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The world is changing. Consumer attitudes are shifting in ways that are difficult to predict, or even follow.

At HUMINT, we’ve identified half a dozen major marketing trends. Big, significant changes that influence how consumers think and why they buy.

Are any of these trends affecting your brand or business?

SMALL IS BIG

In the past six years, 90% of the top 100 consumer packaged goods brands have lost market share to smaller competitors.


More than $17 billion in sales have shifted from well-known brands to virtually unknown companies and startups.

There’s a reason why craft distilleries, microbreweries and artisan bakeries seem to be popping up everywhere.

Consumers today are less loyal to established brands, and more open to experimentation and brand switching.

THE MINORITY MAJORITY

Consumers are becoming more diverse. The Millennial generation is the most diverse in history—44% nonwhite, compared to 25% nonwhite Baby Boomers.

While African Americans are a minority, their cultural influence is actually much larger. Black consumers are trendsetters and key influencers, especially among young consumers.

According to Nielsen, African Americans represent more than 50% of spending power in key product categories, including music, fashion, and entertainment.

CONTENT IS KING

For decades, only large companies could afford TV advertising. The high costs of production and media made it nearly impossible for small companies to compete and gain market share.

But with the rise of social media and permission-based marketing, the playing field has leveled.

Even small businesses and startups can produce videos and post on social media. So now, businesses can compete, regardless of size.

SOCIAL IMPACT

More than ever before, consumers are choosing brands based on social, political and environmental issues.

Millennials are especially likely to reward brands for their views and values.

By publicly supporting social and environmental causes, brands can connect with consumers on a deeper level.

And it can pay off—66% of consumers will pay more for brands making a positive social impact.

BIG DATA IS OKAY...

UP TO A POINT

With great power comes great responsibility.

That isn’t just a quote from a Spiderman movie, it also applies to the intrusive nature of big data.

People are well aware that big data is tracking their every move. And they’re okay with that, as long as the data is used for their benefit. For example, Netflix recommending a good movie to watch.

But if consumers sense their retail buying data is being exploited for corporate profit, they will turn on you in a second.

DISRUPTION IS EVERYWHERE

Another trend that’s disrupting marketing today is disruption itself.

That’s where new companies or ideas emerge that shake things up by solving consumer problems in a whole new way.

It’s been happening a lot lately. For example, Uber—the world’s largest taxi company doesn’t own any vehicles. It has totally changed urban transportation.

And AirBnB—they’ve disrupted the hospitality industry even though they don’t own any hotels.

MORE EMERGING TRENDS

Those aren’t the only trends affecting consumer spending. Here are a few more:

SUSTAINABILITY
More consumers than ever support products that are sustainably produced. This includes clothing made with GOTS certified organic textiles and fibers, and wood and paper products that are Rainforest Alliance certified.

BUY LOCAL
Many consumers are motivated to buy from local businesses, to support their community and their local economy. The COVID crisis has intensified this trend even further.

Are these trends affecting your business? Let’s talk about it.

At HUMINT, we leverage Human Centered Design to uncover disruptive ideas and innovative approaches.

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Email: benny@propellant.media

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