TREND 2017 Hybrid consumption
10 May 2017 - 21:42, by , in Geen categorie, No comments

Nowadays, customers have become more demanding than they used to. They have higher expectations from their suppliers, brands and goods than ever before. Those expectations have reached unprecedented levels.
Consumers prefer to pay as little as possible for their products, have them delivered within 24 hours, and have them easily returned if products do not meet their expectations. They demand  brand variety at their workplace, fair wages, stunning and consistent communication and advertising utterance, authenticity, no slave labor, preferably local production, 24/7 accessibility and availability to answer their questions and listen to their comments, transparency, no genetically modified products, etc. The pressure on name-brand products and services has increased exponentially over the last 5 years.

We should not forget that the product range supplied by our retailers and e-tailers had never been so wide. On top of that, we can place international orders and compare prices limitless before we decide to buy.

This implies stress for consumers, which are definitely more informed and have become more critical and less brand loyal than 10 years ago. Companies have to make a lot more effort to win customers and meet their tough expectations when offering their name-brand products and services. Experience marketing, storytelling and commitment or even endorsement by consumers will continue to be key issues for winning brands by 2017. Still, they will need to deal with a new challenge: the hybrid consumer.

A few years ago, Rabobank Netherlands carried out a study on the hybrid consumer, a consumer type that  buys cheaper generics and low-end brands on some purchase occasions, and then on other occasions trades-up to premium, high-end brands. They spend their budget on the latest expensive smartphone, he or she goes for a culinary experience in a top restaurant, flies to an exotic destination in the Caribbean, or choose for some expensive handbag from a luxury fashion brand and for the expensive watch or sport car. On other occasions, the same consumer buys at discounters where he or she will look for cheaper products. These mega store chains sell products in large quantities in order to survive.

For the mid-market, the situation does not look so good considering that it has been under pressure by the expensive premium brands and the discounters. This evolution has been going on for a while, and mid-segment brands will definitely play a role and lead to numerous bankruptcies in 2017, especially if they do not innovate or respond to the ever-increasing consumer expectations. Who has the trend wind in the sails? The brands that certainly represent ethical values do. If you take a close look at the upper part of the pyramid of Maslow, you will notice that people aim for self-actualization and personal development after all.

Companies, brands, products, services and / or apps that help customers realize and show how they want to become and can become a better person will be definitely embraced in the near future. An example of this trend is a campaign between Charity Water and the jewelry brand Lokai. The campaign centers upon chatbot Yeshi, a fictitious young Ethiopian girl, who is searching for potable water. In her 2½ hour search, you can chat with her. She shares photos, videos and messages to draw your attention to the fact that these women’s daily struggle for life is hard to endure. Yeshi will also ask questions to the user about her/his life. It really makes you reflect and you will eventually want to become a better person.

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