The power dynamic between brands and customers is set to drastically change in the coming 12 months and beyond, as people try to adapt to an uncertain world. Emerging technologies are giving control to consumers and causing unheard of outcomes for businesses who need to keep up with these technologies, and adapt to changing consumer values, demands and priorities, or risk getting left behind. To stay relevant, businesses must move past customer-centric models and embrace a life-centric view that sees people more fully.
Using insights from our data partner GWI, we delve into some of the biggest lifestyle trends influencing brand decisions and marketing innovation in 2023 such as sustainability, digital wallets, and Web3. We also explore some of the expected future challenges for brands, and changes to consumer & business priorities in 2023 and beyond, such as Personalisation, Consumer Wellness, and more.
#1 Innovation and Personalisation – Innovation around consumer loyalty is crucial for success
There’s no doubt that consumers around the world are tightening their wallets due to global inflationary pressures, and brands need to act fast to keep customers loyal. 86% of consumers in Southeast Asia were more enticed to shop where a loyalty program is part of the deal.
With uncertainty brought about by targeting constraints, changing consumer behaviour and privacy laws, what’s next for personalisation?
More urgently than ever, brands should strive to apply innovative, timely, relevant, and proactive personalisation techniques. By doing this, brands create deeper, richer interactions, and emotional connections with consumers, ultimately increasing brand loyalty.
Brands can adapt to consumer changes in a number of ways, including personalised customer loyalty programs, location based marketing, as well as promotions or benefits in exchange for consumer data to counter the end of 3rd party cookies.
Ruti, a California-based boutique clothing store, first adopted facial recognition in their stores in 2020 and has been using the data to make more personalised recommendations to customers, such as clothing styles they may like, or pulling up the customer’s membership details.
#2 Digital Wallets – Ending the digital identity crisis
The use or misuse of personal data is long overdue for a transformation, but control could soon switch hands. Digital wallets containing tokens, representing payment methods, ID, loyalty cards and more, will allow people to gatekeep their own data.
The number of digital wallet users in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to reach 1.1 billion by 2024. Alipay, followed by WeChat Pay are the most used platforms when it comes to payments across APAC.
Whether you’re an online store, or brick and mortar, you need to keep this idea in the back pocket, so to speak.
With strengthening feelings about data privacy, digital wallets could become the new norm faster than first thought, and consumers will soon be able to make decisions about exactly what they share with organisations, and for how long they have access to it.
Non-profit technology consortium, The Linux Foundation, has launched the Open Wallet Foundation (OWF) with a mission to “develop a secure, multi- purpose, open-source engine anyone can use to build interoperable wallets”
#3 Wellness and Self-Care – Health is a major priority following the height of COVID
The global health and wellness market continues to climb, with soaring interest in virtual and physical classes, personalised wellness experiences, and smart fitness equipment.
One in two people in APAC describes themselves as health-conscious. In 2023, over 66% of consumers in China said they prioritise wellness more now compared to 2-3 years ago.
With increased spend on wellness and fitness throughout APAC, the competition for brands is heating up. Health and fitness brands need to get innovative to stand out.
There are a number of opportunities for brands to step up their game and stand out from the competition, including:
- Seamless omnichannel and digital offerings to ensure that they meet consumers where they are
- Developing personalised marketing capabilities to target the precise consumer segments that may be most interested in their products
- Healthcare brands could consider diagnostics or coaching offerings that support a direct connection to the consumers.
- Teaming up with influencers, who are a key part of the wellness market, and are worth leveraging in APAC.
#4 Sustainability – A key pillar for brands
The climate crisis has emerged as one of the most pressing issues of our time.
The fact that many companies are taking this more seriously is another indication that consumers are starting to care more and more. In APAC, 40% of consumers plan to increase their spending on sustainable products in the next three years.
90% of consumers in APAC are willing to spend a premium on sustainable products, but nascent understanding, overwhelming number of information sources, availability issues, and lack of sustainable options are challenging purchase follow-through alongside price transparency.
Pulling together to help the planet. Brands not only need to adhere to consumer values and demands around the topic, but show off their sustainable practices in an authentic way, having genuine concern over the planets well being.
For example, John Deere’s new robot planter is designed to reduce fertiliser and chemical use, and Samsung has teamed up with Patagonia to reduce microplastics in the water supply, while Asus’ has used 1,500 tons of recycled plastic in its products since 2017.
#5 Building Communities – People are seeking for where they belong
Before the pandemic, one in four Australians experienced problematic levels of loneliness. Post pandemic, it was estimated that at least one in two Australians have reported feeling lonelier due to reduced social connection.
As people seek out places where they feel they belong, next-gen brands will prioritise communities first, reshaping loyalty and brand participation. Three threads are converging to enable this model including communities of belonging, token-gated access to content and experiences, and digital collectables.
Technology isn’t the only interesting thing about the model for customers, companies should also focus on its benefits.
Starbucks has taken this step, such as through their tokenised loyalty program, Odyssey, by introducing Web3 to the mass-market, focusing on rewards and brand engagement.
Web3 developments will almost certainly give brands significantly more direct contact with and influence over their community, and will brand participants to feel like part of the brand, rather than just customers.
Curious about the trends impacting your brand? Get in touch with our data and insights specialists here.