Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne | How consumer behaviors have changed

Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne

October 21, 2021

 

Christy & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives this past week. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.

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Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne |How consumer behaviors have changed

How consumer behaviors have changed

Let’s look at where we were at before the pandemic as people, as consumers, and what has changed. Before we were a collective as human beings in the daily rat race. We knew what it was supposed to be like our 9-5, our 10 to 8 six days out of the week, whatever that was for us, and we had gotten used to it. Our priorities were in bringing food on the table, excelling at work, getting the title, progressing, and so forth. However, many of us had these kind of goals set out and made them our most important on the list to chase every single day. We would get up and do the same thing over and over again. And the pandemic took us out of that rut.

The pandemic showed us other things that could be important to us. The pandemic gave us a microscope and allowed us to take a big look at our life. And it’s something that we want to continue. It gave us the time to organize. Everybody started with organizing their house, their drawers, their junk drawers. Everything that wasn’t really where we wanted it to be got either thrown out or got re-adjusted or tidied up.

 

Self-reflection

And then after that phase, we went into self-reflection. What else can we do? What else do we want to do? How is our life going to continue after we’re back to ‘normal?’ There is a huge shift that we’re seeing in where people are putting their priorities right now. We as a society have re- allocated and re -specified how and with whom we are spending our time. Because we realized that we were in this continuous rut and it wasn’t producing anything exciting. So with this new found purpose and priorities, what really matters in our life? We also changed as a human collective on how we purchase. How we consume, what we consume. What are our new standards on when and what we’re deciding to consume?

So that also means businesses will have to change how they’re doing business. There has been a research study, according to Kevin Quiring, a customer sales and service expert with Accenture strategy; they track the customer/consumers attitudes to things like pricing, quality promotion, experienced trust, our loyalty, digital adoption, etc. And work is not the most important thing in life anymore. For people that are more focused on politics, mental health, health overall, being with their family, being with friends, having interactions outside of their work environment, building community, they just want to be with the people that matter to them most.

So what does that mean for businesses? Do businesses still know their consumers? Their customers. Even though we’re not yet seeing performing arts as a business perhaps because they’re non for profit. However, they’re relying on consumer interactions in order to sustain themselves, to be relevant in today’s market. The industry has for quite some time not done their research in terms of knowing their consumers and what is important to them. In the movie, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, there’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio tries to sell that pen, the best quality for the cheapest price.

 

Everything has changed after the pandemic

And according to this research project, everything has changed after this pandemic. It has been a universal change. Every single person has been affected and a lot of people are coming out of the pandemic completely changed. So this shift can be used as an opportunity for growth.

 

Drivers of consumer behavior

The Accenture strategy research also tracks what compels customers, consumers to switch brands or service providers. Over the last 16 years, their surveys have revealed shifts in customer expectations. Things like good customer service, and strong brand purpose became more important in recent years. But these brands have always come second to the main drivers of consumer behavior. And that was price and quality. So the traditional motivations to consume prior to the pandemic were low price and high quality. But in this year’s research that the company had put out, something big happened. The team found that consumers have changed.

So the thing that shocked the research team was the answer to a key question that they had added this year for obvious reasons. And that was the pandemic made us revise our personal purpose and what’s important to us in life. It’s a powerful and ambiguous statement that consumers were asked to respond to. And what they found was that half of the consumers agreed that they have changed. So only 17% disagree. Then rest that did not disagree, the firm calls them the purpose curious ones. They’re unsure if the pandemic made them totally revise their purpose in life. But their answer did indicate that they’re evolving. Meaning in total, 83% of consumers are evolving in their big ID about life. And typically when we see something like that, we’re going to go to a specific demographic, a new generation. So it wasn’t that way though. The reset and the purpose was not limited to either Gen Z or the millennials or any kind of urban residents, how we usually can pinpoint change to the usual suspects in a new generation.

 

Re-emerging customers/consumers

They don’t have clear demographic distinctions nor gender, or employment, income level age, or any kind of geographical locations. They are generally a large group of people. So Accenture strategy calls them remerging customers or remerging consumers. A group of people that find themselves fundamentally changed because of the pandemic. They have taken stock in what really matters to them in life and the value. How they spend their time. And that has directly affected and impacted how they shop, how they consume, and who they interact with.

Consumer behaviors has really changed. The circumstances that they found themselves in happen exceptionally and people have stopped to think about their own purpose. They have reconsidered what’s important to them. Both in terms of how they lived their life, but also in terms of what kind of brand or service they engage with. So the consumers have changed. And they’re not spending less, they’re just spending differently. And it’s quite important to see that little nugget. It’s not about how much, it’s about what’s behind it and where they’re investing their money. The focus on price and quality has been there. But increasingly, they are seeing that people are much more focused on values that matter to them as a driver of choice in terms of which brands and services they actually engage with.

 

What does the re-emerging consumer want?

 So the first one is health and safety. It’s all about safety in the environment that people are in beyond their homes. Some supermarkets for example are now talking about, spray for all the carts with an antibacterial spray to ensure that there’s no contact at all. Contactless payment. All sorts of things that basically help us look after ourselves and our family and to people that we love.

 

But then consumers also told them that it’s not just about keeping themselves and their families safe. But it’s also what companies do to keep their employees safe. Consumers, especially the remerging consumer told them that categorically, they make purchasing decisions based on how they perceive a company treats their employees. That is very important. So no longer is it all about the product, but it is about the people that are making the product. And that is a very subtle switch, but yet so important. Because if we’re dragging that over, we’re building that bridge to the performing arts. When we see that consumer switch and looking at people, particularly in the newer generations, and looking and making their decision whether or not they’re attending a show on how companies treat their people. Their employees, are they keeping them safe? How much are they investing back into the employees? We have some work to do in that term so that performing arts are staying relevant in the market. We need some growth versus dipping off and falling off.

 

Personal care and service

The second one that Customers- consumers are increasingly demanding for is personal care and service. That is so important to them. So the question is, are we are there when they need us? It’s that service level with a return policy to personalization. How much are we seen in a company? Are we seen as a transaction or as somebody that is important to that company regardless of how big they are? So this can take the form of quick responding customer service or small gestures. So that the consumers know that they are individuals and they are valued.

 

Easy and convenient

And thirdly, consumers want the personalized experience to be easy and convenient. Look at the process of what it means in an average Ballet company to buy tickets on a mobile phone. It takes 10 steps to get to the ticket there. They require so much information. It is not frictionless. We are not in a position to make a quick decision. We have so many choices nowadays. And making a decision is becoming harder. Meaning that it takes more brain energy to make decisions. And when we have to make a decision and we can’t finish that. Or we find too much friction, we’re not going to buy at all. There’s a big opportunity for us in performing arts to see how consumers want to buy tickets. Why does it have to be so complicated? Why do we need to give all of our information? Do we have other options?

 

Meeting consumers where they are

So it’s about meeting the consumers where they are.  Not the mindset and belief of, ‘We’re putting on a show. So, therefore, they’re going to come here. That has strongly shifted over the past 10 years and even more now. So it’s about meeting our consumers where they are both in the digital-physical world. Building the connection between digital and physical. That is so important. Being able to change a flight on an app or over the phone. Or buying something online or picking it up in person. Or being able to virtually try on products like makeup or glasses in order to prevent the hassle of returning when shopping online.

Ultimately, as the company, make the experience easy so we can spend more time on what really matters to us. Things that make life frictionless. And at the same time, customers very much expect that they can receive all of the above services without compromising any ethics.

 

Sustainability

The fourth motivator is sustainability and product origin. So the remerging consumers specifically care very much about the environment. About the societal and corporate responsibility. And about where companies get their raw materials. That is impressive. So where their products are made and whether or not they support the local community.

 

Brands that consumers can trust

And finally, consumers are looking for brands that they can actually trust. That they operate by the values they’re presenting to the public. It’s about trusting the organization and the people in the organization and the company to do the right thing for us. And not just for their business and doing the right thing. Not only for us as consumers, but also for the people that are working with them.

So all of this research adds up to something super big. If companies can meet these re-emerging consumer expectations, they can tap into growth. But on the other hand, companies that are not doing anything about this actually risk losing their consumers that they once had. Because they’re different now, just offering the best quality at the lowest price is just not enough anymore.

 

Transparency and trust

Transparency and trust. Can people actually trust the organization? That is such an important thing. Looking through Performing Arts companies, what their mission and vision are and what is going on behind closed doors don’t align. We have not been living that way. But if there is a time it is right now, because it has even a bigger impact. It’s not only what we’re creating within the closed doors of respect, vulnerability, and learning capability and within each shutter, we will have a different product. We will have a product out there that will be conducive to so many more people that are longing for these four things.

 

Consumers are more empowered

So consumers have become a bit more empowered after this pandemic. Not only have they reconsidered what’s important, but they have realized that the possibilities are endless. And if they go searching, and then brands, therefore have a sort of high bar of expectations to meet.

Because consumers are different now, the remerging consumer has found a different purpose, a different motivation in life. And therefore, they are structuring their purchasing habits, their decision-making habits differently.

 

Performing Arts as re-emerging

The way Performing Arts have done marketing, how they have positioned them in the market, how they have looked at their organizations has to change. It also needs to be re-emerging. And that means everybody can step out of the starving artists’ mentality into a fulfilling life that does not require six days a week, 10 hours a day for a minimum wage. We are in a new age. Everything is changing, and the performing arts can definitely align with that.

As a performer, as a part of a company, we need to understand that showing up as our very best self also means understanding parts of the business on how we can contribute to turning our consumers into raving fans. How to change our company from the best value for the lowest price to an organization that has values and a vision and everybody in that organization can align with that and knows what that is.

Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.

So much ❤ Susanne

Getting to Know the ‘Reimagined’ Consumer
Built for Change

The pandemic compelled consumers worldwide to drastically shift their views on what’s important, particularly with the businesses they patronize and the products they use. The majority of consumers are rethinking not only their purchasing habits but also what they prioritize in life, a recent Accenture survey of more than 25,000 consumers in 22 countries showed. How can companies contend with these shifting priorities and turn consumer uncertainty into consumer growth? In this episode, we’ll speak with Kevin Quiring, Managing Director and North America Customer Sales and Service Lead, Accenture Strategy; and Nevine El-Warraky, Managing Director, Accenture Interactive. We’ll also hear candid interviews from consumers about their recent experiences and shifting expectations.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/built-for-change/id1561378348?i=1000536231949

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  • About Christy Little

    PTR 31 | Personal DevelopmentFormer professional dancer turned entrepreneur who is passionate about living in purpose and assisting people to see the greatness inside of them to live their ideal life.

 

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