business strategy | January 10, 2013

Building A Visible Brand: Jeremy Gutsche on Capturing Consumer Attention

Even though we're only a week into 2013, innovation speaker Jeremy Gutsche already has a firm handle on the upcoming trends for this year. As he explains in his interview with The Globe and Mail (check it out here), the next big thing in marketing for 2013 is creating a connection with your consumer. Whether you use brazen social media campaigns or revamp ordinary products into something a bit more out-of-the-box, winning over the increasingly knowledgeable customer requires that companies go the extra mile. Slapping up a website and occasionally posting to your social media accounts just doesn't cut it anymore, he says. Instead, you have to use these channels as a means to give your customers what they are asking for—as well as something they aren't expecting.

An example he gives is the way IKEA honed in on what their fans were saying on Facebook to garner international media fervor. When consumers created a 100-member strong Facebook group asking the furniture chain to sponsor a sleepover in one of their stores, IKEA responded. The company held the sleepover and gave fans what they wanted while exceeding their expectations. Gutsche also says that "upgraded ordinary," will be a big hit in 2013. The concept is that companies should give their customers something they need (ketchup, for example) but in an updated and creative way (putting ketchup into a caulking gun instead of a regular bottle, for example). The product then becomes a "conversation piece," he explains—even considered "art", in some cases. He also says that innovative new vending machines and facial recognition software will become more prominent in the marketplace in the years to come.

The future or marketing will use a combination of real life experiences and social media efforts to both create a buzz and nurture a strong relationship with the customer. As Gutsche explains, it's not enough to simply have a clever commercial or a mediocre Twitter following. Instead, you have to extend your brand further than ever to give customers something novel that they will enjoy in real life—and then talk about online. The author of Exploiting Chaos and the founder of one of the world's most prominent trend spotting websites,, Gutsche is always on the lookout for the next big thing. His energy and ambition is infectious and his standing room only keynote presentations inspire audiences to think differently about innovation and make a name for themselves in their industry.