Consumer Groups of the Future and the Issues Brands Will Need to Address

Consumer Goods

New research shows that brands will need to address certain hot topics in the future in order to counter the effects of global factors that will impact the trading climate. Analyzing the 12 major global themes that will affect the trading marketplace, Consultancy Capgemini and the Consumer Goods Forum concluded that brand owners will have to address trends and issues such as digital technology and the rising demand for health and wellness products.

Some future changes in social climate that will impact the current marketplace are the significant increase in number of city inhabitants, 70% out of the population moving into cities by 2050 (up from currently 50% living there); the ageing societies of big brand consumers such as US, Japan, Western Europe and China and a young population with different preferences emerging in India and other developing countries; the prevalence of the middle class in emerging economies which will contain 93% of this segment by 2030; and the profound impact of digitisation, with 2 billion shoppers worldwide that will have had completed transactions through mobile devices by 2013.

In the future, brands will need to meet the demand of megacities and the average of 8 billion inhabitants, which will include cities that are already home to an overwhelming number of people living and working there, such as  Jakarta, Lagos, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. They will also have to establish a balance between the products and services they develop for the ageing consumers, focusing on healthy lifestyles and sustainability, while staying in touch with the trends and technology driving purchases among the younger crowd.

“Keys to success will be selecting the right social communities to effectively interact with the target consumer groups, managing communication on the sites, and determining how the leverage the huge amounts of online consumer data,” the report explained.

As the web share in retail sales is expected to reach between 25% and 30%, two to three times higher than today, which will require new business models to integrate quick transactions and proper relations with savvy customers.

“Consumer demands have already increasingly changed in the last few years through the use of new technologies,” said Gerd Wolfram, managing director of Metro Systems, the German retailer’s IT unit, quoted by Wark. “It is time now to sit down with our industry partners and talk about how, by working together, our industry can better serve the 2020 consumer.”

Meanwhile, the number of people leading “lifestyles of health and sustainability” should gain ground, with around 41m US citizens, or 19% of the adult population, currently fitting this profile.

Effectively adapting to the scarcity of natural resources, greater regulatory pressure on areas such as international trade and food safety, and the adoption of innovative supply chain capabilities will also be required of successful brands of the future.

“A new generation of globally competitive companies from developing markets will emerge, helping to further solidify their position in the global marketplace,” the study stated.

Other powerful changes that will impact the trading world will be the rise of new large marketplaces, such as China and India, which will surpass the US and Japan, requiring re-targeted marketing, sales and business development goals.

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