New year, new customer needs
New needs for a new year
At the beginning of the year my inbox is full of articles telling me all about the trends for the year. ‘21 trends for 2021’ and so on. Some of these offer real insights. But I’d much rather my inbox was filled with ‘Needs for the New Year’. That I could really get behind. Because, while it’s important to know what your customers will do in future, it’s far more important to your bottom line to know what they’ll want.
Predicting behavioural trends is an essential tool. It helps you understand which sectors and platforms will grow and which decline; which of your current products and services are likely to succeed; and where and how to advertise them. It’s especially important for sales and marketing campaigns.
The need for needs
But when it comes to strategy and new product development, the key is identifying your customers future needs. You have to predict which products, services and models tomorrow’s consumers are most likely to want, expect, pay for, and be loyal to. Companies that predict customers’ new needs ahead of their competitors not only give themselves time to properly develop them. They can also gain first-mover advantage.
Combining observational research with our understanding of consumer behaviour patterns has enabled us to identify three core needs that we believe will be paramount to consumers once the pandemic is over. Three things that, if a company can provide them more quickly, cheaply or effectively than their competitors, will boost their market share exponentially.Those needs are: care, calm and community.
The pandemic made many people more aware of their vulnerability to ‘outside’ events. As a result, they’ll come out of it seeking ways to prepare themselves better for future events. They’ll take greater care, with more focus on safety. They’ll take steps to improve their physical and mental health. And they’ll learn more practical ‘adulting’ skills.
Increasingly anxious, many consumers will look to slow down, relax and switch off. Some will enjoy escapist pursuits. Others will look back to earlier times for guidance: seeking alternatives to a growth-led technological age. They’ll look for ways to ground themselves, with more focus on relationships, Nature or the spiritual.
Join The Community
As their trust in institutions declines, people will look more to their peers for support. This will include family, friends and ‘people like me’: those who share their attitudes, hobbies or interests. As working-from-home makes us spend more time within our communities, it’ll increasingly include neighbours as well.