Now more than ever it is important to recognize your target group and speak to that from a perspective that is fitting to their values, says Saara Järvinen, Senior Insight Strategist at Kuudes.
The Informed Consumer (download 2023 report) is our extensive research on Swedish and Finnish markets, focusing on consumers’ values, attitudes, and motivations. What I find the most exciting about our 15-year research journey is the opportunity to analyze change. When we understand the past, can we also more confidently forecast the future. What were the most meaningful changes in 2023?
1. Moderate polarization
The biggest news for us was that the change has been moderate. Thankfully, we don’t see the huge polarization inside the Swedish or Finnish society, as we had expected. Previously, during difficult times, there has been growth in conservative segments that have very little faith in their own abilities to make a difference in society. While economic challenges make us more cautious, the pandemic and war have clarified our priorities. While there is uncertainty and even turmoil in the society, there is also hope. Organizations need to offer meaningful chances to make a difference, in order to strengthen stability in society.
2. Time of compromises
However, this is a time of compromises, and people struggle with painful conflicts. We were shocked to see that one important segment from our map had completely disappeared. They were called the Uncompromising and were extremely careful about their style, priorities, and reasons behind every life choice. Right now, different target groups have painful inner conflicts, which is interesting from the perspective of companies, because in contradictions lie opportunities.
3. Quality products at a low price point
We still want quality, but we want it cheap. Both the appreciation of quality and of low price are scoring higher than before. For companies, this is not an easy need to answer. We need more concepts that are affordable and offer resourceful ways for individuals to tackle uncertain times – But are simultaneously ethical and offer experiences and wellbeing. What can true and credible quality mean in different price points?
4. Gender imbalance in consumer behavior
Women have been affected by this time of crisis more than men – now they have less faith in their own abilities to make a difference in the world. The ratio of women in our conservative and passive group Bystanders has grown drastically. The years of crisis have hit women harder than men. It is important to understand the struggles of your female target group so that you can react in the right way.
5. Young consumers surprised us
Amazingly – the young are increasingly optimistic! They have growingly positive expectations towards their own economic situation and towards the future state of the world. Optimism of the youth is a huge positive resource that organizations must support by involving future decision-makers now.
6. The individualistic and the community-oriented are drifting further apart
People with individualistic values are drifting further apart from the ones who value community. In both Sweden and Finland, we see massive growth in a group that values success and new experiences. But simultaneously, the values of community and sustainability have not weakened. We are getting more distinctly divided into two camps. Now more than ever it is important to recognize your target group and speak to that from a perspective that is fitting to their values.
Let’s chat about your target groups
Want to learn more about the changes and how to tap into them? Read more about the Informed Consumer on our website and download the public version of the report. If you want to discuss more, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, or me on LinkedIn directly.