Understanding ever-changing Customer Trends can shape your business future. Let's start with the biggest...

Q. Which new customer segment is now worth $382 billion globally?

A big number and a big question!

Hint: it's to do with our future challenge beyond Covid-19, and an opportunity for any size business, in just about any category.

And a great example of how a deeper understanding your customers’ WHY opens the gate to new opportunity & revenue paths.

So often we only look at the WHAT of our customers behaviour. Like their purchasing patterns - seeing them as transactions. Just numbers on a spreadsheet, not as flesh & blood humans.

Which is all essential data for a business to function. But the problem with this unbalanced view of customers is that it usually reinforces the status quo. Especially when backed by feedback questions like How Satisfied Are You? which tell you nothing about what’s really going on in people’s hearts & minds.

OR if you’re operating off assumptions that worked for you in the pre-pandemic past, they could be well past their use-by in the new environment.

Where Do We Get the Customer Trends?

There’s a large amount of up-to-date, publicly available, free information … IF you know where to look.

Much of it is produced by the major consulting & market research companies. Especially since the lockdowns, because of the demand from business for knowledge on how to adapt to the new world.

Since the info is often global, or from very large markets like the US, the relevance to our own region of NZ/Australia will vary. But human motivations tend to be universal in our hyper-connected world, and we find that sooner or later most trends will land here.

You could also say because we were very early out of the lockdowns, we need to be pro-active on the trends sooner rather than later!

Our focus for today’s exercise of turning insights into opportunities is a recent study, produced by Colmar Brunton on the topic of Better Futures 2021. It monitors “the issues NZers care most deeply about” and is freely available.

Customer Trends Revealed

Here’s their snapshot of the Top 10 Concerns of Heartland NZ …with Year-On-Year trends.

Top 10 Concerns of Heartland NZ

So it’s a mixture of economic, social, healthcare, and environmental issues, with Cost of Living remaining #1, and up 2 points. No surprises about affordable housing jumping up 5 points in the over-heated market.

But where are the business opportunities? Some of these are heavyweight social & mental health themes more suited for government to address.

To cut to the chase, what we see with the three Sustainability issues is strongly reflected in other reports, like the NZ and other global examples we mentioned earlier.

For example, in the Rebuilding NZ Retail report, PWC advise that developing new, sustainable products & services is part of a broader Healthy Living theme.

And 55% of the NZ CEOs they interviewed for Reinventing NZ said that “reducing climate change & environmental damage” is a priority for business to help deliver – one of the top 3 responses. BTW “good health and wellbeing of the workforce” was #1 on 60%, so health is in the mix. Which makes sense as a larger Wellbeing picture.

In the US, McKinsey’s Seven Imperatives for Rethinking Retail  #4 is “Take a Stand or Take a Seat” – saying that “consumers are finally voting with their wallets for sustainability and broader purpose”.

A couple more insights in that report … 33% of consumers stopped using a brand based on its societal actions, 80% of Gen Z refuse to buy goods from companies involved in societal scandals.

With evidence of people being more willing to pay more for products that meet their values and have less negative impact on the environment.

Plus more and more large institutional investors are including ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) factors in their retail investment criteria.

So it’s game on!

We've created a Handbook that challenges you to identify the opportunity for your business from these Customer Trends. It's full of helpful tips.

Click on the link below to download your FREE copy.

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