CONSUMER TRENDS FOR FUTURE
What fundamental demographic trends will shape the consumer market over the next 25 years? To help answer that question, American Demographic teamed up with MapInfo, a Troy, New York-based market research firm, to create population projections to 2025. They found that the trends most likely to influence the business agendas of tomorrow re already gaining momentum today, and the smartest marketers have started developing strategies for the three largest and most likely demographic trends that will shape the marketplace of tomorrow.
America the Crowded
Â· More opportunity, more niche markets.
Â· Environmental concerns moving front and center.
By the year 2025, the US population is expected to exceed 350 million peopleâ€”an increase of bout 70 million and a boost of 25 percent. Expect record-shattering growth to continue, as Americans live longer, birth rates hold steady, and immigration continues apace.
However, this massive market does not herald a return to the mass market. As the population increases, niche markets may become unwieldy for businesses to target with a single marketing strategy. As a result, the niche market of today, such as Hispanic Americans, will become a mass market in its own right, segmented not only by nationality (i.e. Mexican, Guatemalan), but also by spending behavior and other psychographic characteristics.
The population growth will present some challenges. Natural resources will be stretched, so we can expect to see escalating conflicts at the local level over the use of land, water, and power. Products and services will be scrutinized more closely for their environmental impact.
The Mighty Mature Market
Â· The senior market gaining new allure.
Â· Creating ageless, multigenerational brands.
By 2025, as baby boomers age and life expectancy continues to increase, the number of seniors will double to more than 70 million people. The graying of America means that companies will have to do more than pay lip service to the idea of marketing to older people.
Businesses are going to suddenly lose all interest in the 18 to 34 demographic. Instead, companies will have to learn to establish brands that attract older consumers without alienating younger ones. One example: A recent Pepsi commercial features a teenage boy in the middle of a mesh pit at a rock concert. He turns around to discover his father rocking out nearby.
People at 50 arenâ€™t considered over the hill anymore. Smart marketers will capitalize on this knowledge and create the image of an ageless society where people define themselves more by the activities theyâ€™re involved in than by their age. For instance, college students can be 20, 30 or 60 years old.
The Consumer Kaleidoscope
Â· Devising campaigns that appeal to many demographic segments.
Â· Figuring out how to address the shrinking white majority
By 2025, the term â€œminorityâ€? as itâ€™s currently used, will be virtually obsolete. As the share of non-Hispanic whites falls to 60 percent from 70 percent today, the Hispanic population will almost double and the number of Asians in the United States will also double. As one executive at a trends consulting firm said, companies that have not yet developed a multicultural marketing strategy have to â€œwake up and smell the Thai tacos.â€? Yet itâ€™s hard to know whether tomorrow multicultural marketing strategies will continue to be segmented by race or whether n increasingly multicultural population prefers inclusive â€œfusionâ€? strategies that attempt to encompass many different nationalities or racial identities in one campaign.
Think Benetton and GAP or this latter strategy. To figure this out, companies will have to rely more heavily on ethnographic research and yet they canâ€™t ignore the dwindling white majority.
Finally, If the current gap in wealth and income between white and nonwhite consumers holds for the next 25 years, businesses will have ample reason to target the nationâ€™s 210 million non-Hispanic white consumers.
Even in Asian countries like India, China and others with massive consuming power the marketers must consider the changing demographics and plan their strategies to meet the future trends.