by Josh Kimball
Each year, Iconoculture throws a bash where we bring our strategists and clients together to talk about important ideas moving the culture. For Iconosphere 2011 in Miami, we had 18 consumer-insights sessions and two main-stage speakers, author Steven Berlin Johnson and designer Emily Pilloton. Here’s a tiny taste of the concepts the conference explored:
“In Search of the Special Relationship” used proprietary data from Iconoculture’s Global Values Survey to break down the differences in motivators among people in the U.S. and Europe. The presentation busted a few national stereotypes (is perceived French arrogance really arrogance?) and confirmed some others (Brits really do value politeness!). Bottom line: Examine the motivators behind the stereotypes, and key in on the places where national values overlap.
“The Mobile Moment of Truth” gave the skinny on QR codes and answered questions about measuring mobile marketing effectiveness (it’s hard!). Advice to brands taking the mobile plunge: “If someone can’t do something within 20 seconds with your app, don’t bother.” Mobile clearly was on a lot of minds at this conference; a session titled “The Path to Purchase” sketched out three different kinds of mobile buying behavior — and made a case for how clarity of brand message and a clear and quick path to purchase are the key attributes to create stickiness with consumers.
Hopping a couple of continents, “Indian Retail 101” unveiled intelligence on a fractured and fast-changing market where the rules aren’t always as they seem. A few insights: The explosion in product choice in India has meant that the middle class of Indian consumers finds shopping to be a pleasure, rather than an overwhelming experience. And don’t worry about the “butt-brush factor” when planning Indian retail footprints; these customers are used to negotiating tight spaces. Meanwhile, a preso about Chimerica sketched out some of the similarities and differences between China (a high-context society where the focus is on what’s understood) and the U.S. (a low-context society that concentrates on what’s said). The session was a study of contrasts that even the toughest Tiger Mom couldn’t help but love.
And that’s only one morning’s worth of ideas. If you want to read about more highlights from this year’s Iconosphere, check in on our blog — we’ll be publishing some recaps later this week.