It feels as if most of us are on a quest for self-improvement. Next year my Instagram feed will be a melange of yoga poses, gluten-free food and ceramic pots turned with my own hands. But herein lies the problem. The purpose of self-improvement shouldn’t be to update our social media feeds, but an opportunity learn more about ourselves.
Can brands help us to discover what it is we really want? And then go one step further to help us achieve it? Google’s new calendar feature, Google Goals, finds free time in your diary to accomplish personal targets. The app updates in real-time, adapting to missed classes or unforeseen appointments, and making it easy to juggle life and your passion.
All too often everyday commitments can be a distraction. Forest is an app that helps users to focus and be more present by planting virtual trees. The longer you leave your smartphone alone, the bigger your forest grows. A partnership with Trees for the Future means your virtual trees can be exchanged for real trees where they’re most needed.
At the Festival of Marketing in London, philosopher Alain de Botton introduced the audience to Maslow’s Pyramid. At the bottom are basic needs like food and shelter, whilst at the top sit morality and creativity. Whereas most brands tend to play at the bottom of the pyramid, “the salvation of capitalism lies in making money from our higher needs and really satisfying them,” said de Botton.
To put this into context. Within the travel sector the dream is powerful, but the result is often disappointing. Most people go on holiday not simply for sun and cocktails, but to bring family closer together, or help rejuvenate a relationship. Many companies will ensure they get your bum on the deckchair, but do they ever question if the deckchair will fulfill the original fantasy?
As we approach the New Year and people start asking the same old questions about resolutions, expect to see more brands supporting our quest for self-improvement, and maybe a few of them will even succeed in satisfying our higher needs.