My colleague Frances Taylor recently attended an Insider Trends workshop in the Business & IP Centre.
Although I wrote a report on a similar workshop, How to become a cutting-edge retailer, Francis has noted some additional useful points.
Predictions from Insider Trends
Key trend 1: The recession
§ With the new government, spending cuts and changes in policy, it’s entering a new phase.
§ Food and energy costs are rising.
§ There is worry amongst consumers about the recession, even if it does not affect them personally.
§ Consumers are making more considered choices and buying budget brands.
§ Premium or ‘added-value’ products are still doing well, but only if they have real benefits, e.g. helping the environment or offering customised services.
§ Consumers are spending more time at home on activities such as baking and gardening. Now 1 in 5 consumers grow their own fruit and vegetables.
§ The community is important: consumers are buying locally and supporting green initiatives. There is concern about pesticides and additives in food, and distrust of large corporates.
Tips for marketing:
§ Be clear and transparent in your messages.
§ Avoid hidden costs.
§ Offer free trials, 30 day guarantees and testimonials.
§ Focus on benefits not features.
§ Create new benefits to stand out, e.g. same day delivery.
Key trend 2: Genuine individuals
§ By 2020 there will be more single people than married people in the UK.
§ By 2018, 18% of households will be ‘single person households’.
§ This is affecting buying habits, e.g. people are buying smaller portions of food such as smaller loaves of bread.
§ Living in urban areas and single-person households means that interior design has become more compact.
§ Co-creation has taken off i.e. consumers helping to shape the products they buy, such as the Nike ID trainers.
Key trend 3: Technology
§ The mobile internet is really taking off.
§ Mobile apps are a growth industry which will be worth over 50 billion by 2020.
§ Smart phone owners are buying on average one app per month.
§ Location-based apps are becoming popular such as Foursquare.
§ The ‘perpetual beta’ has become the norm.
§ There is more experimentation e.g. retail trucks and pop-up shops, secret restaurants, etc.
§ Consumers feel like there is too much choice which can be overwhelming.
§ There is a movement of consumers that are ‘unplugging’, which is also called ‘the slow movement’. For example slow cooking, gardening, home brewing, etc.
§ Some technology solutions have hidden complexity, e.g. the iphone. It can perform a lot of functions, but is very simple and intuitive to use.
§ QR codes are being used on products for more information, for example, to show the ingredients on McDonald’s products.