing as the knowledge that several high-end products are inside the elegant box.  
Where their business model focuses on selling subscriptions to consumers, it relies heavily on marketing and logistics: the former to secure the subscribers who generate their core revenues, the latter to deliver the box to them. As such, their costs would largely go into the supply chain, the packaging, the warehouse, the human labor that goes into boxing and tying the ribbon on, and of course, continuously promoting the service.

This aspect of the business model is affected by difficulties of maintaining a subscriber base, which come down to factors such as customer relevance and desire, plus supply chain efficiency. While GlossyBox now ships hundreds of thousands of boxes per month, only about 400 people have been subscribing continuously since 2011. In order to balance the retention of subscribers, they have been offering gift options and limited edition boxes. Yet, it stands to reason that by further developing a content platform, that GlossyBox could add value to its customers, promote growth and retention of its subscriber base, while simultaneously developing its B2B service.

 

From a subscription service to a content platform

Recently, GlossyBox introduced a magazine, which not only prolongs the time that the customer spends with the box (which from a brand loyalty standpoint, every second spent on the unboxing process is a strength), but more importantly, it provides an entry point to GlossyBox becoming a content marketing platform and a venue for brands to buy into not only the mediaspace, but the analytics collected by the subscription service.

This business model development is remarkable as it is accomplished by simply adding a space for content to their consumable product. The costs required to open up this source of revenue would be relatively negligible in comparison to the logistics costs that go into providing their subscription service. To produce this magazine, GlossyBox must simply hire a minimal production staff, and the magazine is introduced to a huge readership of pre-established subscribers without any additional costs other than the paper it is printed on, and the relatively low cost of production.

GlossyBox has a great opportunity at this juncture, to expand their content marketing initiative beyond the magazine as it is now, in a way that not only further adds value to brands, but also consumers.

The slim magazine currently functions more like a brochure than a beauty magazine from the supermarket aisles or the blogosphere. It contains product placement, advertorials, how-to tutorials, and beauty and fashion wish-lists, all of which seem like they can be bought-into by brands. They also include details about the specific products that are sent out in that month's GlossyBox, which gives added value to both consumers and manufacturers. And besides beauty brands, all other brands that are after this target group can also be connected via this content platform– potentially making GlossyBox another partner in their marketing plan. It is also used as an advertising medium to attract visitors to GlossyBox’s online presence.

While the magazine currently adds value to brands looking for mediaspace to target the specific consumer profile that GlossyBox caters to, in order to add value to its consumers, there is a huge potential for GlossyBox to further turn this mediaspace into a more developed publishing platform. Investing in a high-quality, beauty or fashion blog, and/or print endeavors with more engaging editorial content could not only drive organic traffic to the brand by attracting consumers of beauty products with articles, videos, tutorials, and tips, but also provide added value to the brands GlossyBox works with through a more extensive, attractive mediaspace. This expanded field could then be utilized both for advertising as well as co-created content with these partner brands.

In our increasingly mobile society, the future of this more extensive content platform would naturally evolve into a GlossyBox mobile app. Expanding into the mobile channel would add value by integrating the subscription service and content platform into the devices that consumers use most, while also providing brands with more extensive advertising space to its brand partners. A mobile app could also provide a means for further GlossyBox e-commerce, such as buying the products that consumers liked best in their month’s subscription. Apart from this integration, mobile would offer brands much more extensive consumer analytics. This increase in analytics could be a low-cost way of developing an additional value for brands, in which GlossyBox serves as a connector between brands and consumers by providing brands with more information to target this highly coveted consumer demographic. GlossyBox could provide a platform for branded content, medium space (product placement), as well as ads and advertorials.  

In summary, these opportunities could be best realized through a holistic content platform which includes not just a print magazine but also an extensive, high quality online presence and mobile app which would amplify both the value to the consumer through relevant beauty topics, as well as partner brands through offering a mediaspace and more extensive knowledge of their consumer group through the content platform’s analytic capabilities.

Update:

5th of August 2015: As predicted GlossyBox launched the digital version of their magazine: Glossybox Inside


Insight & Inspiration Snapshot June 2015

LHBS continuously tracks changes in people, markets and technology to deliver curated and customized information to different organisations.

With a team of researchers collecting data on a daily basis for the Inspiration-Hub – a digital tool to monitor change and deliver relevant insights and inspiration– we would like to share these findings with our readers in a new way.

The Insight-Snapshot and Inspiration-Snapshot are two LHBS formats we´re using to publish on a monthly basis a selection of the most interesting insights and inspiration straight from our Inspiration-Hub

 

In case you would like to find out more about how to efficiently track opportunities and fuel innovation in your organization, please get in touch with us.


Young Women: Consumption

For the third part of the LHBS series about young women, we have focused on consumption. While their purchasing power has diminished when compared to older generations, the sheer size of this consumer group is responsible for large­-scale shifts in culture and consumption, and it is therefore imperative to describe how young women’s attitudes have evolved from previous generations.

Today, young women are active, informed consumers who rely on their network for feedback and advice when seeking products and services that suit their needs. Therefore, it’s no longer enough to provide products and services to young people; @@brands must be partners in building lifestyles and personas out of authentic experiences.@@

Such mutual relationships are facilitated by technology and social media, which have a major influence on spending habits, cultural values, and consumer expectations. This active, meaningful consumption is also one of the roots of the demographic’s inclination towards Do-­It-Yourself (DIY), which brands are now engaging with in order to help young women become co-creators.

 

FINDINGS

TRY NOT BUY

Sharing is the new having: 68% of young adults believe we would have a better society if people shared more and owned less

Young women are increasingly living through experiences rather than possessions, so much that usership is the new ownership, and sharing is the new having. It is an on-demand generation, less likely to make big investments in cars and houses, and more likely to expect immediate– but high quality– consumable experiences.

 

SEARCH AND CONFIRM RESEARCH

87% said they trust the products only after doing their own research involving crowdsourcing with peers.

Always connected, young women are informed consumers who often combine brick ­and­ mortar shopping with online research, price checking as they browse the aisles, smartphone in hand. They are more likely to research brands and products online before they buy, which makes them not only more conscious of price differences but also differences in quality. 

 

MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

95% of millennial women said that a brand should "adapt to my needs."

As we have found in our previous reports, young women seek authenticity in their friends, in the companies they work for, as well as media and entertainment– so it is no surprise that it is also

sought out when it comes to consumption. They want to build meaningful, authentic relationships with brands rather than simply be sold products– relationships which positively impact on their collective well­being. On the topic of Meaningful Relationships, LHBS has released a three­-part series:

Yearning to Discover Reality

As You Like It

Consumer Protagonists

 

GOOD BRANDS

76% of global consumers think progress is not about consuming more but consuming better. 

Young women want to see their values reflected in the brands they consume.  Since they want to change the world for the better, they want to have relationships with brands that want that change too. Social responsibility, then, becomes a key factor for young women’s approval of brands. They prioritize firms who give back through social programs and charities, as well as those who prioritize environmental causes like sustainability.

 

ACTIVE CONSUMPTION

When deciding between two brands young people first choice was “It has a solid reputation and reflects positively on me,” followed closely by “It listens to me, asks my opinion and takes my views into consideration.”

As young women are looking more towards “what a brand says about me,” brands should now serve the strong sense of individualism rather than dominating. As active consumers, young women are finding a more equal balance of power between themselves and brands, with many feeling they have the power to help a brand succeed or fail. Many even have the urge to have an active influence on the brands products.

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP & DIY

“There are 29 billion reasons you should care about the DIY industry. No, that’s not Etsy’s page views over the course of a year (close, that would be 18 billion). It’s the estimated market size of the crafting industry.”

Young women are looking for manufacturers that offer quality, sustainability, and integrity. But they also want the personal touch. Or they do it themselves. The rise of  (DIY) and artisanal products can be seen in the rise of platforms like Etsy and Pinterest, as these sites promote the Do-­It-­Yourself ethos as well cater to young women’s inclination towards self-curation and craft. With the rise of the Maker movement, brands are helping young women not only do DIY but Do-It-­Together.

 

IMPLICATIONS

Using some of the latest consumer research as well as signs from our Inspiration-­Hub, a digital platform which continually tracks changes in culture, markets and technology, we would like to offer several implications for brands and businesses looking to create better consumer relationships with young women today.

 

1. GO GOOD OR GO HOME

As Nielsen has found in a global study that 55 percent say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact, being a Good Brand has a lot of power and potential when it comes to engaging young women as loyal, active consumers.

  • Sustainability has long been appealing to environmentally conscious consumers, but it also can be leveraged as a key factor in driving a brand into the future. Patagonia’s "Worn Wear" repair van engages with loyal consumers and rejuvenates Patagonia clothes to a better-than-new state, an approach that is sustainable. Meanwhile, Pharrell is collaborating with G­Star for a line of jeans made exclusively from repurposed plastic that has polluted the ocean.
  • JetBlue’s Fly It Forward campaign that awards tickets to humanitarian passengers, allowing them to pass them on to people in need. The campaign also featured  “causevertising” which spotlighted several individuals that inspired the campaign.
  • Brands are changing some of their manufacturing processes to not only be more sustainable, but also considerate of factory conditions. The slow fashion movement is urging retailers to reconsider the sometimes harsh realities of global supply chains.

 

2. MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

As Havas’s 2015 Meaningful Brands study has pointed out, millennial consumers value brands that provide them with not only products, but also meaningful experiences that provide fulfillment and add a sense of purpose to their lives. This meaning is created through authentic, meaningful brand communication that young women can not only believe in and trust, but actually creates a tangible way of improving their lives and those they care about.

  • Nike has been a leader in creating meaningful relationships with its consumers, especially young women. Recent campaigns such as #betterforit and Chase Summer emphasize connecting and empowering women through communication that explicitly relates to their realities. The brand also launched a Food Truck to mark the Nike Women’s 10k Run in Berlin, allowing women who participate to meet up at a local street market and pay with kilometers from their fitness tracker for an ultra­ healthy selection of raw foods.

 

3. SHARING IS THE NEW HAVING

In the time of Peak Car, the emergence of the Sharing Economy taking over many industries reflects young consumers prioritizing social value and products and services that help them to interact with their peers. In this experience economy, ownership is being replaced by usership: value is shifting from showing to doing. In turn, brands are engaging with consumers on sharing platforms, and even creating their own to facilitate young consumers’ tendency to share the value of their consumption.

  • Brands are partnering with sharing economy services to make their products more shareable, such as Spotify’s recent partnership with Uber, which turns Spotify users into backseat DJs, sharing their music with those they share rides with.
  • Brands are giving us tools to share and communicate with their products: prime examples being Foot Locker’s Shoemoji app, which lets us communicate with emoji of the shoe retailer’s inventory; nail polish brand OPI’s Color Alphabet app, which assigns a color from their product range to every letter in the alphabet, allowing users to communicate with branded color; and Burger King’s emoji keyboard which was released to celebrate the return of Chicken Fries to their menu, giving familiar emoji faces for fans to send back and forth.

 

4. GENERATION DIY

As young women are the backbone of the DIY culture (or rather, industry, with the crafting market estimated to be worth $29 billion alone), this generation is not only doing things themselves, they are starting a movement. As conscious consumers have become makers, brands are helping young prosumers by providing customizable products and services, or even informative educational content that allows makers to do it themselves.

  • Brands are giving consumers the tools to customize their products themselves. The cosmetic brand Origins is co­-creating with millennials and beauty brand SILK + HONEY has embraced the recent trend of women’s DIY beauty routines and produced a line of customizable, DIY-­friendly beauty products. To further integrate generation's DIY into brand ecosystems, we can see from Nike’s patented virtual reality shoe design that the notion of the prosumer will be taken to the next level through technology that will allow consumers to work with brands in designing products exactly as they want them.
  • Other brands are adapting to provide educational content for generation DIY, such as Time magazine’s The Snug community.

 

 

This report is the third of an ongoing series about young women; the first two parts can be found here:

Young Women: Work and Career

Young Women: Relationships

These three aspects are only a portion of of the extensive research we have done into the major trends, values, and needs of young women today. If you would like to know more about this influential demographic, from insights to opportunities for brands and business, please get in touch.


"A Journey Towards Innovation" with HERMA

@@All companies, regardless of industry and size, are faced with the imperative of innovation.@@ Often, innovation requires a fundamental change in how organizations are structured and how they operate– and this change starts at the top. At LHBS we believe that @@inspiration, and often disruption, often comes from looking outside your own industry@@. Therefore, an inspirational tour of the Berlin start up scene provided a unique opportunity for the top management of HERMA, our client and a leader in labeling solutions, to gain learning from several very different businesses. Four startups welcomed us for a session of conversations about leadership, organization, innovation management and business development.

Session #1: Delivery Hero, a food delivery service that has access to thousands of restaurants, enabling customers to quickly search and order from their favorite places.
Martin Kütter, the company’s COO shared the challenges of an internationally expanding startup currently operating in 29 countries and the management of a global online platform. The team was especially impressed and inspired by the platform’s rapid expansion and M&A processes while maintaining an agile company structure.

Session #2: Jovoto , a global creative crowdsourcing platform that enables direct collaboration between brands and creatives to generate new ideas.
Luzius Rüedi, Jovoto’s Creative Strategist illustrated the innovative approach of open creativity. One case left a lasting impression on the team on the power of open collaboration: “A Japanese designer, living in Brazil, created a Russian design for a Swiss brand.” While it demonstrated how companies can innovate by opening up their ecosystem, Luzius also talked about the challenges of managing diverse groups and collaborating as partners on equal terms.

Session #3: Medigo,  a curated marketplace that simplifies medical travel by connecting clinics with patients worldwide.
Katharina Gröber, Talent Manager at Medigo, talked about the importance of ongoing talent development and establishing a solid company culture within a global startup. Startups can be the source of interesting insights to traditional companies because they often define company culture and leadership styles radically differently, especially to attract young talent.

Session #4: Auctionata  is the international online destination for art, antiques, and luxury collectibles. It has brought the thrill of the auction room to the Internet by broadcasting online live stream auctions several times per week.
Georg Untersalmberger, CTO at Auctionata, walked us through their product development and innovation process in detail. Georg Untersalmberger highlighted the importance of agile processes, not only in the area of software development but company wide, in order to meet market needs quickly.

We warmly thank Martin Kütter, Frank, Umminger, Luzius Rüedi, Katharina Gröber, Luisa Elster  and Georg Untersalmberger for their time, hospitality and valuable insights.

We reflected on the learning from the day and followed up with further inspiration giving a presentation on Industry 4.0 covering emerging opportunities currently being created in business thanks to technological innovation and the Internet of Things. By stepping outside the usual ‘discovery’ areas of industry and competition, we were able to harness new ideas and perspectives during an innovation workshop with the HERMA team and were able to bring new insights and ways of thinking for novel ideas for organizational structure, innovation management, company culture, and process development.

@@Stepping outside your immediate business zone is one of the most helpful things you can do in order to grow as a business.@@


#momwasright: From Insights to Execution

We work a little differently than other companies in the creative service business. We don’t have departments. All our projects are carried out in full collaboration and co-creation with our clients. Our strategies are actionable ideas rather than models and theories. The #momwasright digital campaign that we created with Beiersdorf’s Digital Team for NIVEA is one example of our working principles in action. There are four key points that made this project a success:

 

  1. Solve don’t sell as the defining principle of client relationships.
  2. Strategy is not a theory or a model. @@A good strategy is an actionable idea.@@
  3. The role of creative work is more than getting people’s attention. It’s about making a real emotional connection with the brand’s.
  4. @@Don’t allocate available resources. Cherry pick the best teams and co-creators to get the job done right.@@

 

1. Solve Don’t Sell

The challenge was simple. We needed a global digital campaign that celebrated real human relationships. Together with the NIVEA team, we immediately immersed ourselves in collaborative sessions to generate opportunity areas around the topic. The mother daughter relationships was an obvious one but we kept working to find a unique, universal angle based on an interesting truth rather than the common ‘mom appreciation’ approaches and we found one.

Collaboration is often talked about in creative industries but in my experience it’s more lip service than action. Real collaboration has the ability to redefine the nature of client relationships because it creates a playing field to design solutions rather than preconceived ‘products’ to sell. That in turn eliminates the conflict that naturally emerges when you try to sell something. So, don’t sell ideas. @@Create working frameworks through which solutions are crafted together.@@

 

2. Strategy is not a theory or a model. A good strategy is an actionable idea.

Single narratives are important to us. A brand idea needs to feel like a platform and springboard for all actions that can potentially stem from it. Very often a narrative gets defined, redefined and reinterpreted when developing creative work. Marketing writes a brief. That brief is reinterpreted by the strategist. The strategist’s brief then gets reinterpreted by the teams who need to bring it to life. The insight for #momwasright was simple but robust;  ‘You don’t become an adult when you no longer have to listen to your mother, but when you realise that your mom was right’. The idea was obvious: ask women around the world what their mom was right about. Once we crafted that thought, everything fell out. Those two simple thoughts were ‘the brief’ from beginning to end. 

 

3. The role of creative work is more than getting people’s attention. It’s about making a real emotional connection with the brand’s.

We realised that the idea was so simple and clear that more creative interpretations in terms of stories were unnecessary. The team started working with a director on how to best get these stories across. We did not want complex executions, metaphors or ‘creative’ ways to tell this story. We wanted real people, real stories that almost anyone in the world could relate to, identify with and trigger memories of their own experiences. That’s where the connection would be made and emotions would surface. Too often we try to be clever or creatively interesting when the ‘obvious’ might be a the better way.

 

4. Don’t allocate available resources. Cherry pick the best teams and co-creators to get the job done right.

We don’t do execution in house. At the start of our process, we rarely know what the resulting solution will be. Sometimes it’s a customer experience issue, sometimes a business issue, sometimes a communication issue and sometimes an innovation opportunity so staffing up with specialists makes little sense. That however creates great opportunities to put together the right people at the right time to implement the strategy. With the client we crafted the #momwasright idea, then with the production team the storytelling approach, each country did its own production and good editing team put it all together.

All in all this was one of the smoothest, most seamless and effective projects we’ve done. The outcome is one we can all be proud of. It’s was a better way to work.

Better ways of working apply not only within an organisation but need also to be applied to how companies work with clients and outside partners. Alone we’re good. Together we’re brilliant.

Total more than 10 million views in the first 5 days in Poland, Turkey, Brazil and Greece with an average share rate of nearly 2.5%.

 


Young Women : Relationships

By constantly collecting the signs of changing behavior in culture, markets, and technology, LHBS has done extensive research into one of the key demographics involved in these changes: young women. What follows is the second installment of research into this demographic, in which we focus on the theme of Relationships as a significant factor in what is driving values and decisions of young women today.

By sharing some of our research into this theme, we would like to draw attention to several important trends that have implications for businesses and brands that target this important demographic.

FINDINGS

Whether as a by-product of protective parents, the age of terrorism or a media culture that focuses on dangers, young women are often mistrustful of people, brands, and institutions. Nevertheless, they are seeking new relationships with all of the above. These new relationships must be established on young women’s terms, reflecting not only their core values but build on their existing way of relating to their world. We explore these values below, as well as offer implications for brands and businesses as they seek to establish relationships with young women.

PARENTS

@@For 92% of young women, it is very important that their parents trust them.@@ (Source)

Young women today have parents that are giving them space to experiment; they are no longer forced into chosen career paths and predetermined lifestyles. Relating now to their parents more as friends than rulers, young women are in fact less likely to seek their parents approval in important life decisions– though their support is welcomed.

PARTNERS

As of January 2015, Tinder users swipe through 1.5 billion Tinder profiles and makes more than 21 million matches per day. (Source)

Combined with less rigid social expectations towards marriage and family (young women are more likely to have come from divorced parents than previous generations), they are less inclined to get married. Instead, young women are hooking up more, with many opting for a series of relationships rather than looking for “the one.”  Recently, social networking also has taken on a significant role, as dating apps have become mainstream and cater to a wide-range of relationships.

MOTHERHOOD AND CHILDREN

More young moms are Single than married. (Source)

Today’s generation of mothers are not only are the youngest generation of mothers, they are more connected, more influential, and have access to more information than any previous generation before them. Moreover, @@motherhood is now an experience not a social or family obligation.@@

Today’s mothers are more collaborative, and much of this collaboration takes place online, where young mothers create and maintain online communities where they give advice, have conversations, and build relationships.

PEERS

70% are more excited about a decision they’ve made when their friends agree. (Source)

Peer-to-Peer and social networking connections are coming to define the generation’s way of creating and maintaining relationships with their peers. When young women have trust in their peers, this trust creates influence: they rely on their trusted peers’ recommendations, mimic their lifestyle choices, and consume the same brands.

INSTITUTIONS

83% agreed with the statement, "there is too much power concentrated in the hands of a few big companies." (Source)

The clash between young women’s ideals and reality is seen in regards to their relationship to institutions. From government to financial institutions and higher education, many women are disillusioned by the institutional status quo, while they are slightly more trusting towards government than their elders, they are still a vocal generation who is not afraid to demand what they want in their lives and in the world.

BRANDS

64% of young adults still want companies to give them more ways to share feedback. (Source)

Young women seek out brands not only for their products they offer, but for their capacity to have an authentic relationship. Their generation is twice as likely to trust friends and family than experts, and as a result, are more likely to trust user-generated content that has been developed in collaboration with a brand than a traditional advertising strategy.

 

IMPLICATIONS

We would like to offer several implications for brands and businesses looking to create better relationships with young women today.

 

1. The New Trust

Brands are looking to create authentic, relatable advertising and content. Apart from tailoring this content to the real life concerns of young women, brands are using real stories of real young women to their advantage. On a similar note, brands are integrating influential user-generated content, especially from social media “celebrities” to provide more authentic experiences for young women.

  • Johnson & Johnson’s recent Clean & Clear #Seetherealme campaign was an unscripted integrated digital and social campaign that showcased real-life teenage girls struggling with their skin issues over a 19-part series on YouTube (one of the most influential platforms for young women when it comes to the category of self-image).  
     
  • Brands are using collaboration with stars from social media communities, such as L’Oreal launching a new line of cosmetics in partnership with this new type of celebrity, Michelle Phan, whose content deeply resonates with the YouTube community (amassing over 7 million followers with her beauty tutorials and reviews).

 

2. Diverse Families, Diverse Relationships

As more people are opting out of parenting, marriage and living together and more are creating diverse homes with same-sex, one-parent and interracial families, brands need to reflect this reality in not only their products, but their company philosophy.

  • Chevrolet’s “The New Us” campaign gave an inclusive look at several families anchored by gay and lesbian parents. In a similar vein, Tiffany’s recently embraced same-sex marriage in print and TV ads.
     
  • Apple, which has recently been an advocate for gay rights has released diverse emojis that represent different family compositions to include more same-sex couples and non-traditional families (that not only will feature a set of customizable skin tones).
     
  • In a fun, innovative way of embracing contemporary attitudes and technologies of partnering, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks put on “Swipe Right Night” during a home game encouraging fans to use Tinder to make connections during the game.

 

3. Peer-to-Peer Connections

While brands are realizing that they must provide women with feelings of mutual understanding, they can also become platforms to facilitate peer-to-peer connections between women. Apart from marketing, the sharing economy is another context in which women are being connected to their peers, but they are as of yet underrepresented.

  • Estée Lauder developed a map to link women all around the globe. The Beauty of Night campaign united women by giving them a platform to share their beauty secrets. They used data visualization, mapping and translation technologies, to give women a chance to see themselves in a global network of beauty.
     
  • Tag the Weather, a campaign by Gillette cheer up Swedish women during the cruel winter months by connecting them with leading international fashion bloggers for a chance to win sunny vacation for two in Miami and Gillette Venus products.
     
  • While the sharing economy presently requires more businesses to focus on women and their needs, Rent the Runway– a service that allows women to rent designer clothing from other women for short term or special occasions, provides a good example of how women could be connected to their peers.
     

4. Common Values, Common Goals

In terms of advertising, a recent study conducted by Sheknows found that women not only want to see their interests represented by brands, but this is a significant
goal for women, as 4 out of 5 women thought such ads are important for the proper development of future generations.

  • Other institutions such as the United Nations have launched programs like Girls2Pioneers, which encourages girls to explore careers in the technology sector
     
  • Dove partnered with Twitter for the Speak Beautiful campaign, addressing in real-time negative tweets about beauty during the Oscars.  Dove replied to women in real-time with the help of social media and self-esteem experts to encourage positivity, optimism, and kindness, when it comes to talking about beauty online.
     
  • Always ad campaign #LikeAGirl challenged the way people perceive the phrase, “like a girl” – recasting the phrase to focus on female empowerment.

 

If you missed out on our first installment of research on this theme, which explored young women’s attitudes towards work and career, you can find it here.

These two aspects are only a small portion of of the extensive research we have done into the major trends, values, and needs of young women today. If you would like to know more about this influential demographic, from insights to opportunities for brands and business, please get in touch.


Young Women: Work and Career

LHBS constantly collects signs of changing behavior in culture, markets, and technology. One of the key demographics involved in these changes is young women.

Through researching what is driving values and decisions– and therefore needs– of young women today, some of the most significant factors at play are perhaps found in their prevailing attitudes towards work and career.

We would like to share some of our research into the work and career of young women, which explores several important trends and trajectories of this important demographic, and offers some of the implications for businesses looking to establish a working environment where young women feel not only valued, but also positively challenged.

Findings

Today, young women find themselves on a more level playing field, both in terms of wages and career trajectories, as they have increased their presence in higher-paying jobs traditionally dominated by men. While there is still more to be gained, they are looking for workplaces that accommodate their personal values, of which balance, working relationships, and challenging, meaningful work take priority.

We have identified six categories that describe the most significant aspects of this highly influential demographic. Below is a brief summary of our findings.

 

FREEDOM & FLEXIBILITY:

80% believe that a flexible work environment is important for the next generation of women.
@@Young women associate empowerment with independence, and in general value freedom and flexibility over financial reward.@@ They pursue their career ambitions according to their own terms, and are not afraid to start their own business if employers do not meet their needs.

CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER:

70% want to see more women at the top, while 43% said they would slow down their career path when they have kids.
While women are still fulfilling their ambitions by climbing the corporate ladder, many women are also creating a ceiling in order to focus on family, motherhood, personal development, and other down-to-earth pursuits.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE:

63% say the success means work-life balance.
Seeking a better balance between work and life is rooted in young women’s generational attitudes, and it is a predominant motivation as well as a legitimate marker of success.

MEANING:

Young women want their work to have a purpose, to contribute something to the world and to be proud of their employer.
Along with work-life balance, young women are seeking out meaningful work, seeking different work responsibilities and flexible schedules, and even changing career paths to dedicate themselves to what they find meaningful.

CREATIVITY:

In the US 75% are strongly influenced by how innovative and creative the company is.
Meaning on the job often comes in the form of creativity. Many women are willing to take on second or third jobs not just to pay the bills but to better express their creativity; others are flocking to high tech and communications industries who are increasingly in need of young women’s talents.

IMPACT:

A strong majority – 84% – agreed that it was their responsibility to improve the world through their lifestyle.
@@Young women expect organizations they are involved in to have high ambition in terms of innovation, social causes, or the way business is conducted.@@ Eager to give back, they make an impact by volunteering either skills or money to causes that align with their beliefs.

 

IMPLICATION

1.     THE WORKING FAMILY

As young women are seeking out balance in their careers, employers need to create a strong team-oriented culture in the workplace and appeal to young women’s need for balance and independence through interoffice flexibility and collaboration.

  •  IBM, Microsoft, and Google are combining heavy use of telecommuting with flexible work schedules
  • Activities are key: LifeSize employees play volleyball at midday, while Patagonia gives its employees flexible hours so they can go surfing
  •  Virgin and Netflix offer ‘unlimited holidays’ not so employees can go on year-round vacation, but to establish a trust relationship between the employee and the company.

2.     POSITIVE FEEDBACK

By establishing a culture that gives women ample opportunities to express their needs and priorities, companies can take less of a top-down approach in their workplace dynamics in order to positively incorporate both needs and shared learnings into the way it operates on a daily basis.

  • To encourage non-hierarchical collaboration and feedback, Facebook is now building the largest open-plan office in the world
  • Google offers standing desks as part of its employee wellness program
  • Mentoring programs are also useful tools for attracting and retaining talented, ambitious young women– such as PepsiCo’s "Conn3ct" program, which connects executive sponsors with Millennial mentees.

3.     MULTIPLE LADDERS

Young women’s high standards for achievement demand organic, dynamic spaces for professional and personal growth.  Companies can implement multiple time frames for ascending the ladder into management roles in order to give young women the time and space for important milestones of self-discovery such as motherhood.

  • Apple has given its employees longer parental leave, many more companies have implemented on-site child care for when women come back to work
  •  Credit Suisse started its “Real Returns” program, giving women ten-week “returnships” to help women adjust to returning to the office after extended time from their professional life, aiming to permanently retain 70 percent of them.

4.      GIVING BACK  

As young women are often looking to contribute something to the world, by giving back through volunteering time, skills and money, employers can facilitate this by donating time, resources, or establishing CSR programs that make it easy for employees to contribute to society at large. If possible, this ‘giving back’ can be related to an employees work to give an added value.

  •  Apple matches employees for time spent on philanthropic endeavors, paying up to $25 per hour of non-profit work, while 3M and LinkedIn offer employees time every week to work on a project of their choosing
  • NetApp has an Adoption Assistance plan that reimburses some of the adoption expenses for its employees who choose this route to parenthood.

 

Our summary of the theme Work and Career is only one aspect of the extensive research we have done into the major trends, values, and needs of young women today. If you would like to know more about this influential demographic, from insights to opportunities for brands and business, please get in touch.