First World Problems. We all know what they sound like: “They spelled my name wrong AGAIN at Starbucks” or “UGH my phone just dropped down to 3G.” With only the tiniest of perspective, these outbursts quickly swing from tragedy to not a real problem...
But nowadays, these pain points are important to people and this creates new opportunities for brands and retailers to build a connection by providing a solution. Recent examples of brands and retailers playing the problem solver role include Coke and Walmart partnering to help Moms everywhere in the war on “what’s for dinner?” and Amazon pioneering the subscription purchase model where the purchase of goods that have a high replenish rate can be entirely automated – resulting in the diapers coming directly to you each month.
Here are a few more common First World Problems which shopper marketers could solve:
1. First World Problem 1: Digital drowning
Not just every day, but close to every minute, shoppers are receiving digital ambushes. Whether it be from texts, email notifications, push notifications, pre-emptive notifications, sales notifications or coupons – people are starting to lose their sanity. A brand that can help the digital detox is a brand that is your friend.
- Solution: Brands that don’t just allow you to sign up for notifications about a specific topic. Instead, they integrate their entire omni-channel communication plan in your profile preferences so that you precisely select what you want to hear about, when you want to know, on the platform you want to hear it from, based on where you physically are… eliminating the clutter from the appreciated.
2. First World Problem 2: A lot of information, but no answers
Thanks to the internet, information is everywhere, yet its abundance oftentimes doesn’t correlate with being helpful. Brands/retailers who can beneficially filter or summarize mounds of topical information will be hoisted onto the shoulders of today’s shoppers.
- Solution: What if you could upload your shopping list to Walmart.com and then it would automatically insert product rankings within the categories found on your shopping list to help your decision process?
3. First World Problem 3: Accustomed to instant gratification
You are at work and just dropped ketchup across your white blouse 20 minutes before your annual review. Your panic level is 13 out of 10. You don’t need to know the list of locations which sell Tide pens, you NEED to know WHERE the nearest Tide pen is! Brands that can meet a shopper’s level of urgency will hold a special place in their heart.
- Solution: Either by matching your geo-location to retailer account store listings (cool) or by leveraging RFID tags on physical product (very cool), brands that can accurately tell you exactly where the nearest spot is to pick up their item would be a life saver when your need is immediate!
Contemporary shopper marketing is all about problem solving. There is no advertising spin that can evoke the level of brand loyalty that comes when a shopper silently says “thank you” to the product or service that just made their lives easier or better. Thankfully, little problems like these will always be around, posing great opportunities for those with an ear to their shoppers.
Matt O'Toole is an associate shopper marketing strategist in the Momentum Chicago office.