By 2018, the Lifestyle Research Head of global independent provider of strategic market research Eurmononitor, Alison Angus, draws up a panel of behavior based mainly on developed countries that already practice rejection to the exacerbated consumption and demonstrate distrust regarding the brands and companies, considering a stronger global economy and large accessibility to technology and the internet, triggers in the formatting of these changes.
“Younger consumers are choosing a clean life, in order to reduce harm to themselves, others and the world around them,” says Alison. “Consumers of all ages want and need less. Property is in question, and flexible, minimalist living is gaining in popularity, with consumers sharing everything from clothing, household items and pets to cars and living spaces. Rejecting commitment also takes place in the workplace, as consumers say no to companies and choose entrepreneurial lifestyles on the road. The mistrust in the business continues to increase. Talking about sustainability and social responsibility is no longer enough and, in 2018, consumers will seek a more radical transparency of brands, ” she concludes.
According to her the internet especially raised awareness of global issues, inspiring consumers to take greater social responsibility, choosing a clean life to reduce harm to themselves, others and the world around them.
The desire for uniqueness and true authenticity is driving customisation to a new level, with consumers becoming the creators in 2018, feeding into the design of products and becoming involved in the production process. Demand for truth is also contributing to an increase in modern activists. In 2017, the global rise of “#MeToo” campaigns on sexual harassment triggered a deeper call out culture, which will heighten in 2018, as support spreads across many global causes; the internet once more playing a pivotal role.
Overall, sums up Alison, “2018 will see consumers continuing to question their values, priorities and purchasing decisions; deepening their engagement in the brands and issues that matter to them.”
Thus, the 10 top Global trends for 2018 pointed out by the Euromonitor market research agency are defined:
• Clean Lifers: Consumers are adopting clean-living, more minimalist lifestyles, where moderation and integrity are key. Clustering around educated 20–29-year-olds, a new generation of “straight edge” consumers has grown up knowing deep recession, terrorism and troubled politics, and has a wider world view than previous generations.
• The Borrower: A new generation of community-minded sharers, renters and subscribers is reshaping the economy, making conspicuous consumption a thing of the past. Rejecting material goods in favour of experiences and a freer lifestyle, which has characterised the buying habits of millennials for the last few years, is a trend that continues to evolve and spread. It is now beginning to impact older generations: previously materialistic Baby Boomers are looking to downsize and simplify their lives. Sharing economy stalwarts such as Uber, Rent the Runway and Airbnb have entered the mainstream. Meanwhile, new, innovative start-ups continue to emerge to satisfy The Borrowers.
• Call Out Culture: Whether it is airing a grievance on Twitter, sharing a viral message or signing an e-petition, consumers are having their say. “Hashtag activism”, while not new (the Twitter hashtag turned 10 in 2017), is rapidly gaining momentum as internet usage explodes and more people have access to social media.
• It’s in the DNA – I’m so Special : People’s growing curiosity about their genetic make-up—what makes them so special—and a rising interest in personalised health and beauty are fuelling demand for home DNA kits. Target consumers range from the “worried well” and those curious about their origins to hard-core fitness and nutrition fanatics.
• Adaptive Entrepreneurs: Consumers are increasingly seeking flexibility in their lifestyles, and are prepared to take risks. Millennials especially have an entrepreneurial nature, shifting away from the “traditional” 9-to-5 career towards one that affords more freedom.
• View in My Roomers In 2018, View in My Roomers will be connecting perception and reality, merging digital images with physical space. Consumers will be able to visualise products before they try or buy, both in-store and online. The arrival of even more sophisticated smartphones in 2017 gives View in My Roomers access to greater functionality, including augmented reality (AR) technology.
• Sleuthy Shoppers: With further political upheaval in 2017, consumers’ crisis of trust is deepening, and leading to greater emotional involvement and action. Sleuthy Shoppers are investigative consumers. Sceptical of mass-produced products and the motivations of the companies that create them, tired of empty rhetoric and soothing words of assurance, they are taking action to find out more. Now, if companies do not provide tangible proof of their practices, Sleuthy Shoppers will turn to independent online sources for information.
• Co-Living: The Co-Living trend has blossomed amongst Millennials and the over-65s in the residential space. It is a form of housing where residents share living space and a set of interests and values. The trend stems from hyper-urban hubs that have embraced the sharing economy as a lifestyle choice. In its most basic form, co-living sees people share spaces and mutual facilities to save money and inspire collaborative ideas or provide comfortable, more acceptable living conditions.
• I Designers: The lingering impact of the global financial crisis has encouraged prime, working-age older Millennials and Gen X-ers to re-evaluate their spending habits. Simultaneously, the rise of the sharing economy, with pioneers such as Uber and Airbnb, is eroding their desire to own goods (see The Borrowers trend). The shift in focus from possessions to experiences is changing purchasing patterns, and driving buyers to connect with the product creation process. For some, merely to own is unrefined, but I-Designers, participating in creation, design and build, are seen as sophisticated connoisseurs.
• The Survivors: The 10 years on from the credit crunch which heralded the start of the Great Recession, the frugal mindset of consumers remains entrenched. Despite improving economies, rising incomes and falling unemployment, the gap between rich and poor is highly visible, and those caught between low pay / meagre state benefits and high living costs are still struggling to cope with austerity.