Consumer Trends in the Next Decade (2030)

by Adwright, 13 January 2021

Companies are constantly wondering how they can speak to consumers and adapt their brand identities to resonate with modern times. In the next decade, consumer spending decisions will be driven by seven key factors: wellbeing, surroundings, technology, rights, identity, value and experiences. Mintel, an international leading market intelligence agency, has come up with predictions on societal changes for each factor, and we have picked out those that are relevant to branding. In this article, we will explain each factor and provide recommendations for brands to adapt accordingly.

1. Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a concern for one’s own physical, mental and emotional wellness, and the covid-19 pandemic has raised the importance of wellbeing in our daily lives. As consumers become more concerned with their overall wellbeing, they demand products that improve their lives, as opposed to products that give fleeting and superficial pleasures. Thus, brands can adapt to this new need, and become wellbeing partners with their customers.

Key values to incorporate into a brand starting now are authenticity, responsibility and value. Business practices and brands should offer consumers benefits to their long-term emotional, physical and mental health benefits.

2. Surroundings

Due to an increasing population size (predicted by the UN to reach 8.5 billion by 2030) and climate change, the way consumers perceive their surroundings will change. Society will be driven to maximise space and share limited resources. Changes predicted include shared living spaces, increase in locally-focused enterprises and creating sustainable local economies.

Thus, companies can localise brands to appeal to local communities by connecting with the culture and heritage of a place. Brands can also support community initiatives to resonate with the local community. This will appeal to consumers who will be rethinking how communities work, and who are becoming more concerned with how shared resources can be used for local community benefit.

3. Technology

By 2030, 125 billion devices will be connected to 5G (11 billion in 2019). Elements of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) will be included in industries such as tourism and entertainment. Technology will be essential for communication between brands and consumers. Investments into digital marketing initiatives will continue to be important, and brands should build a strong digital presence.

Nevertheless, it is predicted that consumers will continue to seek ‘human’ interaction with brands. Thus, physical retailers with human interaction are not expected to be replaced by digital retailers. Rather, seamless online-to-offline (O2O) retail services will be preferred. For instance, Pomelo, a Thai fashion brand popular in South East Asia, offers consumers the choice to select clothes on their online store and try them on in their physical stores. This integration of online and offline experiences gives consumers the opportunity to experience the company’s service and products holistically.

4. Rights

There has been a rise in consumer backlash as digital platforms give consumers the chance to voice their opinions and demand strong ethics from brands. Nevertheless, consumers will tire of non-stop discourse and hence, this gives companies space to step in and speak to consumers. Consumers’ demand for respect and protection should be addressed, and this means that companies should share their corporate responsibility efforts, and be transparent and ethical about their business practices.

5. Identity

Definitions of race, gender and sexuality are being challenged and modified, with a movement towards fluid identities. Consumers crave authenticity and desire to be their authentic selves. Simultaneously, loneliness is becoming a public health concern, with loneliness and isolation threatening to become an epidemic by 2030.

As a result of these two phenomena in identity, brands should think of consumers’ authentic selves, and connect with them using inclusive images and messaging. In a more traditional society such as Singapore, brands may find it tricky to navigate younger liberal mindsets with older traditional ones. At the very least, brands should be sensitive to race, gender and sexuality.

6. Value

We are moving away from excessive and unsustainable consumption. Instead, consumers will become more conscious about their own consumption, with the value of goods and services being measured based on how ethical and sustainable they are. Consumers will value longer-lasting goods over fast and easy consumption. In addition, consumers desire products that are of genuine, artisanal quality from brands that ‘spark joy’ within consumers (‘spark joy’, made popular by Marie Kondo, is a concept of feeling connected and truly appreciating an object, as opposed to a superficial liking). People and the planet should become the forefront of business decisions, instead of profitability. Brands should articulate and act upon how they are aligned with this vision to enjoy good relationships with consumers.

7. Experiences

Increased connectivity due to technology’s prevalence has made offline experiences more important to consumers. There is growing demand for brands to provide offline experiences as a way of escapism for consumers, and also to enrich their lives. Purposeful offline activities include mindfulness activities or interesting experiences. For instance, in Singapore, CHIJMES and Capitol offered consumers a dome dining experience, where consumers can dine in glass domes on outdoor piazza grass lawns. Offered during the Christmas period, the experience was accompanied with snowfall, 3D trick-eye installations and a Christmas market located in the vicinity. Brands can also include tradition and heritage when communicating with consumers, where relevant, as these will create a more close-knitted community.

Conclusion

The above seven key factors will guide brands in how they communicate with consumers in the next decade. While the factors touch on different aspects of society, they all point towards a general direction of corporate responsibility, which is the key demand of consumers for the next decade. Brands can no longer neglect the communities in which they reside in. Instead, they should be connected with their surroundings. Companies also have to take care of consumers’ wellbeing, address their desire for equal rights, and be sensitive to the changes in identity. Moving on, companies should create a seamless experience for consumers connecting technology with the offline world by investing in a digital presence, while offering offline experiences for consumers. Companies should also offer value in their goods and services by investing in genuine quality and responsible practices.

Adwright has accumulated a wealth of experience in helping brands stand out from their competitors with unique and attractive brand stories. For over 20 years, Adwright has collaborated with clients that range from local SMEs to global corporations, spanning across a myriad of industries. We provide integrated solutions in branding, design, communications and beyond. Partner with us and embark on your unique brand journey today. To find out more about the services that Adwright provides, call us today at +65 6227 7227 or email enquiry@adwright.com.

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