07 Jan 2020

Today’s consumers expect a lot from brands. They want convenience, quality and a personalised experience. The more brands understand and embrace consumer behaviours, the better they can capitalise on them. Brands need to understand what matters to consumers and identify trends in order to offer real value.

Here are three consumer trends to watch over the coming 12 months – and tips on how to make the most of them.

Health, wellness and the ethical consumer

Every brand wants to understand why consumers choose the products they do. Product of the Year (the UK’s biggest survey of product innovation) aims to give brands those answers. According to the latest survey, 35% of UK consumers choose products that have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing, 21% opt for products with eco-friendly packaging, and 19% cite ethical sourcing as a key factor in choosing one product over another.

As we move into 2020, awareness about the negative impact consumer purchasing decisions can have on the planet will continue to grow and individuals will be willing to pay more for ethically-sourced, recyclable or zero-waste products. Brands must, therefore, focus on telling their stories, sharing their environmental and sustainability policies, and showing they care.

Customer-centric personalisation

In 2019, brands have taken a more brand-centric approach to personalisation. However, in the year ahead we can expect to see a more customer-centric approach. Rather than basing personalisation efforts around products they hope to sell, showing them to consumers at a time and place they are most likely to buy them, brands will be increasingly putting their sales objectives into the context of delivering what the customer really wants.

2020 will see greater use of technology, such as AI and algorithms, in personalisation. But when it comes to conveying brand purpose through messaging and storytelling, human marketers will continue to play a lead role. The coming 12 months will see brands taking a dual approach to gaining the competitive edge – tech-driven, personalised customer engagement combined with human-creativity-driven brand engagement.

The real cost of data

As well as consumers becoming more conscious of the world around them when making purchasing decisions, they will also have a greater awareness of data privacy, cybersecurity and how their personal information is being used. Consumers in 2020 don’t necessarily want to be followed from a search engine through to web pages and onto social media. Over the coming year, we will see more emphasis on the ‘right to be forgotten’.

Brands rely on vast quantities of consumer data to shape marketing strategies around customer needs and preferences. However, as we move into 2020, they will need to access, use and store that data securely and responsibly, while still offering value to the consumer. 2019 saw the largest fines under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). In 2020, we will also see the introduction of the new ePrivacy regulation so make sure your brand keeps up to date with all the latest changes.

If you are a consumer brand or FMCG business looking to hire the best marketing talent to take you forward in 2020, why not brief us on a role today. 

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