Local insights into 2023 global trends (Part 1)

Living through the pandemic has brought about changes to the way we interact, shop and live. What are the changes that stay for good and what are the new trends that are emerging? Amongst all, how can brands prepare themselves for 2023 and the years to follow? In this first series, we look at three of the global consumer trends identified by market intelligence agency, Mintel, through a local perspective.

1. “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me.”

Like the TikTok trend, consumers are now ready for attention and to focus on themselves after two years of deprioritising personal needs for public health. They are open to rediscovering themselves and celebrating their (new) identities, through new experiences and products.

Global insights

of US Gen Zs agree that finding ways to celebrate themselves has become more important to them than before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

of Thai consumers agree that new technology products/services that can be incorporated into their daily life would be appealing. 

What does this mean for brands?

As Me Mentality prevails, make it easy or should we say tempting for consumers to try new things. That doesn’t necessarily mean a new product line. Think about partnership marketing. Partner with brands that offer the same values and/or target the same audience. Encourage consumers to try new things while staying in their comfort zones through trials.

88% of Singapore consumers wanted to be recognised as an individual with unique interests and preferences rather than swept into age-based categories such as “Millennial” or “Gen Z”. Leverage technology to make full use of data collected. Consumers have consented to data collection and now, it’s time for them to get their end of the deal. Think (hyper)personalisation.

Case in point

UOB TMRW app provides a personalised dashboard that highlights customised information based on historical data and provides personalised reminders and rewards.

2. Co-create, with consumers. They are your brand champions.

Moving forward, consumers are buying more than the prestige of a brand. They are subscribing to its attitudes and beliefs. Enabled by technology, consumers are shaping brands and keeping brands on their toes with their wallets and phones.

Global insights

of US social media users who follow influencers say they follow niche vloggers and bloggers.
of Thai consumers are aware of and interested in NFTs.

Source: Vogue Business
MAC Cosmetics’ first NFT links with HIV/Aids Awareness

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What does this mean for brands?

Make better use of your social media channels to give power to the people. It’s not about losing control over your brand. It’s about engaging consumers in the end products that they use. Invite consumers to unleash their creativity and take the chance to create chemistry during the co-creation process. Allow them to feel that they are part of the brand. Leverage social media for engagement, not just for promotion (read about common social media fails here).
As a matter of fact, brands have been practising this. Co-creation has its spectrum, from passive to active participation. For instance, through user-generated content, brands can see how consumers interact with their products. This in turn allows brands to gain a deeper understanding of consumers’ opinions, lifestyles and so on. These become part of consumer insights and market research. At the other end of the spectrum, we have consumers personalising the end products, making them uniquely theirs.

Case in point

Tapping into social listening, KFC Singapore released the Zhng Burger (a wordplay using one of the local dialects).

3. Demand for escapism

Convenience and interactive experiences will continue to grow. However, cost is an issue due to inflation and rising energy prices. In the pursuit of mental wellness, we can expect to see mixed responses towards technology, with some showing preference for digital detox retreats and others turning to wellness apps.

Global insights

In the past year,
of US consumers experienced mental exhaustion,

What does this mean for brands?

As consumers seek means to counter hyper fatigue, brands can seize this opportunity to establish new or deeper emotional connections. Allow them to identify with your brand and your values. Offer practical solutions that relate to their concerns and challenges.  At the same time, make life easier for them. Trends like “Free cancellation”, “YOLO” and more recently, “Buy now, pay later” have a common theme. Decision-making is simplified. Consumers shouldn’t have to undergo additional stress before getting their much-needed respite.

Singapore has long established itself as a foodie destination and in the next 5 to 10 years, wellness will be a key part of Singapore’s tourism offerings. Brands could look into how their products and services can promote well-being, from nutrition to mental health.

Case in point

Homegrown brand, Scent by SIX, adopted a new brand purpose during the pandemic and that is to champion mental health through scent. It has since partnered with the Singapore Association for Mental Health and the Caregivers Alliance Limited for the co-creation and launch of new scent collections.

"This elderly lady was always grumpy and had a bad temper. Her caregivers asked me if I could do something with my perfumes to help her. They shared that she loved baking pandan cakes, drinking kopi-o kosong, and visiting the temple with her late husband to offer incense,” he shares. I put these all together and let her smell it, and what happened afterwards was really priceless.

Her eyes widened, she blurted out her deceased husband’s name and started crying.

It was then that I found my purpose: to heal emotions, to preserve memories, to bring people together.

The importance of mental wellness has clearly emerged from the pandemic, with consumers seeking avenues to be heard and involved. Brands need to ramp up on the “feel good” factor, whether physically or intrinsically. 

In the next series, we dive into how consumers’ calls for sustainability and transparency will change the dynamics between brands and consumers in 2023 and beyond.

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