Next week I am attending and leading a discussion at The Forrester Consumer Forum. I was able to get a sneak preview of one of the keynotes from James McQuivey, Ph.D. and VP principal analyst at Forrester. The them of the conference is staying ahead of consumers by predicting what the future consumer might look like. James talk is going to be pretty interesting in part because what he did was look to the past (a great way to predict what might happen in the future) and he identified some data points which ultimately lead to the above Framework which outlines the four universal needs which are unchangeable. They are:
James outlined that each of these may play a significant role based on current conditions. So for example, in a recession, comfort may be more important as a need. In boom times, it might be uniqueness that needs to be dialed up. But what I found MOST interesting was the way James describes the idea of convenience:
"People share a set of universal needs – satisfy those needs with convenience and you will win"
This particular statement stood out for me, because I see convenience as an often time overlooked value meaning that you can hit any and all of the above needs, but if you don't make it convenient for consumers, customers, users you'll be less likely to satisfy any of these universal needs. In other words, convenience is not a need itself, but a vehicle to satisfy a need. That's the basis behind "the convenience quotient". James says they will be blowing out this model and testing it over the years.
Anyway, sounds pretty interesting. The Forum will also include the Groundswell Awards which will be live streamed at the Groundswell blog. We will also be doing some streaming for Critical Mass over at our Always In Beta site which will be re-designed for the event. Lastly, there will be a major "tweet-tup" happening on Monday night. See details here
If you are going to be at the Forrester Consumer Forum next week, please look me up and say hello. Hope to see you there!