Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Global Consumer Trends: Individualism

Good trend-watching is about taking the bigger-picture approach. Adopting a broader global perspective to trend-tracking facilitates better decision making by overcoming 'category myopia'. Monitoring the broader FMCG environment will enable bigger picture learning that can be applied more specifically.

Today’s increasingly individualistic consumers place considerable value on self-expression and asserting their individual identity. This also includes exerting their power and control as consumers. The Individualism mega-trend represents consumers’ desires to be themselves and be recognized as having personal needs rather than being part of the mass market. Consumers seek products that make them stand out from the crowd and provide them with (or at least reinforce) a sense of personal and social identity. This mega-trend represents values such as “being me”, “trusting myself”, “finding my own answers” and “making my mark on the world” in a world of opportunity and liberating freedom where people can live their lives as they please. The desire for individuality is not new. It has just become more attainable for more people due to rising prosperity in society and the fact that technological advances facilitate easier, more cost effective personalized products and services. With rising prosperity there has also been a growth of post-materialist societies where values emphasizing self expressing and individuality have grown.

Individualism is one of 10 mega-trends Datamonitor has identified as having a substantive impact on the marketing landscape. An intuitive understanding of these mega-trends is fundamental because they set the pre-conditions for marketplace success. Use this report to understand global consumers’ individualistic and self expressive attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles and how this translates into marketing opportunities.

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