In Part 1 of Consumer Profiles, placed in the previous issue of WALLS&ROOF (https://bit.ly/3Onz7mR), we focussed on the presentation of WGSN’s new key consumer sentiments and profiles, and what must be done to win minds and market share.

In this issue, we will unpack each of the four consumer profiles:

The regulators:

After years of uncertainty and seismic change, this cohort relies on consistency as a survival mechanism. Uncertainty is very stressful because it causes people to feel a loss of control of their lives. Knowing what lies ahead helps people to have a sense of control in the chaos.

Case study: Singapore-based Grab expanded its delivery services in more than 50 cities across Southeast Asia, offering kerbside delivery and click-and-collect. The app allows users to add items and change delivery locations in real time.

Generation X (born between 1965 to 1980) is now in control and the responsible ones – the heads of households, and most executive positions are held by them. People in this age group are no strangers to uncertainty, but as they approach new life stages, chaos and disruption, they are no longer motivators, but detractors of the life that the regulators want to enjoy.

Change has become a daily constant in their workday and 2021 shows a record number of work and industry changes, driven by adaptions to the pandemic. It is also seen that employees’ ability to absorb changes has plummeted, and even small changes depleted the brain’s surge capacity (a collection of adaptive systems, mental and physical, that  humans draw on for short-term survival in stressful situations, and it is rapidly depleted for this cohort).

Engagement strategies of the regulators

  • In 2024, click-and-collect will adapt to meet new lifestyle shifts. Regulators are quick adopters of frictionless commerce and certainty. Kerbside delivery, speed and seamless ordering will be key.
  • Voice commerce will drive home commerce – an ecosystem connected by smart home and television technology. Regulators are impatient to search online for the perfect product and have a need to rather be present with their loved ones, instead of being on a phone that soared during the pandemic.

The connectors

Connectors reject hustle culture and are determined to rewrite the rules of entrepreneurship, fractional living and quitting their jobs as they redefine the meaning of success. Younger generations are having fewer children, opting for roommates over relationships, and are job-hopping or quitting at record rates. Society lies at the intersection of major value shifts, a lack of social services, rising inflation, and low wages. Economic crises are periods of “creative destruction”, where new ideas and ways of doing business come to the fore, resulting in entrepreneurship for the connectors.

Stepping away from tradition

Pre-pandemic being busy was a sign of social standing: The busier one was, the more successful or important they were. Pandemic productivity led to record burnout. Generation Z (born between 1997 to 2012) is pushing against the cultural pressure of the lifestyle of working from 09:00 to 21:00, six days per week. The trend is to earn just enough to cover the essentials, rejecting the traditions of marriage and children in favour of stepping out of the hamster wheel of life.

The rise of fractional lifestyles

In 2024, there will be a rise in fractional lifestyles. With fractional ownership, consumers can buy things as part of a shared group, a trend especially popular in real estate as they cannot afford these milestones by themselves. Fractional ownership is also being applied to cars and even offices, where on-demand, blended and co-living/co-working spaces are set to rise in 2024.

By 2024 companies should offer flexible working environments, prioritise mental health to combat burnout, allow working-from-anywhere policies and encourage personal growth outside of work.

Engagement strategies of the connectors

  • Rethink labels and hangtags: For the connectors cost-per-wear, sustainability and authentication details on labels and hangtags are value drivers that will result in sales and social shares. Track-and-chase technology is going to be a shopper expectation in 2024, where a fashion item can be traced from production to sale and resale. Sustainability facts labels are a growth strategy that can be used as an awareness tool for shoppers and an accountability tool for brands, allowing greater transparency.
  • Dawn of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs): For some connectors the concept of ownership is decentralised; thus, the company is governed by a community and makes collective decisions. Decentralised business models are a key investment. The rise of decentralised brands is driven mainly by fashion-focused companies, operating via platforms that provide funding for DAO community creativity while still retaining a traditional centralised core business. Music is likely to follow. Essentially every industry has the power to be impacted by DAOs.

The memory makers

Post-lockdown feelings of guilt and remorse are being transformed into life decluttering and redefined families. We are faced with trying times and trying to make the most of time. For memory makers, the coping mechanism has been to anchor themselves to the past because it is stable and doesn’t change. Feelings of remorse happened as people questioned their life choices. Studies have proven that stress affected how memories are formed and people can lose their memories over time.

Decluttering of relationships

Physical decluttering rose during the pandemic and in 2024 the need to declutter will transition from people’s physical spaces to their personal lives. There has been a rise in divorces, and people ending toxic relationships with family members, friends and work associates. This has allowed people to spend more time with those who truly matter to them and invest in new friendships that offer fulfilment.

New definition of families

The concept of family is being rewritten and new non-related family structures are providing economies of care, love and support. In 2024 a family will be what you create and not what you were born into.

WGSN forecasts that new ecosystems of care are driven by the rise of singles and couples without children.

Another factor in this new family dynamic is aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) communities that lack family support. LGBTQ seniors are less likely to live alone and not have children. Later in life, people tend to rely on peers for support, and products and services will need to reflect these new family values.

Teamwork can make the team overwork

Memory makers rethink work values. They spend a lot of time on email, instant messaging (IM), phone and video calls; and it can take up to 64 seconds to get back on track after responding to a text message, according to cognitive psychologists. The brain needs time to think and for team meetings, it’s not only about an agenda but also about identifying whether the team will be having a discussion or deciding with the focus on OHIO (only handle it once).

Engagement strategies of the memory makers

  • Invest in the care economy: For the memory makers aging well is not about vanity but a priority to extend their lifespan and enjoy their time living. This includes spending time with loved ones or investing in a new hobby. This creates opportunities in the beauty, food and drink, and consumer technology. The stress of the global pandemic, followed by living costs, will likely contribute to future physical ailments as chronic stress causes bodily systems to become deregulated, causing strokes and heart disease.
  • Emerging companies are reaching shoppers who are looking for niche marketplaces to meet their specific needs. This is a prime opportunity for established brands to strategize what they can implement by 2024. A universal and inclusive approach is needed to meet diverse perspectives and needs.
  • The power of the pack: The power of the pack group savings was a key strategy in the WGSN Future Consumer 2022 forecast, but for 2024 the shopping behaviour will be mass and more personalised.

The new sensorialists

This hybrid consumer wants the best of both worlds, digital wallets for physical purchases and virtual reality (VR) moments they can feel in real life; and is driving virality in-store and online. While some cohorts are taking a balanced approach, the new sensorialists are flocking fast and is the quintessential hybrid consumer. They are not fearful of technology, but hopeful. As we enter new technological worlds, it is important to remember that they are valuable.

Welcome to Web3

As society pushes further into the metaverse, as crypto becomes more widely accepted and as more people embrace the concepts of a digital twin, there is a growing demand for what Web3 can offer. This was originally coined the Semantic Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Worldwide Web. The next version of the web is decentralised. Web3 also rebalances power dynamics between users and platforms, putting users in control of their data, privacy and Internet experience.

After years of rapid industry, technological and social acceleration, 2024 ushers in an era of realignment. WGSN presents the new key consumer sentiments and profiles, and what must be done to win minds and market share.

Decentralised everything

Web3 could result in a larger societal shift to decentralisation. DAOs are entering the market and decentralised finance (DeFi) is advancing the crypto market. Without the need to encourage endless scrolling, social media could reward users for their participation. The new sensorialists have a sense of optimism and are energised to turn chaos into something fabulous.

This will lead to more poly-creatives and collaborations, as artists begin to create and express themselves in their undergoing transformation.

The equitable creator economy

This creative renaissance is redefining the creator economy. It is a booming industry, but this cohort is about equitable access in terms of paying creators for their art, giving credit to the originators and being inclusive for all.

Engagement strategies of the new sensorialists

  • Meta loyalty rewards: Driven by the rise of the direct-to-fan economy, play-to-earn rewards and digital wallets, companies need to capture this crypto cohort. People will consider using at least one emerging payment method (cryptocurrency, biometrics or contactless) in the next year.
  • Feeling the metaverse: They will gravitate to technology that let them feel the metaverse, from haptic technology to smell. The plan is to add sense to VR by bringing touch-like experiences when paired with a compatible headset.

So, the question you should be asking is: “Which of these trends will my customer deploy in 2024 and how am I gearing up to it?”

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://www.wgsn.com/ for the information in this editorial.

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for our newsletter: https://www.buildinganddecor.co.za/

Subscribe to our free magazine on http://tiny.cc/fwsubs or join other discussions like these on http://www.facebook.com/buildinganddecor, http://www.twitter.com/buildingdecor and https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/10172797/

Subscribe to our Community👇

Stay Inspired, Stay Educated, Stay Informed

By subscribing you agree to receive our promotional marketing materials. You may unsubscribe at any time.

We keep your data private.