Euromonitor International’s report on latest digital consumer behaviour or trends, is likely to open up the prospective digital India to a whole host of new terms and ideas. Visual culture, synthetic rebuff, identity politics, Midorexia and Groceraunt are just some of the new terms to be added to the glossary.
With the gradual drift towards digital tools to articulate and fulfil needs, consumers nowadays are definitely more demanding of products, services, and brands than ever before. Consumers of 2017 are difficult to categorise, not only because they are multidimensional, but simply because ease of access to private data has made them more cautious about their safety. This is why reports like the Consumer Trends of 2017 published by the Euromonitor International are a great insight into the mindset of an ever elusive consumer and can be quite engaging for the Indian market.
In 2017, almost a quarter of everyone on the planet will be over the age of 50. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the ‘Longevity economy’. Anxious as well as inspired by aging, they are keen consumers of a long list of health and beauty products, fashion-forward options and are receptive to tech developments.
What’s Synthetic rebuff?
The conscious debate on authenticity and purity dates back to eternity. However, the lion share of this debate has seen the light of the day after the digital proliferation. Fake – is probably the new cool for a lot of them while seeking originality and authenticity amongst the noise of duping experiences remains the approach for some. Dishonest marketing strategies will not sit well with consumers and the merciless social media forums would hit you hard. In India, this has already started taking shape and what the Euromoniter explained as Synthetic rebuff is better known as trolls and memes in India in the form of a passive resistance to any form of fake disposition; be it art, fashion, literature, religion or archaeology.
‘Midorexia’, a tongue-in-cheek label for the middle-aged and older consumer coined by Euromonitor International for those who would act younger than their years. However, this label highlights the shifting status and expectations of a demographic whose members are living and working for longer and prioritising wellness while challenging the typical age-appropriate behaviour of older people.
What could be the future strategy of the brands catering to this transforming age? To tap the longevity market, the brands must focus less on millennials and more on customers over the age of 50. Thus the new inclusive approach could be defined by a customer’s attitude to be more precise. The disruptive aging might be a psychological game-changer for digital India as well if a whole bunch of middle-aged individuals suddenly dare to act younger than their years – there is nothing wrong in it – but the brands in India must be prepared to adapt to the sudden shift.
just self-diagnosed my “midorexia” — “acting younger than you actually are”. thank you @Euromonitor for the reality check! 😬
— 🏋🏼♀️emel mutlu (@itisemel) January 26, 2017
Identity politics – heavy words!
Imagining India and its prejudice with issues related to race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity or orientation – a brand’s identity politics would be a major factor that will determine its future prospects. The digital proliferation, the demand for freedom of speech and expression in the world of social media and a judgemental consumer service would never go hand in hand. The latest whitepaper by Euromonitor cited an example where Airbnb sent an email to all its members informing them about a prerequisite declaration. The members were urged to understand what ‘community commitment’ is and declare that they are prejudice-free and would like to treat everyone regardless of the aforementioned prejudices.
Very recently, Nivea had to bring down their latest ad campaign from their social media pages that allegedly had a slogan of ‘white is purity’ after the social media exploded against such a coloured thought. The margin of error is definitely becoming smaller; however, the subject of political identity is hot and looks inevitable as an attention gainer for the brands that wish to survive.
Call a Groceraunt…
Next-day delivery is backdated, Indians want them now! Whether the thing works for other commodities or not is still debatable, but food rush is definitely a consumer trend that is worth pondering over. For example, Sainsbury, the UK supermarket chain, brought back their bicycle delivery service to keep up with the demand of speedy delivery.
A grocer that offers restaurant-quality meals on-the-go, as well as in-store dining and bars – the new digital age will call them groceraunts. The appetite for apps means that tech-driven delivery is “disrupting” food service worldwide. The consumers in a digitised India would hunt for more options and unless that becomes location-based – there is an imposing challenge to neutralise.
— Race Taylor (@RaceTaylor) June 16, 2016
Visual culture – the most prolific consumer shift
The shift to smartphone content generated by users has had a huge impact on the consumer trends and how brands employ them to their advantage. There is an increasing democracy in the creative content that was earlier treated as commercials not only in India but all over the world.
Visual culture in an age of digital communications is unsurprisingly at the forefront of discussions about authenticity. Social media and selfie culture have affected insecurity about appearance, worsening few things while making few things more palpable. With millions of user-generated images shared among consumers due to mobile internet and phone cameras, a number of brands are identifying consumers’ own photographs and incorporating them into their marketing material to make it seem more authentic and relatable. ‘Less-than-slick’ is not only acceptable but sometimes desirable, as immediacy and authenticity is what counts.
While there are more digital consumer trends that are equally alien and engaging for the brands to keep in mind when working on their future strategy, we at Asiacom would like to gauge your reactions on these five, to begin with.