Empathy Commerce new ‘E-commerce’ | Director


As I wrote in my column on James Bond, popular culture can be a useful indicator of new trends. As a result, I always keep an eye on TV ratings.

The big ratings success of last year was ‘The Great British Bake Off’. It took seven places in the top ten most watched shows of the year and the final was the most watched show of 2015. Another big winner was ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, with an average 10 million viewers per episode. Their success came at the expense of previously popular shows like ‘X Factor’ and ‘Big Brother’. The former didn’t even feature in the top 40 most watched shows. The latter was at its lowest levels ever.

So why are these two shows such a hit? I believe it’s their tone. In contrast to the likes of ‘X Factor’ and ‘Big Brother’, they focus on the positive. They do not see the contestants as ‘freaks’ to be laughed at. Instead they are people ‘like us’, to be encouraged.

This chimes with a growing mood in the UK. As we share and collaborate more with our peers, so we are trusting and caring about them more. According to Nielsen, peer to peer trust is growing at the expense of brand trust. Meanwhile, three quarters of Britons now give to charity: despite their continuing concerns over their own financial future. Empathy is key. A Red magazine article recently claimed ‘Empathy is the new key to happiness’. The Harvard Review ran an article last year titled ‘Empathy is key to a good meeting’.

As with any shift in public attitudes, the trend has commercial implications. Brands should be focusing on encouragement and collaboration in their product and marketing strategies, not just customers’ self interest. Tesco and Lidl, for instance, are exploring ways to make their stores a more useful part of their community, offering space for get-togethers or donating to food banks. Others are creating what I call a Brand Family: viewing their customers not just as targets but as part of the company, and both helping and listening to them.

Companies today are rightly embracing M-Commerce. But in 2016 they should start embracing Empathy Commerce too.

VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.director.co.uk/2527-meet-the-new-e-commerce-empathy/