What consumers and shoppers want from brands in the future

By Sam Richardson | May 13, 2022

Nepa’s UK Managing Director Lindsay Parry was at the Quirk’s Event London 2022 last week hosting a fascinating panel discussion featuring BV Pradeep, former Global VP – Consumer & Market Insight at Unilever and Jeannine Ferguson, Marketing & Innovation Director at sustainable packaging specialists DS Smith about what consumers and shoppers want from brands in the future, and therefore, what we should be planning for and doing to make sure our brands stay future proofed.

 

Nepa's Lindsay Parry hosting a panel discussion at the Quirk's Event London 2022

 

As part of its ‘Future View – The next 10 years consumer study’, Nepa surveyed more than 5,600 Consumers and Shoppers across 7 global markets about their view on topics including Food & Drink, Shopping habits, E-commerce, Sustainability and Entertainment and how they expect their behaviours and needs may change.

In addition, Nepa interviewed key insight experts from leading global organisations including Mondelēz, Unilver, Vodafone, Reckitt and L’Oréal to understand from their viewpoint what changes we could experience and how that would impact brand insights and marketing teams.

 

Here are some key reflections from Lindsay following the panel discussions:

1.  The importance of Omnichannel for the brand experience

Shoppers want an in-store experience when purchasing online. For example, when buying an expensive designer outfit, consumers want it to come packaged with the same ‘unwrap’ experience as you’d receive in store. Nike and other brands already recognise this and the power of packaging for online deliveries… but many brands aren’t yet using the online experience to re-enforce their brand experience.

More than a third of respondents to Nepa’s consumer survey said they expect to do at least 70% of their shopping online rather than instore in 10 years’ time. That figure increases to over half of Chinese shoppers and two-thirds for those in India, highlighting the innovation in retail channels being forged across Asia which brands will need to adapt to in the near future.

Chart illustrating that 38% of global consumers expect to do the majority of their shopping online by 2031

READ ALSO: Understanding consumers: What gets them to the checkout?

 

2.  The power of local versus global insights…

… especially for global brands. Citing the example of Axe/Lynx deodorants, panellist BV Pradeep explained that it had initially been produced and launched with the same strength of scent in all markets. Early sales were below expectations in both Japan and India but for very different reasons. In Japan, where personal space is crucial, the scent was seen as too invasive and too ‘rude’ to other people’s personal space. In India, the scent was not seen as strong enough! In both cases this crucial cultural difference had not been uncovered through product or ad testing at a local level.

 

3.  We must continue to increase our understanding of consumers and their needs

At a time when increased cost of living is affecting buying behaviours as priorities change, keeping on top of what consumers and shoppers want from brands in the future is more important than ever.

Brand marketing and consumer insights are seen by some businesses as bottom line costs which can be removed, particularly when there is pressure to make savings. The feeling from the panellists (and echoed by the Quirk’s event audience) is that understanding consumers, their needs, and the many cultural nuances globally, is critical and should be considered an investment that will drive ROI, innovation, penetration…and competitive advantage.

 

What next?

It’s safe to say there are going to be some very exciting times ahead interpreting shopper, consumer and retail behaviour for a better world!

COMING SOON:  Nepa Originals report: ‘A view from the future – Outlook on what the future holds from foresight experts.’

Want to know more? Contact us today and our brand experts will help!

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