Living through the pandemic has brought about a shift in how we engage with one another, purchase goods and lead our lives. It is imperative for brands to identify and differentiate between enduring changes and emerging trends to strategise growth strategies and prioritise resources effectively. In light of this, how can brands proactively equip themselves for the forthcoming years? We delve into global consumer trends for brands to stay ahead of the curve.
Dare to be Different: This is Me
After two years of prioritising public health over personal desires, consumers are eager to reclaim the spotlight and embark on a journey of self-discovery, embracing new identities. This shift to “Me Mentality” presents an exciting opportunity for brands to offer experiences and products centred on empowering consumers. By recognising and tapping into people’s desire to celebrate their individuality, brands can position themselves as facilitators of self-expression and personal growth, forging deep and lasting connections.
Brands should tap into the potential of partnership marketing, collaborating with like-minded brands that share common values or target the same audience. This strategic alliance enables brands to entice consumers into exploring new possibilities while keeping them snugly within their comfort zones. Leveraging technology for data-driven personalisation presents another compelling avenue. Harnessing the wealth of data collected would allow brands to tailor experiences and offerings to individual preferences, providing a sense of recognition and customisation that resonates deeply with consumers.
Through its sophisticated algorithms and machine learning capabilities, TikTok seamlessly tailors content to individual users’ preferences. With vast amounts of data on user behaviour, interests and engagement patterns, individuals are presented with content that resonates with them. By continuously analysing and optimising user data, TikTok creates a dynamic and captivating platform that keeps users engaged and entertained. This approach sets TikTok apart as a new leader that emerged in the social media landscape as users can discover, create and share content that aligns with their unique tastes and interests.
Embracing both partnerships and personalisation would help brands create an ecosystem that not only encourages consumers to try out new things but also ensures that they feel understood and valued as unique individuals. The time has come for brands to seize this opportunity to foster customer loyalty and establish a competitive advantage against competitors.
The Power of We: Co-Creation
Consumers seek more than just the prestige associated with a brand; they are subscribing to its values and principles. Brands must recognise that consumers are no longer passive recipients of brand messages but active participants in brand culture. Consumers are the ultimate brand champions; their preferences, expectations and feedback have a significant impact on brand success. This places a greater responsibility on brands to actively listen, swiftly adapt and continuously innovate to meet their ever-evolving desires and demands.
51% of respondents say that co-creation has improved their financial performance. Extend an invitation to consumers to unleash their creativity, tap into their enthusiasm and let them feel like an integral part of the brand. The power is in the hands of consumers and brands that actively involve them in the brand-building process will stand out as leaders in this era of consumer empowerment.
LEGO Ideas stands out as an exemplary co-creation space, revolutionising the way fans engage with the LEGO brand. The platform taps on the immense creativity and ingenuity of LEGO enthusiasts worldwide by allowing them to submit their original designs for potential LEGO sets.
With a community-driven voting system, fans are empowered to actively participate in the selection process, ensuring that the sets produced truly resonate with the community. LEGO’s collaboration not only celebrates the talent of their fanbase, but also fosters shared ownership and a strong bond between the brand and its community, inspiring innovation and nurturing creativity.
Ignite your Inner Glow: Prioritising Well-Being
Brands must recognise the importance of providing both convenience and immersive experiences to cater to the growing demand for escapism. However, brands should be mindful of the economic realities consumers face, ensuring that offerings remain accessible and affordable.
In the face of hyper fatigue experienced by consumers, brands have a valuable chance to forge new emotional connections, creating a space where consumers can identify with the brand and its values. Explore how products and services can contribute to the promotion of well-being. By simplifying and streamlining decision-making processes, consumers’ concerns are addressed and additional stress is alleviated. Solidify the brand’s position as a reliable ally for consumers pursuing respite; create opportunities for growth and differentiation.
Igniting Community Spirit: Supporting Local
Localism today encompasses a broader perspective of factors such as the environment, labour conditions, the well-being of residents and brand transparency. Brands must recognise consumers’ shifting expectations, going beyond highlighting a product’s place of origin to holistically support communities where products are manufactured. Consumers expect brands to be open and honest about their practices, supply chains and the overall impact of their operations. Authenticity and accountability can be provided by brands offering consumers a glimpse behind the scenes, sharing information about their environmental and social commitments and showcasing the tangible impact of their actions. Brands can empower consumers to feel a sense of purpose and make informed decisions.
Research has found that the average Singaporean is highly aware of environmental issues and adopts many green practices some of the time. To effectively engage with Singaporean consumers, brands need to strike a balance between pragmatic considerations and environmental sustainability. Transparency and the provision of clear and verifiable information builds trust and attracts a growing segment of conscious consumers who prioritise sustainability and ethical considerations. While environmental issues remain significant, there is an emerging trend towards increased awareness of and concern for social issues.
To address the pressing issue of 4.1% of the Singapore population still facing moderate to severe food insecurity, DBS spearheaded a partnership with The Food Bank Singapore to enhance Singapore’s food donation ecosystem.
DBS went beyond just providing food; they emphasised the importance of nutritional diversity and balanced meals for those in need. The bank also utilised its extensive network and digital platforms to raise awareness and drive participation, amplifying the impact of donations. Strong accountability and transparency were exhibited with DBS regularly communicating updates and progress on the initiative, providing stakeholders with a clear understanding of how their contributions are making a tangible difference. This partnership stands as a shining example of a corporate initiative that addresses a critical social issue.
Saving Earth, One Purchase at a Time: Conscious Consumption
In today’s challenging economic climate, consumers are embracing a mindset that goes beyond simply seeking cheaper alternatives by investing in higher quality products and buying less. Rather than being driven solely by cost considerations, consumers are now seeking products that can withstand the test of time, adapt to changing needs and contribute to sustainability. 87% of consumers show a willingness to spend more on ethically sourced products. 89% are even thinking of compromising convenience to ensure ethical production. These statistics highlight that consumers are consciously re-evaluating to ensure that their daily consumption choices align with their aspirations for the future.
This shift in consumer behaviour signifies a growing awareness of sustainable consumption and responsible decision-making. Brands can respond to this demand by providing products that prioritise these new values. It is no longer sufficient to merely claim social responsibility. Brands must openly share their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts regularly for consumers to understand the impact of their consumption choices. This would cultivate an intrinsic motivation to wholeheartedly support these brands.
Unpackt is a social enterprise that champions sustainable and ethical spending. With an unwavering commitment to reducing waste and promoting conscious consumption, Unpackt offers package-free bulk food, products and daily necessities for consumers to live a zero-waste lifestyle.
The brand prioritises ethical sourcing by partnering with sustainable brands and local suppliers whose products align with the values of transparency, fair trade and social responsibility. Individuals are also actively educated with knowledge and practical skills about sustainable living through workshops, events and community engagement initiatives. Unpackt’s dedication reduces ecological footprint, fosters mindfulness and inspires lasting behavioural change.
The Road Ahead
In this transitional year of 2023, brands should differentiate themselves by aligning with the values and aspirations of their target audience. Consumers are no longer satisfied with superficial interactions and empty marketing promises. As consumers continue to prioritise mental wellness, sustainability and transparency, brands that prioritise these aspects will not only survive but thrive in the years to come.