Marketers need to be able to monitor trends with an eye towards predicting what consumers will want next. While it is hard to predict the future, we can examine the current environment with respect to what might happen next.
In its yearly predictions report, international research firm Euromonitor forecasts what consumers will want and need. Companies then can use these predictions to consider the strategies that they might pursue.
Lifestyles in 2021 made radical shifts as populations continued to be impacted by the pandemic. To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to be very important to the immediate future. Marketers and businesses must evolve quickly to keep up with new demands.
Ten predictions for consumers in 2022 include:
Rethinking the supply chain.
Climate change – a low-carbon world.
Senior citizens and their digital adoptions and usage.
Controlling personal finances.
Prioritizing personal values and individual goals.
The metaverse moves to reality.
Increasing adoption of second-hand and peer-to-peer marketplaces.
City dwellers want advantages of living outside of cities.
The importance of self-care and happiness.
The hybridization of being social.
These trends provide guidance for companies and marketers. Using these, we can gain insight into consumer values and behavior. If 2021 was a year that required us to be adaptable and resilience, then what does 2022 indicate?
Discuss the importance of environmental scanning and conducing SWOT analysis.
Show the Euromonitor report to students.
Divide students into teams.
Have each team select one of the top 10 trends and prepare a discussion for the class.
What industries and companies will be most impacted by that trend?
What should marketers do to address the trend?
Source: Alcantara, A-M., (January 17, 2022). Ten trends that will shape the way we shop, eat and live this year, Wall Street Journal; Euromonitor International (January 18, 2022), Top 10 global consumer trends 2022.
Let’s start with a quiz: How many running or athletic pairs of shoes do you own? How long do they last? How much do you spend?
If your closet is like mine, you probably have at least six pairs, of which five pairs are very used and dirty. It would be nice if we could wear running shoes until they are worn or dirty, and then just trade it them in for a new pair. Well, as luck would have it, Swiss footwear company On Running is now offering a new running shoe called “Cyclon.” But Cyclon is not for sale – only for rent. Yes, rent. Use, wear, and return them for a new pair.
Cyclon is available for a monthly fee of $29.95. It is a subscription service for not only a performance running shoe, but a fully recyclable plant-based shoe. Castor beans are used as the base, and the shoe upper is sewn from a single piece of fabric to help reduce waste. On Running focused on the challenges of not only creating a fully recyclable shoe, but also making sure that the shoes were returned to be recycled. Thus, the subscription model of ‘rent and return’ gives On control of the recycling process.
It seems to have resonated with the market – in the first 48 hours after launching Cyclon On signed 2,000 subscribers! On needs 5,000 people to sign up per region in order to ship the shoes at reduced carbon footprint of the transportation.
Let’s go for a run!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
Discuss a subscription business model. Poll students: What subscription services do they use? Other services they can name? (Ex: meal kits, shave clubs, entertainment, etc.).
Poll students: On average, how much do they pay for a running shoe and how long does it last? How many pairs of athletic shoes do they have currently?
Have you noticed that some businesses are getting rid of plastic bags? Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you are too busy figuring out how to store or get rid of your own growing plastic bag collection! The average family gains 60 plastic bags in four trips to the grocery store.
Make no mistake – plastic bags are indeed a problem for the environment. According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags and sacks are used annually in the U.S. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, at an estimated $4 billion cost to retailers. It’s not just the cost that raises eyebrows – plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris found most often in coastal cleanups.
However, only eight states ban single-use plastic bags; 14 other states have laws that protect the bags. Why so few bans? A combination of factors including deep-pockets of the chemical industry and the political influence of retailers and restaurants account for plastic bag sales of roughly $1.4 billion in the U.S. alone.
As a result of the widespread proliferation of bags, lawmakers across the U.S. are banning or considering banning single-use plastic bags. Replacements include reusable bags which can also provide retailers with a great opportunity to expand their brand awareness as well as lessen negative environmental impacts. This, of course, present marketers with a place to make an impact for the environment and the store brand.
What’s your favorite bag to carry?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
Poll students: Name stores that use their own bags instead of non-branded plastic bags.