Today’s consumers wield more purchasing power than ever, which means that growth is there for the taking for the most opportunistic of brands. However, consumers’ tastes are constantly evolving based on the world around them, which makes it all the more important for us, as marketers, to maintain a pulse on what matters most to them.
What hot-button topics are on consumers’ minds in 2019? Perhaps most notably, today’s consumers are looking out for their mental health, staying in touch with the world around them, and looking for balance between the physical and digital worlds. Here, we take a look at these lifestyle trends and discuss how brands can appeal to today’s increasingly conscious consumers.
Mental Health at the Forefront
In recent years, consumers have developed a more holistic outlook on personal health, and that shift has brought concerns about mental health to the forefront. In fact, 49% of Americans say they regularly worry about their mental health, and that number balloons to 57% and 66% for Millennials and Gen Z, respectively. Translation? These concerns will only become more common as today’s younger generations represent a greater portion of the adult population.
With around 30% of U.S. consumers claiming they actively treat stress and anxiety, there’s an opportunity for brands to bring new customers into the fold by developing products that aid in the cause – provided they are easy-to-use, offer daily relief, and have minimal impact on lifestyle habits.
As we discussed in the Future of the Cannabis Industry report, CBD is one such product, and it has piqued the curiosity of consumers with a 67% YoY increase in search engine queries. However, like with much else in the realm of mental health, there’s a lot that we are only beginning to understand about CBD. With that, it’s important to incorporate education into marketing efforts in order to help consumers understand how the product can address their specific needs and fit into their daily lifestyle.
Though spending continues to increase, consumers are more conscious than ever about the impact their choices have on the world around them. The environment and animal welfare, in particular, are two areas of focus. Fifty-eight percent of U.S. consumers are consciously trying to reduce their use of single use plastics, and that holds even more true for those in Gen Z (63%). Likewise, many consumers have shifted to a “quality over quantity” approach in buying goods, with 62% of Americans caring about the negative impact of producing cheap, throwaway products.
In support of animal welfare, 7% of Americans have adopted a vegan diet. Though that number is modest, it jumps to a sizable 15% when isolating Gen Z, speaking to more mainstream adoption coming on the horizon. Also speaking to the trend is the fact that one quarter of consumers say they’ve cut down on meat consumption in the recent past. While some of that can be attributed to seeking a more balanced diet, we’re also seeing the advancement of plant-based proteins in innovations like the Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers. As brands continue to refine their plant-based products and offer more variety, we’ll continue to see this gradual shift in dietary choices.
Divided on Digital
Though many consumers have soured on social media, the rest of the digital world still serves as a valuable tool for anything from researching and purchasing goods to booking a virtual doctor’s appointment. Accordingly, many consumers are relying on technology to simplify everyday tasks and free up time for personal or professional pursuits. Still, though, there’s a delicate balance as to what consumers are looking to do online and what they’d rather do in person.
Despite the convenience of technology, only 26% of Americans say they would prefer to do everything online, pointing to a still-present desire for in-person interaction. That even extends to our youngest generation, with 72% of Gen Z saying they would prefer to visit a physical store rather than shop online. Additionally, there’s a growing amount of concern about sharing personal data, with over a third of Americans saying they will not do so online. As we go forward, it will be important for brands to find balance by leveraging digital to make consumers’ lives easier and using the physical world for the tactile experiences that they so desire.
Is your brand looking to create emotional connections with today’s consumers? Contact us to learn how our suite of experiential-led marketing services can help you build brand awareness and earn lifelong loyalists.
Sources: Attest Global Lifestyle Report 2019, Hitwise US Healthcare Report 2019, Euromonitor Top Consumer Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition 2019