According to Euromonitor International's new global strategy briefing, 25 Global Consumer Trends for 2008, the current state of the world's economy is causing the development of a consumer concept called "My economy." Troubled by a cloud of uncertainty, consumers in 2008 are filled with a sense of anxiety and gloom. To combat this, consumers are focusing on ways to stay financially stable during times of economic instability.
The report noted that consumers rate their home first, in terms of importance, and for many in the United States, this may mean a return to renting as repossessions rise. Food and clothing are also important, but in both cases there are opportunities to cut back on spending and still cover the basics. “With food, drinks and personal care products, the chances are that people will trade down particularly in areas that are less important to them. The purchase of clothing and durables will likely be delayed as well,” said Gina Westbrook, research manager at Euromonitor International.
“Convenience and comfort are still essential for the consumer, particularly when it comes to technology,” added Gina. Access to the Internet is growing worldwide and 'new technology' is becoming the norm. “Technology has been one of the areas where consumers have always been prepared to spend money. But with the economic slow down, growth may be limited to products that offer real benefits. Consumers will likely cut back in other areas in order to protect their spending on the next iPhone, computer or digital media player,” finished Westbrook.
The 25 Global Consumer Trends for 2008 report highlights various trends impacting the consumer through 2012. Highlights include:
- Identity and self-expression
- A sustained love affair with celebrities
- Signaling status through simplicity and connoisseurship, with shopping as a competitive sport
- A more critical evaluation of the work/play balance
- Regional-specific differences in spending behavior, savings ratios and the use of plastic and contactless payment options
- Belong—with an increased reliance on digital aids like social networking to reconnect
- Creativity as a basis for community—DIY and the resurrected allure of artisanship
- A focus on health and well-being as obesity rates continue to rise
- Connectedness and technology as a strongly prevalent influence
- The mobile phone’s continued ascent as the most widely accessible form of technology and the possible Internet platform of choice
The full report is available at Euromonitor's web site.