Global Consumer Trends 2024

Monthly Retail Insights for Grant Brand Experience Fit Out

With the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuating economic instability, increasing political unrest and new artificial intelligence, many consumers feel overwhelmed and distracted, resulting in interesting behaviour shifts.
Mintel have identified five trends shaping consumer behaviour that are particularly interesting for brands to pay attention to.

Being Human

In a world increasingly dominated by algorithms (AI), retails will need human skills and emotion to make the most of this technological revolution.  While AI-powered technologies seem to be on track to outpace human output, consumers will begin to appreciate what makes humans unique – emotions, empathy, creative ideas and the desire to connect. 47% of UK consumers are concerned about the increasing prominence of AL, according to Mintel. Retailers should seek out uniquely human elements as a contrast to faceless algorithms. While tech itself can boost efficiency, brands will still need to invest in their people and communities to continue nurturing customer relationships.

More Than Money

As budget pressure forces tighter trade-offs, consumers are becoming more realistic in their search for value. Attributes like sustainability, convenience and heritage should be presented with quality. A brand’s social and emotional value will grow in importance as consumers look more towards what a brand means to them personally, rather than what it stands for societally. Brands must reestablish and strengthen their relationship with consumers, placing consistent delivery of functionality at the core of their message and ensuring that reliability, trust and authenticity feed into the integrity of their identity and vision.

Relationship Renaissance

Although consumers have more access to communication tools than ever before, the onslaught of social media, text chains and video calls has led to stress and burnout. Traditional personal connection points, such as a shared office space or the family television set, are replaced by remote working and personal devices.  This creates a fragmented network of relationships that is difficult to build and maintain. Brands will reframe self-care so that it’s not solely about the individual, but also about their social connection to others.

New Green Reality

Incorporating sustainability into the day-to-day is not enough; consumers and brands will face the reality that survival within a new climate context must be the priority. Brands must shift away from traditional strategies and reframe climate messaging from merely reducing their carbon footprint to actively regenerating and giving back to the world.  This is increasingly relevant as mistrust of brands’ environmental initiatives is growing, pushing them to openly communicate their practices and demonstrate measurable impact.

Positive Perspectives

Soaring prices and political instability will continue to fuel global uncertainty, while climate change concerns are at the forefront of consumers’ worries. AI is adding a new layer of uncertainty, which stems from not only privacy concerns and a lack of familiarity but also the fear of AI-informed advances threatening job security and increasing unemployment rates, which may affect consumers’ mental health.Brands can create self-help and ‘self-betterment’ products and resources to support consumers in adopting a resilient mindset.

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