4 Consumer Trends That Can Help Differentiate Your Brand

Getting to know your target audience helps you identify the characteristics that tie individuals together and is an important step in identifying their emotional connection to your brand. These connections help develop loyalty and establish a level of trust that is difficult to replicate and, over time, translate to an improved bottom line. Here at Extend, we help our consulting clients not only identify their target audience but also define what that means for their marketing strategy.

Consumers want innovative problem solvers that are reliable and understand what they actually want. Focusing on consumer trends to refine your marketing strategy helps customers understand who you are, what you care about, and how you solve their problems. We’ve highlighted 4 of the latest consumer profiles as identified by a leading global trend forecasting group and strategies for successfully connecting with these consumers. As you read on, ask yourself:

  • Do any of these profiles align closely with my target audience?
  • Are my marketing efforts speaking to the preferences of my target consumer groups?
  • Which marketing mediums enhance emotional connections to your brand?

The New Nihilists

The term Nihilist historically means an extreme form of skepticism but place the word “new” in front of it and experts have defined them as a group that is choosing to opt out of the world’s turmoil. However, they haven’t given up on caring. These contemplative individuals are just finding new meaning and happiness outside the mainstream.

Defining Qualities of The New Nihilists:

  • Non-conformist
  • Alternative thinkers
  • Seeking meaning
  • Contemplative

New Nihilists gravitate towards speculative ideas and creative genres like chaos culture, gaming, and alternative forms of therapy. Honesty, authenticity and humor are the best ways to gain their trust because they don’t want to feel like they are being sold to.

55% of global Millennials in their mid-30’s are dissatisfied with democracy – a disillusionment that is significantly higher than Gen X or Baby Boomers felt at similar ages.

The Reductionists

After embracing digital convenience and remote living during the pandemic, Reductionists want to re-establish IRL (in real life) connections and communities with a more human touch. They crave connection, whether through personal conversations about your services or using emotional storytelling. It is important for Reductionists to know your values align with theirs.

Defining Qualities of The Reductionists:

  • Busy
  • Values driven
  • Community focused
  • Seeking connection

Reductionists prioritize kindness and integrity. They believe that economic growth should be a means to support people and the planet, and they shop with these values in mind. Time-saving conveniences and efficiency are still important to them, but they also need things to be sustainable and ethical. They are interested in buying from organizations powered by fairly paid workers and business models that give back more than they take.

A Psychological Bulletin review of more than 200 studies showed that pro-social behaviors like altruism result in better mental and physical health.

The Time Keepers

For these memory-makers, time is the most valuable resource, and they want to invest their time in things that enrich their lives. Time Keepers focus on creating a richer life through daily rituals and meaningful experiences and believe schedules should fit around people – not the other way around. Looking for products and services that free up their time, The Time Keepers want the freedom and flexibility to live their best lives and are drawn to things that will add value to their world.

Defining Qualities of The Time Keepers:

  • Discerning
  • Epicurean
  • Age-agnostic
  • Seeking enrichment

The Time Keepers refuse to be harried by or defined by time. They gravitate towards inter-generational friendships that are based on shared interests rather than age. Quality always beats quantity for these consumers.

37% of adults in the U.S. have a close friend who is at least 15 years older or younger than they are, and 20% of those close inter-generational friendships have lasted for more than 20 years. 

The Pioneers

Pioneers exist with one foot in the physical world and one foot in the digital world and are determined to bridge the gap between the two. They are the future thinkers, technologists and urban planners who are building new worlds like smart cities, inclusive transit systems and safer metaverse spaces. The Pioneers are attracted to products and services that are inspiring and enable them to move freely between two different worlds. This can be different locations like digital nomads or different platforms in virtual space.

Defining Qualities of The Pioneers:

  • Entrepreneurial
  • Mercurial
  • Risk takers
  • Seeking inspiration

Pioneers are like light bulbs – they need to be switched on. Spark their interest with new ideas and problem-solving products that make the physical and virtual worlds better for everyone. They are inspired by new ideas and smart designs, and anything that seamlessly connects their digital and physical spaces.

The projected global revenue for video games is expected to reach $321 billion by 2026, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 8.4%.

Did you identify your target customers within these consumer profiles? Here are 4 strategies for successfully connecting with one – or all – of these trending consumer groups.

  1. Take the pressure off. Suggest products and services that offer a sense of calm, escapism, or humor to make life easier and more affordable as people grapple with the pressures of inflation, recession, climate change, and instability.
  2. Build connections and communities. Make the world feel smaller and friendlier by embedding a human touch into your products and services and do what you can to ensure your business has a positive impact in your community. Treating people and the planet with respect will help your brand build a lasting, loyal following.
  3. Offer quality over quantity. Consumers are overwhelmed with choices. To stand out, offer something better and be clear about how your products and services will add value to their lives.
  4. Help people switch modes. People feel fragmented, switching between work and home modes or physical and digital worlds. Help them switch between different versions of themselves with products and services that enhance their hybrid lifestyles with fewer boundaries.

We can’t wait to collaborate with you on campaigns that appeal to these distinct buying groups so your message can cut through the noise and make a lasting impression. Contact us today to get started!