Daily Contradictions

By. Eleven Something

Life in the Advertising Industry.

Euromonitor International: 25 Global Consumer Trends 2008

By Mr. Eleven Something.

Have been reading up on the Euromonitor International: 25 Global Consumer Trends 2008. It’s a VERY loooooooog read but I’ll summarize it you’re your easy reading (I hope).

Basically the mood for 2007 and 2008 is really different - like day and night. A year ago there was a more positive mood. Those people who warning of dark days to come economically were regarded as doomsayers. But now 2008, it is somewhere between anxious and gloomy! People now are worried of high inflation and recession. It hasn’t really come to depression-era or anything like that but one thing for certain is that people are uncertain of what the future may hold. And uncertainty is bad for business especially in the new interconnected world which is hugely dependant on confidence. Dun dun dun!!!

With dark clouds, there’s always a silver lining. It’s no acceptation in this case. With doubt and instability (in some sectors. Too long to get into that right now), the people want change. Locally, we are seeing the biggest lost for Barisan National and the rise of opposition party. In the US, Barack Obama’s talk of change appears to be resonating well with many American voters. In China, the Beijing Olympics is anticipated to draw the world’s attention to China and there’s debate as to weather it will lead to more or less freedom for the people of the country. On top of that, “New technology” is becoming normal and access to the internet is growing. People are putting their thought and opinions online and User Generated Content are becoming more and more popular.

OK! On with the 25 Global Trends….


Expanding Waistline
Despite widespread advice on eating less and rising awareness on healthy living, people of the world are getting FATTER.

Paying for health
Consumers are spending more and more on health. Medical care, pharmaceutical products, insurance, hospital bills, etc.

Hearts & Minds
As the world’s population is ageing, many are looking into supplements to promote their health. Especially products for the heart and mind. Ginko Biloba, Glucosamine, Fish Oil, Garlic, Vitamins, etc

Health Inequalities
The gap between life expectancy of rich and poor is growing wide as the gap between rich and poor are getting wider within nations.

Gut Feeling (Probiotic & Prebiotic)
Probiotic & Prebiotics are becoming more popular as healthy ingredients within foods. USA, Japan and Italy are the biggest contributor to the world value sales. Trend could possibly grow in other countries.


Economies with a large population tend to be less happy. (China, Japan, India).

Pirated Goods
Many people are happy to pay for fake goods without asking questions. Affecting the entertainment industry mostly where music and movies are concern.

Return of rarity and Rise of Simplicity
As luxury brands look for mass appeal, many are also looking for exclusivity. People are looking to be different to impress. Manufacturers are now turning to “Limited Editions” , “Customizables” and “Exclusivity” to market their products/brands.

As for simplicity; status always require rarity, and with “luxury” being ubiquitous, sometimes less is more and simplicity is a signifier of luxury.

Rise of connoisseurship
Specializing in a category is a rising global trend. The rise of the internet has facilitated the rise of connoisseurship. For example, online booksellers and music sellers makes it easier to find rare editions.

Rise of middle class? Or the consumer class?
“Middle class” people are growing could also mean the rise of spending power. Consumers who spends more now are seen as the “norm” as household incomes had grown with both men and women working.


Social Networking
The nature of communication has been taken to another level where people are reconnecting with lost friends, collage mates and other social groups. Facebook may be the flavor of the month but social networking is here to stay.

New business models for networks
Consumer appeal of social networking has been strong which are also attracting advertisers. A balance must be struck to keep it non-invasive yet money making. Myspace’s advertising revenue was USD805 million while facebook a mere USD305 million.

Online Etiquettes
New online etiquettes are forming with the rise of the internet and social networking. Privacy, courtesy and ethics are all new and developing rapidly.

“Made for me” overlaps with the move towards greater luxury. Those seeking to find discernment are looking to buy original. For some there is also the added advantage of being able to specify how the goods are made.

Brands are identity.
When people have to create their own identity, brands become symbols that help them to navigate the world and find others whom they share values and dreams.


Identity anxiety
Concerns about identity theft are increasing. Travelling on-line leaves footprint, now as visible as anything left in the real world. Identity fraud is rising and so people are more guarded on this matter.

My mobile my home
For many young people, their mobile is their home. Music, videos, movies, clips, contacts, calendar, reminders and games are all on their phones and that makes it very important to them.

The new MTV – Mobile TV
The interaction between on line-and off-line is blurring. Manufacturers and broadcasters are catering and contributing more to this new media. While TV is not dying off as predicted, mobile TV is definitely picking up.

Life’s a Game
Online life/gaming is growing especially for the youth market. People are spending more and more time is virtual world compared to the real one.

Magical Technology
Technology is moving at great speed. Things that seem like sci-fi are now becoming possible. The new becomes old fast so developers will always need to be on their toes.


Wealthier but not better off
The increase in overall economy wellbeing are not being translated directly into consumer income.

Home & The Basics
In developed markets, most home owners have mortgage but vice versa in less developed markets. However trends are showing upcomers like China & India are slowly changing towards home owners with mortgage.

Food or Fun
Americans have spent more money on eating out and especially foodservice rather than on buying food for home consumptions. This could be a following trend especially if the world is heading towards ‘convenience’ and ‘too busy to buy food’ people.

Unemployment, and the fear of unemployment, is the largest driver of changes in spending behavior. This might affect all market sectors.

Fast Money
Fast money is looking to be strong trend globally. More people are opting for Credit cards, ATM cards, Debit Cards, Smart Cards as compared to before. This could incur more spending unconsciously since people do not feel the money going out.

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