Don’t miss out on … the joy of missing out!
I visited The Future Laboratory trend briefing last week, presented by the energetic duo Martin Raymond and Chris Sanderson. One whirling morning full of brainwaves evoked by surprising quotes, video’s, ads and real-life stories. Enough inspiration for 6 blogposts! But for the sake of time and willingness to type I restrict myself to just one concept that really captured me: JOMO, The Joy Of Missing Out. JOMO is a backlash against FOMO (fear of missing out) and is slowly making its way into our daily lives. Let’s dive into this a bit more and find out why it is important for your organisation to know about this…
‘JOMO is a genuine rising trend because people are beginning to take stock of their lives and take time out for themselves,’ says Dr Danny Penman, co-author of Mindfulness: Finding Peace In A Frantic World.
My own digital detox
JOMO caught my attention as it really reflected my own situation. I recently moved to Australia from Holland by myself and with just one big suitcase. Upon arrival I didn’t have a SIMcard and the WIFI in my new house wasn’t functioning. On top of that I also had a fractured ankle to deal with, so I couldn’t really move around easily… I suddenly started feeling anxious and excluded from the outside world. “How would I let my parents know I am okay?”, “How do I know what is going on?”, “How do I know where to go?”, “What I am going to do?”, “How will I be able to check in with my friends?”, “How do I know what they are doing?”
After a few days of exclusion however, I noticed that I actually felt really relaxed. My new house was now a place where I could disconnect, switch off and leave my mind to wander… I looked forward to sitting on my balcony and just reading a book or listening to music. In fact, once I received my new SIMcard, I felt hesitant to open the package. Opening it meant I will no longer have an excuse to disconnect: to not text my friends, to not like posts on Facebook, to not share photos, to not use Skype… From now on: I am be expected to be connected again!
So, does this mean that my FOMO was actually not my fear to begin with…? It seemed to be related more to a sense of failing social obligations and disappointing others. I didn’t feel any less happy, nor did I think that people were forgetting about me. I was not missing out on anything and actually enjoyed the here and now more!
The consumer who wants to miss out
During the trend briefing, it became clear to me that JOMO is no longer a future concept, it is happening everywhere and it is happening now. Modern day consumers are getting tired of having to divide their attention between everything all of the time, always keeping their eyes on their smartphone. They are seeking simplicity in order to unify their thoughts, be mindful, attentive, and feel peaceful and balanced.
That got me thinking…… How can we still capture this consumer’s attention…. without drawing any attention..? That will be one of the biggest challenges for consumer and retail organisations in 2015.
The trend briefing, as well as my own experience, can give you some inspiration that might help you tackle the challenge of the JOMO era:
- Adapt your marketing message: In recent years many marketing and communication strategies have been aimed at the fear of missing out. Ads focused on consumers’ desire of being connected and up-to-date on the latest trends. That won’t do the trick anymore. Consumers are okay with saying no, with disconnecting. Start taking that into account and focus on the value you are adding to their lives.
- Blend in or go home: JOMO consumers are not looking for products that disrupt their daily lives. Provide them with the option to always plug in and plug out with ease. Make your product or service accessible, but not prominent. An example of a service that takes this fairly literal is the SShhhh app: a mobile application that turns off all notifications and alarms automatically when you are near friends and family.
- Create an immersive experience: consumers will happily spend more time on experiences and activities that they enjoy. So, if they are looking for a new book, they want to feel that sense of anticipation and pleasure in looking forward to the experience of sitting back, relaxing and taking time out to read; disconnecting and enjoying the experience of reading.
- Help create a sense of achievement. For example: instead of one-stop grocery shopping consumers now happily spend time growing their own herbs, preparing and chopping ingredients and cooking and enjoying their meals with friends. We want to have a hand in the creation, show our care/love through going back to basics and creating a final product from scratch.
A good surprise is exciting and enticing. Tease consumers by giving just enough information and plenty of room to explore and find out what your product is about. The experience of discovering gets them out of their daily routine and into a happy flow.