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Analysing Global Consumer Trends for 2024

By 27th February 2024News

Let’s face it, it’s been a tough few years. Lingering effects of the pandemic, economic and political unrest around the world and the rising impact of innovations in technology have led to interesting shifts in consumer behaviour, which brands should be aware of when devising their strategies for the short and long term.

In our latest blog post, we’re taking you through Mintel’s 2024 Global Consumer Trends*, breaking down the results and letting you know as brands which trends you need to pay attention to.

  1. Use human skills and emotion to maximise technological advances
    The rise of AI and advancements in technology is unavoidable – each innovation changes the game and allows us to live and work more efficiently. But it comes with a need for balance – consumers are seeking out human elements of empathy and creativity to contrast the seemingly never-ending algorithms and exposure to AI-powered technologies.

    47% of UK consumers who are concerned about the increasing prominence of AI are specifically concerned about having to interact with AI more than people.

    58% of US consumers say communicating with an actual person is what makes an interaction with a brand a good experience.

    What can brands do?
    Balance is key here. While integrating tech innovations into your business activity can boost efficiency, use them wisely and not at the sacrifice of investment into your people and communities to continue to nurture your customer relationships.

  2. Increase your consumers’ perception of value
    Consumers have increasingly diverse ideas of what indicates ‘value’, and simply managing product price is no longer enough. Consumers are building relationships with brands that represent them personally, and, at the other end of the spectrum, are loudly abandoning brands that don’t align with their values.

    67% of UK consumers who have bought furniture in the last 12 months prefer to spend more on high-quality furniture that lasts longer than buy cheaper furniture that needs replacing frequently.

    What can brands do?
    Soaring prices and financial insecurity may force consumers to tighten their spending habits. However, by focusing on becoming a moral, sustainable and socially conscious brand, consumers are more likely to engage, purchase and show loyalty.

  3. Offer customers ways to connect in person
    Although consumers have more ways to stay connected than ever before, traditional points of contact – think sitting in front of the TV with family, or sharing an office space with colleagues – are increasingly being replaced by remote environments and personal devices. This is leading to stress and burnout, and a negative impact on wellbeing across age ranges.

    Only 23% of UK consumers say they go out socially now as much as they did pre-pandemic.

    67% of Thai consumers think it is easier to maintain health habits with other people than on their own.

    What can brands do?
    Bring people together and find new ways to switch consumer relationships from passive to active, helping consumers to find different points of connection. Provide connection topics and form communities within your audiences. Highlight the importance of human connection in your marketing.

  4. Push the boundaries of sustainability
    The release of misleading information in terms of sustainable business practices, including ‘greenwashing’ and dishonest reporting of environmental impact has led to many consumers showing mistrust towards brands. Strategies around sustainability need to go further – doing nothing, or waiting for regulatory pushes, is no longer an option.

    60% of US consumers agree that many companies are just pretending to be sustainable.

    52% of German consumers say they don’t trust companies to be honest about their environmental impact.

    What can brands do?
    Brands need to revisit their long-term projections, and demonstrate tangible actions towards sustainability targets. Integrate sustainability into all areas of your business, and see it as more than a selling tool, but as an essential element of survival. Catch-all terminology such as ‘environmentally friendly’ is no longer enough – brands need to communicate authentically in ways that resonate with their audience.

For more information about how to shape your marketing strategy around changing global conditions, and utilising the latest tech in your planning, get in touch with OWB today. We have a whole toolbox of innovation available for you, and we’d love to chat about how we can realise your ambitions and connect with your audience.

*You can grab a full copy of the report from Mintel’s website.