Five things you need to know now
1 Closeness is everything
Striking a chord with consumers means having a deep understanding of what makes them tick and keeping pace with fast-changing shifts in sentiment. This is something that local and international brands have equal potential to do well; what matters is not where your brand is from, but how well it fits in with local lifestyles and priorities.
2 Diversity isn’t a buzzword
It’s about real people. The lives of women, particularly in Saudi society, are changing incredibly fast, so it’s essential that brands are at the forefront of how that’s affecting consumer behavior and people’s attitudes. But newly liberated women are just one emerging target audience among many. Be alert to the emergence of new tribes, and remember that on any given day, one individual plays many roles.
3 Business as usual is over
The days of doing the same thing tomorrow that worked for you yesterday are finished. Consumers expect brands to be bold, to push beyond category norms, and to offer the best experiences that they’ve had in any category. They want Emirates service, Ferrari World fun, Noon speed, and utility in everything they do.
4 ‘Getting online’ is only half the story
Many brands in this region have been slow to provide e-commerce, digital content and other online experiences that match the level of internet usage here. But playing catch-up and “getting online” is only half the story. Brands must strive for seamless integration of online and offline experiences that mirror the way people live.
5 Purpose is not about saving the planet
No one expects world peace from their yogurt and an end to global warming from their bank. Little steps that help make life a little better for someone, for a community or for a part of the world, make a much more credible and achievable purpose for a brand to have.