While it may not be clear what exactly spurred the start of it, consumers’ increasing demands of the brands they choose to purchase are the driving force behind what has been termed as the “expectation economy”.
According to TrendWatching.com, “The Expectation Economy is an economy inhabited by experienced, well-informed consumers who have a long list of high expectations that they apply to each and every good, service and experience on offer.
Their expectations are based on years of self-training in hyper consumption, and on the biblical flood of new-style, readily available information sources, curators and BS filters. Which all help them track down and expect no just basic standards of quality, but the ‘best of the best’.”
As consumers, we expect streamlined, efficient, exceptional and seamless consumption: from ordering coffee to paying for taxis to how we communicate with colleagues. In a world where word of something new travels across the internet in a flash, allowing consumers to reward exceptional performance with immediate interest. And, on the other hand, when we experience something that isn’t streamlined, efficient, exceptional or seamless, it is dismissed instantly for not meeting the baseline expectations we have for today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world.
There are three driving factors that combine to create the expectation economy:
Consumers have come to expect higher and higher quality products and services each year, so much so that what exists today won’t be good enough tomorrow. It is now an expectation that each iPhone released be bigger and better; that each grocery store chain launched have better and more quality ingredients than the last; that each online retailer have faster (or free!) delivery service than their competitors. And if businesses aren’t able to meet these expectations, there is very little chance they will be a major player in the minds’ of consumers.
Driven by the millennial generation, businesses are expected to have a positive impact on the world and in the lives of their consumers. Whether this is accomplished through better sustainable business practices or connecting your business to specific charities, consumers understand the government isn’t able to fix all of the issues we face as a society so they expect the brands they consume to fill that void.
Brands have the ability to personalize and customize more than ever today, and consumers expect that from them. Beyond digitally personalizing services offered to consumers, people want to buy products that are an extension of who they are as a person. It is the belief that the brands you associate yourself with symbolize status and what you believe in.
Who is taking notice in the pet industry?
In order to be a player in the eyes of the 84.6 million pet-owning households in the U.S., businesses need to meet each of the above factors in one way or another. There are several pet product companies we have noticed meet the high expectations of this economy beautifully:
After completing a study on 11,000 dogs and cats throughout 6,000 households, Nulo found that pets were essentially living a “fast food” lifestyle with the portions and quality of food being consumed. So the company took a stance to brand themselves as a different type of pet food company with “no short cuts and using only the finest natural ingredients.”
Paw5 entered the industry with one main vision: produce quality products and provide quality service that will enrich the lives of pets and pet parents while having a positive impact in the world. The company has continued to make quite the name for itself producing products that follow best practices from the veterinary world and keep dogs engaged. All of the products the company produces are also sustainable!
Each of the members of the Pet Sustainability Coalition are doing their part to take a step toward making a social or environmental impact. In order to be a member of the coalition, companies must pass an assessment test to ensure they are committed to helping accelerate environmental and social sustainability in the pet industry.
Both Pride Bites and molly mutt thrive off of giving their customers the sense of personal expression. Pride Bites products allow you to have your pet’s actual face and name on products such as frisbees and blankets. It does not get much more personal than that!
molly mutt offers beds, crate covers, seat covers and more in a variety of stylish fabrics that allow customers to maintain their home and personal style while providing a cozy spot for their loved one. molly mutt beds also allow customers to stuff the beds with their old clothes for an extra level of customization – their own specific smell!
Regardless of how companies strive to meet the standards of today’s expectation economy, it plays a big role in the success a company sees in the pet industry today. If you would like support in how to bring any of the three pillars of the expectation economy to fruition in your business, contact us to set up a strategic brainstorm.
Interested in learning more about this topic? Read this! Great Expectations: Why Your Pet Brand Needs a Positive Impact