10 ESSENTIAL CONSUMER TRENDS TO SUCCEED IN 2012

Posted: 29/12/2011 in Marketing, PR & Ads, Strategy, Technology

Unrivalled opportunities but no time to waste. Making the right choices in a year that looks difficult will be particularly profitable, on the condition that they are addressed on time.


1- Consumer investors
2- Low cost healthy lifestyles
3-The globalisation of urban culture
4- Womanity. What women want…
5- Spellbinding shopping
6- Alternatives and autonomy
7-The important thing? Being recognised at a given moment
8- Ease the pressure and take control
9- The product as a messenger
10-The feeling of luxury rather than luxury itself

 

1- CONSUMER INVESTORS

Over the coming years, better living won’t just be a matter of consuming “less but better”. It will be important to think about the long term and invest in the future through our consumption habits.

There needs to be more responsibility, autonomy, initiatives and a search for alternatives, even if this means overhauling lifestyles and places, leisure activities, health practices.

We will also be focusing on our daily consumption habits to optimise satisfaction, pleasure and status without spending more. Well managed consumption habits give us a better chance of gaining access to modernity and the latest sought-after technology.

The necessary steps to ensure good health, put off costly medical intervention, maintain one’s wellbeing even if it means relocating, ensure on-going security for you and yours will all be partly compensated for: particularly useful will be the higher number free or low cost options and the “cooperative” helps which will enable fuller enjoyment of the city, new ideas for holidays and leisure activities that are healthier and offer better value for money.
2- LOW COST HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

Managing our healthcare is as important as managing our families, assets or career.
                    
The ongoing economic uncertainty and the end of the welfare state have led to individuals rushing to take health matters into their own hands.

Unfortunately, most of the recent progress that has been made in the field of fitness, healthcare, mastering the ageing process and one’s faculties has been ring-fenced for a select clientele, money talks !

This paradigm is going to change. Managing one’s health will be at low cost with emotional and status benefits, mainly in terms of prevention and correction.

The search for larger volumes with weaker margins is going to be big business over the coming years. Innovation has all the space it needs to market the basics, drawing inspiration from the practices of the poorest countries with technology and design to attract the consumer.

The marketing of health products for all will have to be combined with service and access to information in order to be successful.
Today the opportunities opening up at the lower end of the market are immense !

 

3- THE GLOBALISATION OF URBAN CULTURE

An international collective of the world’s major cities is forming while big cities and capitals become huge amusement parks.

More celebrations of all kinds: marathons, catwalk shows, music parties, film festivals, Gay Pride, International sporting events and more besides… and those integrated into daily life by the commercial activities of retail and brands such as street marketing, pop-up stores, installations,…

A new form of city life is becoming very quickly established – thanks to our Smartphones, computers, shared means of transport and a number of new facilities – bolstered by being free of charge or the ease access to services of all kinds which are revolutionising our relationship with time, location, each other, consumption, leisure…
One uniform, worldwide consumer culture is coming together : the knowledge to achieve, learn, interact and react, have fun, open up to others and share, resist, purchase, take responsibility and gain independence etc…

When some people only trust what is locally rooted, the verdict is that global players will grow stronger by offering brands new approaches and business plans.

4- WOMANITY, WHAT WOMEN WANT...

The specificity of WOMANITY is a capacity to combine EGO with ALTER and REAL.

Consuming with feminity
Even during a crisis, a woman is, first and foremost, a woman. The right to futility. I love gifts – Brands are invited to show their generosity and give.. I love it when someone takes care of me; I love change and new experiences; I love products that are just for me; I have fallen (back) in love with indulgent products that connect the world of luxury with that of the discount shop as on-going austerity means it is all the most important to enjoy myself. I love doing something good for myself while having fun.

Consuming with a sense of humanity full of respect
A feminine look at the world. Feminine values and feminine empowerment take over from masculine values. Buying is sparing a thought for both sustainable development and helping the less fortunate.

Realistic consumption
Increasing the number of safeguards every step of the way. First of all health.                                                                     
 Invest more time in finding lower prices, because I’m worth it… setting aside enough for the latest must have… that could be an exciting, hyper-feminine product which is also natural and ensures sustainable development.

5- SPELLBINDING SHOPPING

Physical retail is in the midst of a revolution.

Time is running out, physical retail can no longer lag behind e-commerce, technology and the hustle and bustle of our big cities.
It is high time that shops, restaurants, hotels and all physical retail outlets revitalised themselves.
From now on the whole world provides the ideas and sources of inspiration.

In the context of a crisis in the West, where consumer values are being readjusted and changed, of a great appetite in Asia for the pleasures of consumerism and faced with the gauntlet that has been thrown down by e-commerce in terms of image, unadventurous commerce was threatening entire sectors of activity with stagnation.                               

For that reason, there are as many manufacturers stacking the shelves as there are retailers who will take an interest in finding solutions.

The French “Fête du Vin” (an annual wine- shops’ promotion) reached 48% of the French public in September. One northern hypermarket attracts 15,000 customers a day, offers 1700 varieties, sells 1 million bottles per month and holds wine growing courses, a “Ladies’ Night” and sells in online auctions.

The key ideas are multi-dimensional experiences, hyped-up sales, acts of generosity, little bits of magic, interplay between the physical and the online domain, without forgetting the decorative role played by the product and its merchandising.

6- ALTERNATIVES AND AUTONOMY

A way of life which is chosen rather than imposed. Consumers are looking for alternative solutions that are more satisfying in terms of both price and ethics.They are trying to achieve autonomy.  

The rising cost of energy and staple goods, the diktats of thinking well and consuming well, pressure from ecologists, technologies that keep tabs on everyone’s business and actions are all factors calling on us to take another look at our lifestyle choices and protect ourselves from new risks. This means taking a step back from accepted ideas and behaviour.

Green militants, “indignant” movements like “Occupy” in the US, Mediterranean rebels, Chinese and Indian protestors along with a silent population all join forces to express themselves through their consumption choices. The climate is one of diffidence, and economic players, brands and distributors are not immune to it.

Keywords are… direct buying, bartering, exchanging, resale, trade-ins, shared consumption, do it together-do it yourself, being self-sufficient, anti-Big Brothers strategies, staying protected, living in a more human environment, slowness and gentleness…the monitoring of brands, a disconnection and a clearance.

7- THE IMPORTANT THING? BEING RECOGNISED AT A GIVEN MOMENT

Who has the floor? Who wants to be a hero? Who wants to exert control over others? It’s no longer necessary to be rich or famous to be important.

Everyone can win, everyone can find their role and everyone can find friends. How can a brand respond to someone seeking to “cry out their existence” ?

Bring about an expression of identity by making creativity democratic, by creating heroes of the day, by reinforcing a sense of achievement, by stimulating a return to pleasure or by dispelling differences in the elation of the live event.

To create a social role is to encourage the new determination, to maintain mini-alliances, to become engaged on a militant level, stimulate pride in what we’re part of.

8- EASE THE PRESSURE AND TAKE CONTROL

Nowadays, 25% of consumers are looking for more simplicity, calm, wellbeing and quality of life.

Some people make the most of what cutting edge technology, social networks and the urban environment can offer. Others feel the onset of nausea after the taste of such delicacies.

They become selective to the point of disconnecting from guilty services making the pressure.

A need for practical simplicity tinged with a hint of informed idleness and considered languor which compels them to ease the pressure and sometimes have things done (long live helpers) rather than doing things. In the end the need for things to be more human is very human.

Inventing “stress reducers”, re-simplified and more comfortable products, “multi” integration systems, services that “take you by the hand” that are always available to you and you alone wherever you are. Developing solutions that offer protection and selective disconnection. For that reason an overall performance criteria is essential on rather than a final one.

9- THE PRODUCT AS A  MESSENGER

Is there any longer one place for mass market products outside of the basic ?

It is not by divesting a product of all character that we make it more acceptable to a wider target market. It’s at the level of the immediate experience which conveys values that this plays out. The product engages itself, becoming a messenger. Its messages and consequently the experiences it offers can be extremely varied.

The missionary or militant product is the archetype. What is more… the product either dresses itself up as “emotional” or strips bare to reveal its “true” self. It is generous, offering an array of experiences; it is long-lasting, providing experiences at each stage of its life.

It can be a discovery, here today, gone tomorrow, or it can bring about an unexpected evolution ; perhaps a product that recaptures my childhood, or comes safe and fresh from the domestic smallholding, it can even bring a taste of luxury without the price.

10- THE FEELING OF LUXURY RATHER THAN LUXURY ITSELF

Between premium standard and traditional luxury, there lies a space where the consumer looks for experiences associated with luxury rather than luxury itself.

There are a number of ways to get your hands on luxury products at affordable prices. For instance resale is booming, particularly in China. There is also an invitation to “play” with luxury: downsizing expectations, reporting on the most affordable luxuries, a stronger attraction for products that imitate the big brands.

This should not conceal the strategies aimed at satisfying a more general aspiration towards a more gratifying level of consumption in the hope of bypassing the effects of economic uncertainty.

The shift in the signs and significance of social status has led to responses to these needs in new non-luxury categories.

The break with style or use thanks to a more creative approach than mere marketing, the magic surprises and rituals such as the staging of design, the setting and rituals of a luxury store, the customisation by an ultra feminisation and the art of detail are all to be translated to increase product’s emotions between premium standard and traditional luxury.

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