After the season of giving, we at Silver Creative got to thinking about the “consumer” and how that term has taken on new meaning over the years. As we see it, consumer evolution is closely tied to the ever-growing opportunity brand engagement.

The Audience Member
Times were simple during this period. Brands put their messages out in print, radio, or television. The target would either interpret the information or ignore it.

The Participant
This stage of consumer was spurred by the marketing tool known as promotion. Promotions, such as discounts or collectable packaging, create a unique offer or event around a brand purchase. The Participant is defined by his or her desire or interest in a specific one-time event or offer.

The Creator
A recent evolution of the consumer, Creators extend brands with organic content. They build igloos out of Nutella® jars and craft wallets of Duck® tape to post them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The Creator can provide invaluable credibility and visibility, but they can also be unruly and cause damage to brand equity.

The Selfie
Where the Creator chooses to create a conversation around a brand, the Selfie wants to insert his or her self in a brand narrative. They recognize an opportunity for self-improvement or to be accepted when adopting a brand. The Selfie takes pride in the brand and promotes it as an extension of their ideals, allowing the brand to define them.

Which type of consumer are you? Which type of consumer do you want your brand to capture? Is it worth the risk to encourage Creators? Is there inherent value in the way a Selfie promotes your brand? Just a few things to consider moving into a new year.