The Wax: September 2022 Drop

September '22 Drop

Our TL;DR monthly trendspotting and reporting on the sticky stuff for your biz, your brand, and your cultural fluency. Check back monthly for the next 5 best things.

Down to earth UGC

Brands are looking for a different kind of UGC content

  • Consumers are demanding more authentic, less polished advertising.
  • Advertising / marketing budgets are tightening by the day causing marketers to look for new avenues for brand awareness and lower CAC.
  • Brands are updating their user-generated content (UGC) strategies to stretch marketing dollars.
  • Shift to the less polished aesthetic has been seen mostly across platforms like Tiktok, BeReal and in IG stories.
  • This new approach to UGC has cued authenticity and genuineness, creating a win-win for both brands (low cost UGC content curation) and influencers or everyday brand advocates (low cost content creation).
  • All of this leads to an organic content foundation and bank as brands are experimenting with paid spend.

Consumer x Brand Opportunity:

Ditch the perfection for a week or a month. Does natural/less polished content move the needle? Push the envelope more when sending items to consumers of your product, ask them to share for something in return (more product, % off the next order, etc).

One question to ask your consumers:

Where does our product live in your home? Show us!

Source: ModernRetail

The Wax: September 2022 Drop

Riches in niches

Micro-communities and subcultures are overtaking the mainstream

  • New technologies and emerging trust models are taking the “social” out of social media in favor of algorithmic curation.
  • The result? GenZ consumers are going elsewhere (Discord, Geneva, Reddit) to participate in smaller and more fragmented — but also more intimate (“just DM me”) — micro-communities.
  • Brands succeeding in this shifting landscape (hello, Glossier) focus more so on building communities over corporations, with “community fast becoming the strongest competitive advantage a brand can attain.”
  • This will become acutely important as “headless brands” (i.e., decentralized, web3-powered) take center stage — building communities before products or services.

Consumer x Brand Opportunity:

Change up your R&D strategy and start by building a micro-community instead. Bring customers together and empower them with tools, shared goals, and upside incentives to develop your next MVP.

One question to ask your consumers:

What’s one challenge or issue you think we should take on — and you’d agree to take on with us?

Sources: Trend Watching

The Wax: September 2022 Drop

NIL ERA Takeover

Year 2 of NIL brings the noise for college athletes

  • College athletes are taking advantage of the new stream of income as NIL enters year two of action
  • CA’s are shaking hands and making deals with brands, participating through numerous avenues, and trying their hand at other things like social media campaigns, traditional advertising, hosting camps, starting businesses and more.
  • Companies like INFLCR that help athletes and schools find and track endorsement deals say the “number and value of deals continues to increase as brands get more comfortable with investing their marketing budgets in college athletes.”
  • As NIL deals increase, schools around the country will be looking for ways to activate their athletes in real time. Score a touchdown? Here’s a QR code for fans to scan to pay to get the autographed touchdown ball. They dunked how many times? XX brand (their sponsor) will give you that much $ off your next order if you give them your email

Consumer x Brand Opportunity:

Does your brand lend well to a collegiate sponsorship? The fan and viewing audience is a big range. Whether during, surrounding, or after play – where can you show up and who can help you amplify your campaign?

One question to ask your consumers:

New school year means a fresh start for college sports. Who are you rooting for this year?

Sources: Ad Age

The Wax: September 2022 Drop

A platform holiday gift

Tiktok and Twitter help businesses gear up for the holiday season

  • Tiktok and Twitter come to the holiday table with different POV’s this season — Tiktok focusing on gifting content and content for retention as Twitter focuses on how to get the most engagement with your brand.
  • Tiktok promotes expanding past the point of purchase — the community “plans earlier, celebrates more, and keeps sharing and shopping even after the season ends.” Even after it ends, the community still talks about it and even starts shopping for the next year 🤯
  • They’ve also dropped attractive stats like: “users are 1.2x more likely than users of traditional platforms to shop online or in-store, to impulse shop, or to engage in shopping right on the platform”
  • Twitter’s holiday content focuses on topics like how to get campaign results and black friday ad guides and examples

Consumer x Brand Opportunity:

Social platforms during the holidays are saturated. Figuring out the best campaign to stand out in a sea of holiday madness is top of mind and who better to creative crowdsource from than your audience? What trends are they gravitating towards, double-clicking on, and how do you get them excited to stick around after all of this is said and done?

One question to ask your consumers:

We’re setting New Years resolutions early. What do you want to see from us after the holidays are over?

Sources: TikTok, Twitter Business

The Wax: September 2022 Drop

Borrow, don’t build, avid fandom

Fashion brands are finding tie-ups in unexpected places — and ceding creative control

  • Fashion brands like Nike, Off-White, and New Balance are tapping into the brainpower (and, importantly, followership) of niche interest groups like podcasts, mood board pages, and nerdy digital publications.
  • These are “low-risk, high reward deals” for big fashion brands — but they often come at the cost of creative control.
  • Big brands are acknowledging their cognitive distance from the end user, “ceding agency to dictate the look and feel of projects to their new collaborators, whose youth culture insights, die-hard online communities and cultural cachet have empowered them to call the shots when big brands come knocking.”
  • And if big brands aren’t willing to cede control? Well, these niche partners aren’t afraid to say no. In fact, one collaborator says they say no to 70% of brands asking to partner.

Consumer x Brand Opportunity:

Consider industry-adjacent, audience-aligned publications, podcasts, and platforms that could be meaningful partners for your brand. Take an omni-community approach, spreading your marketing budget across multiple deep-tie audiences, versus one mega partnership.

One question to ask your consumers:

Tell us more about your media routine. What do you listen to, watch, or read on a daily basis?

Source: The Business of Fashion

The Wax: September 2022 Drop
The Wax: September 2022 Drop

The Wax reported by:
Joelle Cosmas & Ellen Wilcox

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