Power to people | The Financial Express

Power to people

Consumer behaviour is about experimentation and self-expression

Consumers are shaping brands with their dollars and their voices
Consumers are shaping brands with their dollars and their voices

Nike Korea opened a tech-equipped experiential store in Hongdae, South Korea, optimising the store format to enable consumers to explore their style. The fitting rooms are equipped with special screens where consumers can choose their background, filter and stickers to create their own ‘look’.

Maal—a winemaker from the Argentine province of Mendoza-launched Desarmado Wine (Disassembled Wine), a box that contains different varieties of Malbec, allowing users to make their own blends.

Shuffles is a new, invite-only app created by Pinterest that allows users to put together collages, or mood boards, using photos, image cutouts and other animated effects.

For the last two years, consumers have had a community mindset, putting their own needs on the back burner to prioritise public health and safety. People are emerging from the pandemic eager to re-focus on themselves, and brands can help them take centrestage, recognising this growing need for people to solidify and celebrate their individuality. Experimentation and self-expression is big.

The Mintel Global Consumer Trends for 2023 forecasts five trends that impact global consumer markets in 2023, over the next five years and beyond. Centred around seven core drivers of consumer behaviour—identity, rights, surroundings, experiences, technology, wellbeing and value—the trends are: Me mentality—consumers will be eager to re-focus on themselves; Power to the people—brands have to make room for a new ‘c’ in their c-suite as consumers are investing, co-creating and voting for change alongside brands; Hyper fatigue—consumers will try to cut through the noise and connect with what matters to them; International localism—buying local will be a way consumers can protect themselves financially, environmentally and psychologically, and feel that they are giving back, and lastly, intentional spending—factors like flexibility, durability and sustainability will play
increasingly important roles in consumers’ value equation.

Matthew Crabbe, director of Mintel Trends, APAC, comments on how the trends will impact markets, brands, and consumers in 2023 and beyond: “As consumers look to build up new parts of their identity, brands can help fill in the gaps with offerings that help them grow their skills and gain mastery in new areas. Brands should know that demand for mental health and wellness-focused products will grow as consumers look to understand their blind spots. Consumers will use the metaverse to develop unique identities that match their digital surroundings. This will result in fragmented identities online. With this, there will be a stronger movement toward data privacy and consumer protection as consumers’ digital footprint becomes more robust and layered.”

Consumers are shaping brands with their dollars and their voices. Beyond conceding that ‘the customer is always right’, this will be an evolution where consumers are investing, co-creating and voting for change alongside brands. “NFTs and Web3 communities are opening up new channels for consumers to invest, giving them a way to own a piece of a brand and directly connect with a brand’s overall success and growth. In the future, brands will increasingly cater to the niche identities of loyal consumer investors, fragmenting large, legacy brands into smaller, more targeted business units,” says Crabbe.

Moving from crisis to crisis, consumers are being stretched in many directions while being bombarded with media stories and digital content. The pandemic, rising cost of living, energy crisis, geopolitical unrest, and climate crisis are taking their toll, leaving consumers feeling overwhelmed.
Crabbe says, “Consumers will find meaning and solace in reconnecting with their surroundings, their communities and themselves. Charitable and community initiatives born out of inspiring brand collaborations will play an intrinsic part in countering fatigue levels, empowering people to take control, and helping them build a positive outlook amid financial adversity. In the next five years, expect brands to establish boundaries to bring order to the influx of information and initiatives to enable consumers to form healthy connections with resources in the technology, wellness and leisure spaces.”

Also with so much global uncertainty there will be a greater movement to protect local resources and boost local business. This is a hangover from the pandemic, but also a reflection of consumers’ changing attitudes towards what’s important to them-a reconnection with ‘local’ is also a way for consumers to protect themselves financially, environmentally and psychologically.

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First published on: 20-11-2022 at 13:53 IST