Local insights into 2023 global trends (Part 2)

In the first series, we explored the role of mental wellness in shaping consumer trends in the coming year. What are the other trends to look out for another year into the Decade of Action for sustainable development? We put 2023 Global Trends, as identified by market intelligence agency, Mintel, into local perspective.

1. New ways to support “local”.

Local has gotten a new definition. It’s no longer confined by the consumer’s geographical location. Localism will come to mean supporting communities where the product is manufactured – taking into consideration the environment, labour and even residents. Consumers are also associating localism with more sustainable practices, demanding transparency from brands.

Global insights

of Chinese consumers say they are likely to buy from a brand that demonstrates social responsibilities (e.g., donating to public welfare).
of US consumers prefer to be associated with companies/brands that align with their values.

Source: South China Morning Post
Sports brand Erke surged in popularity after it donated 50 million yuan to the flood relief efforts in central China.

ABrandADay - Opinions - International Localism anothersole

What does this mean for brands?

With international localism, as coined by Mintel, consumers are seeking a stamp of authenticity, and this could come in various forms. Brands can account for their value chain, allow consumers a peek at the behind-the-scenes, or provide more information to account for their environmental and social pledges. Consumers want to see the value and impact of their actions and brands need to help consumers do that. 

Singapore consumers are still by large, a pragmatic bunch and more cost-conscious. They display an inclination towards environmental issues. Nevertheless, there is a shift towards social issues, with 26% (+10%) seeing it as top-of-mind.

Case in point

Singapore brand, anothersole, built its reputation on sustainability – for the people and planet. A brand with a purpose, it goes beyond using sustainable materials, contributing to social good. Through its #buy1feed1 initiative, the footwear brand dedicates 10% of its profits to feeding children and building sustainable communities.

2. Intentional spending. Buy less, buy better.

Rather than merely going for cheaper alternatives in a bad economy, consumers are open to buying less. When they do purchase, they buy better. Beyond price, consumers are placing a stronger emphasis on the other variables – durability, flexibility, and timelessness. Consumers are reviewing the value equation to ensure that their everyday consumption decisions lead them to the future they aspire for.

Global insights

of US consumers who buy select personal care products say they have chosen an alternative product/brand due to price increases in the last year.
of UK consumers say they have bought fashion items in the last 12 months that can be used for multiple occasions (e.g., work and casual)

ABrandADay - Opinions - Intentional Spending foodpanda

Source: foodpanda.com

What does this mean for brands?

The good old price war is not going to survive this revolution. To win and sustain the trust of consumers, brands need more than sustainability claims. Brands that open up on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts honestly and periodically will allow consumers to understand and feel the impact of their consumption. This fuels their intrinsic motivation, organically, to support the brands.

Singapore consumers are placing increasing importance on responsible sourcing, and they hold brands accountable for that. 45% would never buy from a brand again if it was accused of working with unethical suppliers. 84% admit that knowing where a product has originated from or where parts are sourced is important to their buying decision with 53% stating that this always or often impacts their buying decision.

Case in point

foodpanda empowers consumers to make green decisions through the launch of Green Label, a restaurant certification scheme that promotes F&B partners that have adopted green practices aligned with Singapore’s sustainability goals.

As consumers focus more on mental wellness, sustainability, and transparency, 2023 could become a transitional year towards purpose- and value-driven brands. Along with the proliferation of social media, brands have, in recent years, learnt to engage with consumers. Just as the learning curve seems to have plateaued for many, the new set of challenges is for brands to establish meaningful connections and create chemistry with consumers. This calls for brand values and purpose to come into play.

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