New Consumer Values to Set 2011 Marketing Tone

As 2010 winds down and marketers begin to think about 2011, it’s important to understand consumer sentiment.  Will consumers continue to embrace the frugality they displayed during the Great Recession? Are there new trends which will give rise to high-​growth products and services? These questions play an important role as marketers consider their strategy for next year. Mintel recently surveyed consumers on a global basis and categorized its findings as follows:

  • Financial Caution: Instead of returning to credit-​fueled spending,  up to 1/​3rd of U.S. consumers are using their debit cards. They also appreciate the new financial transparency regarding credit cards since regulations were put in place earlier this year.
  • Retail Shoppers: Consumers are still looking for deals and purchasing at stores where they can find the best offers and discounts. This mentality applies to 35% of U.S. consumers. Stores can improve their prospects by adding real-​life services and exciting shopping environments if they are unable to adjust prices.
  • App Explosion: Shoppers will use their empowered status to find the right price on products and to search locally for promotions and solutions.
  • Higher Education: Consumers may be unable to afford degrees from pricey institutions. This trend will leave employers possibly footing the bill for sponsored degrees, advanced studies and workplace training.
  • Empowered Women: As a result of obtaining higher salaries and non-​traditional jobs, women will find themselves being targeted by auto marketers and sports clubs.
  • Encore Careers: Nearly 1 in 5 consumers over age 65 will be working in 2014. The trend will redefine a traditional life stage and marketers will be adjusting their pitches to reach this group of consumers with messages that extend beyond infirmity.
  • Obesity: Marketers will launch new products and services to suit obese consumers and at the same time may promote ways to reduce weight.
  • Locavores: The interest in locally grown produce as well as a desire to ‘grow their own’ will continue. Over 25% of U.S. consumers are growing some of their vegetables at home.
  • Technology Creep: More businesses will use technology to help consumers at stores, libraries, hospitals and pharmacies. If consumers grow weary of the depersonalized experience, some marketers may gain an edge by offering hyper-​personal services.
[Source: Mintel reveals consumer trends for 2011. Mintel​.com. Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.