What is the Future of the Connected Consumer?

We are living in an extraordinary period in human evolution redefined by technological advancement. Today, unprecedented change has made customers, employees and leaders highly reliant on digital devices, but in many cases, technologically distracted. 

Endless connectivity does bring many advantages yet can lead to undue stress and, in many cases, the depletion of creativity. In fact, our ability to live meaningful, mindful and balanced lives is now constantly challenged by the pace of change and sheer volume of digital channels we all now navigate daily.

Digital Darwinism is a fate that threatens most organizations in almost every industry. Because of this, businesses not only have to compete for today but also for the unforeseeable future. Digital Darwinism is the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt. Source – Internet.

What does this mean for a business to compete and to thrive?  How can forward-thinking leaders align with – and positively benefit from – this shift.

The simple answer is – yet less easy to implement: deeper awareness is required to ensure sustainable business success and personal balance.

Let us unpack this idea of ‘deeper awareness’ a little. Firstly, by looking at the business challenges and opportunities our new world presents. Secondly, by considering the impact of ‘evolution acceleration’ using two lines of thought.

Luxury Hospitality & Retail Challenges

  1. Changing consumer demand; seeking meaningful experiences that go beyond an ordinary sense of gratification.
  2. Hyper-informed and ever-connected consumers.
  3. Creating brand loyalty and customer engagement in a highly competitive and multi-faceted landscape.

Evolution Acceleration Time-line

  • It took the human race hundreds of thousands of years (some anthropologists say over a million years) to discover fire.
  • Add 70,000 years and we reach the stage of hunters/gatherers (community vs. individual).
  • Add another 20-25,000 years and we have the industrial revolution.
  • Add 3-400 years more and we have airplanes, television, the atomic bomb, the first computers, and the first man on the moon.
  • To all the above, add just a few decades and we have the Internet, enormous technological progress, and research on artificial intelligence, altering genetics, etc.

Writer and futurist Alvin Toffler – famous for his “information overload” term, affirmed, “the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock”.  In short, the term ‘future shock’ means “too much change in too short a period of time”. And as we all know and feel, ‘future shock’ is rapidly gaining pace.  Watch on YouTube ‘future shock’ past & present in its exposed form.

Let us unravel some more thoughts

Famous astrologer, Shelley von Strunckel, divides people into two distinct groups: those who consciously choose their reality and those who allow themselves to be “programmed by the machine”. Clearly, with the ‘evolution acceleration’, the contrast between these two groups is becoming more and more intense. And taking it a step further, rather than ‘choosing’ our reality, we should instead open ourselves to the new energies, avant-garde ideas and new levels of personal transformation, and leave behind our obsolete self-images and inflexible ideas.

So, back to business, and the notion that a deeper awareness is required to ensure sustainable business.

Driven by the rise of global consciousness, ‘conscious’ businesses play an ever-greater role in the recipe for success.  Agile organizations strive for a higher purpose; they change and influence the world for the better; they align products and services with values; and they incorporate mindful and meditative workplace practices.

The time has come for organizations to implement evolutionary business practices. – Claudia RothClick To Tweet

One such example is UK company Ila-Spa. Founder Denise Leicester’s vision was to create a range of highly potent and sacred products, which channel the raw remedial power of nature, by using the most ancient and purest sources of energy – plants, flowers, and herbs. She proved that results-driven products and spa treatments can go hand-in-hand with the highest standards of natural and ethical integrity.
There is clearly a growing demand for this approach from the new ‘conscientious consumer’ who seeks to make enduring connections with brands and companies with a clear vision and ethical approach.

“These times of evolutionary progress require a new leadership and business approach: one where solid experience combines with awareness, wisdom and insights to move, engage and inspire consumers and stakeholders in line with their own aspiration for deeper meaning.” – Claudia RothClick To Tweet

A final closing contemplation: we don’t need to get our head spinning around digitalization or get wrapped up in the ‘Future Shock’; the root of the matter, the solutions and the opportunities for each of us can be found at a much deeper, inward and more intuitive level.

About the Author:

Claudia Roth was living a high-life career in luxury hospitality, traversing the globe from one luxury hotel to another, rubbing shoulders with business icons, celebrities and fashion designers, enjoying the material rewards of a successful corporate career.

She started to realize that we are steps away from a major evolutionary shift; though it took some time to understand what this meant! With this contemplation in mind, she set off to find answers while enjoying a profound journey of Soul & Luxury. She is the founder and Managing Director of Soul Luxury, a company supporting global luxury lifestyle brands to be leaders in the Transformation Economy. www.soul-luxury.com