Cultural shifts and profound business implications

Consumers are reconnecting with their core values, and are looking to simplify their lives. This makes access to them even more complex for companies (or/and brands) that do not adapt now.

Consumers are getting used to the idea that the world seems much more unstable and uncertain than a few years ago: COVID, Ukraine… As part of this adjustment, they are reconnecting with their core values ​​and rethinking what they expect of life. Companies that want to serve or employ these consumers must transform to meet these new expectations. Today, people focus on simple needs, and don’t waste time and money on things they no longer enjoy, especially with inflation rising faster.

Historical change in the perception of work

From baby boomers to younger generations, the way people think about work is changing. Most spend less and go out less. Remote work gives them more choice over how they use their time and takes them away from the workplace, both geographically and emotionally.
At first it was hard. But many have come to prefer this way of being, or at least find it much better than they imagined. They feel that the quality of their time is as important as the amount of money in their bank account. They would rather stay home than go out. They want to buy experiences rather than more stuff.

For business leaders, this cultural shift has profound implications. Power shifts from employers to employees; from older people who end their careers prematurely to younger generations less motivated by money and status, and more likely to live by different values; and brands to consumers, as people spend more time at home and offline, making them more reachable than ever.

4 business imperatives

1 – Explore new ways to reach consumers

As consumers turn inward, brands will find it harder to capture their attention. Businesses need to identify and invest in emerging or evolving physical and digital touchpoints. So that they are present at the point of need.
This means going the extra mile to ensure that each channel has potential for engagement or being visible to the consumer is explored and can be easily integrated into the brand experience. This can range from a custom in-store consultation to custom branded skins in the meta verse.

2 – Contextualize the brand experience

Companies need to reconsider the context in which they try to engage the consumer. People’s routines have become increasingly fragmented. Businesses and/or brands must have the digital capabilities to understand the growing array of consumer needs based on contextual indicators and respond quickly with the right offer.

3 – Facilitate consumer access

In a world where people are consuming less, focusing more on “affordability” and withdrawing from engagement opportunities. Eliminating consumer pain points has never been more important. If consumer expectations for quick and easy purchases were high before, now their expectations for frictionless brand experiences are exponentially higher.
Brands need to explore the best way to drive adoption. And ensuring that consumers spend the necessary time at each phase of the consumer journey. However, the act of purchase must be simple, quick and easy.

4 – Explorer of partnerships that create collective value

Selling a product to a consumer can become more difficult, especially by any business. If it works within a partner ecosystem, the path to purchase will become clearer. As consumers focus more on their holistic priorities, they are looking for flexible solutions that meet multiple needs rather than individual products that meet a specific need. This means that brands can work with other brands and other sectors and industries to come together to reach and optimally meet consumer needs.

In conclusion, to be relevant in the future, companies must take these changes into account both externally when engaging their consumers and internally when engaging their employees. They need to rethink their talent models to attract and retain people who increasingly value flexibility in their lives. The ability to access the skills the business needs will be more important than simply filling career-focused roles.

Companies that source talent in this way will be more nimble as their business needs evolve. More importantly, growing consumer demand for flexibility will increasingly fragment future consumption patterns. People work in more places, study in different places, more local to them, not defined by the journey!

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