LONDON: Two particular consumer trends are giving brands new ways to think about how they can use data and tech to be relevant and helpful according to researcher Mintel.

Simon Moriarty, director of trends, EMEA at Mintel, discussed how brands can use data to be relevant and helpful while not crossing the line into being intrusive or breaching regulations during the recent London Tech Week. (For more read WARC’s report: Data and insight: how can brands keep up with their audiences?.)

“People create data,” he said. “Actions, movements and behaviour all leave a trail and tell a story. Technology is now allowing people to listen to this data, learn from it and react.”

That is especially true in the health space where technology has “redefined self-control” as people now can track and monitor their behaviour, receive feedback and respond accordingly.

“As the data we create becomes more easily accessible and understood, it will help people to make smarter decisions about what, when and where to consume,” Moriarty stated.

Fitbit, for example, has announced a new in-app experience that enables females to track and manage their health around their menstrual cycles, including advice on what type of exercise is most effective at different times of the month.

“It’s not about not changing the world; it’s about making small changes to specific demographics, based on what they need, and providing a service that is customised,” said Moriarty.

He also highlighted how technological devices and digital platforms are being used to connect consumers and enhance their relationships, a trend Mintel describes as Click and Connect.

Thus, as people become accustomed to the ease of connection offered by phones and social networks, they’re looking for ways to share real-life experiences together even when they’re not in the same physical space – leading to a rise in the number of digital platforms that can facilitate such behaviour.

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, for example, has recently launched Patagonia Action Works, a digital platform that connects people to events and petitions, while also helping them get involved with local environmental initiatives.

Mobile technology can be positioned as a social enhancer rather than an isolator, Moriarty advised, and its built-in location tech can encourage impromptu meet-ups, allowing brands to emphasise their social, sharing or relationship-building attributes.

Sourced from WARC