6 Consumer Trends to Guide Your Marketing Strategy
Green food gets the hype
Will 2019 be the year veganism goes mainstream? Apparently, yes! The number of adults willing to say no to all animal products is rising, especially among millennials, with concerns with eating healthy and sustainably impacting lifestyle choices.
The business of providing vegan meals is booming – be it restaurants, home-delivery, or public services, like schools and hospitals. Even meat businesses are creating vegan lines of their own.
At the same time, vegan companies – like Vivera and Impossible – are delivering new products and plant-based meat substitutes that actually look and taste like meat.
Business gets political
There was a time where businesses would shy away from politics, afraid to offend customers or stakeholders. 2019 is not going to be that time. This will be the year of “woke capitalism” – the trend of companies associating themselves with liberal causes.
There are two reasons for this: on one hand, some political agendas (like anti-immigration or protectionist laws) may be in conflict with their activities, on the other hand, consumers are demanding brands that share their own values.
There have been good examples of this already – Nike’s choice of Colin Kaepernick as campaign face, that caused outrage from conservatives on social media, but saw Nike’s sale soaring -, and also bad examples – Target lost sales after publicly supporting transgender facilities.
It is a fine walk for companies to walk – they need to really know their customers’ convictions, even the less obvious ones.
Old is the new young
As we live longer and longer, especially in developed countries with decent healthcare systems and social conditions, the meaning of “old” is changing.
Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are now entering their 70s, but they don’t see themselves as old. They want to contribute to society, they prioritize their well-being and enjoyment of life and they are almost as obsessed with technology as millennials.
This means a new segment of mature consumers, that have time, disposition and a high level of disposable income, that are looking for products and services that help them stay as youthful as possible in mind and body, not trying to change things—just look and be the best they can be.
These people don’t feel old, and they certainly don’t wanna be called old – so companies should approach their communication with nuance. For example, wellness companies are almost ageless, as they appeal to both millennials and older people.
As we mentioned in our Tech Trends Report, the wellness industry will get an even bigger bump in 2019.
The ascension of wearables to monitor our health, the easy access to treatments previously only available in doctors’ offices and an increase in available information, will lead to consumers taking their well being into their own hands.
This “I can take care of myself” attitude will be reflected in the way people eat, drink and approach their dietary health in general. Solutions such as personalized nutrition, alternative health therapies, and preventative solutions will offer consumers the chance of feeling in control of their wellbeing.
It is with no surprise that we find that the eco-conscious trend is here to stay.
Sustainability and the environmental degradation of the planet is in everybody’s minds, thanks to popular culture phenomena, like BBC’s Blue Planet II, often credited for awareness of plastic pollution both domestically and internationally.
Millennials are leading the way into choosing products that are cruelty-free (from free-range meat to vegan skincare products) and are regularly considered to be the ones driving the sustainable movement with their lifestyle and behavioral changes.
And it’s important to note that if Millennials are more conscious than ever about their purchases reflecting their beliefs and values, and Generation Z is close on their trail, a long-term change is most likely taking place.
As the throwaway culture of previous generations dies, ethical will become mainstream – in 2019 we’ll be taking steps into a greener, conscious and plastic-free world. The circular economy will also be a trending topic in the next few months, as it answers environment and sustainability concerns.
Knowledge is power
In an era of self-taught hackers and beautypreneurs, we have information at the tip of our fingers. Almost any subject that we want to study will be available online. From youtube tutorials to online classes (there are even online services, like Masterclass, that crosses education with entertainment), everyone can be an expert.
This context produces even more demanding consumers, as the power has switched between retailer and consumer.
Shoppers don’t go to brands to get product information anymore, they look to each other’s opinions for advice on what to buy and where, and how to get the best product for their money – and one source of information is not convincing enough.
In this landscape, the consumer is more demanding than ever. To survive, brands must cater to them, constantly innovating, streamlining and aestheticizing their offerings to entice shoppers.
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