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Understanding Consumer Trends: Accenture’s latest Life Trends Report


Accenture, a global professional services company in the field of strategy, consulting, technology, and operations, shared their observations on consumer trends, drawn from their extensive experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries.

Last week during our GVBOT's event - "Consumer Trends: Develop Stronger Relationships with Customers" - Accenture shared the findings of their latest Lifestyle Trends report which covers several of the latest consumer trends. Here are 5 of the trends explored during the event and the key insights from the panellists.

Trend 1: Where's the Love?

Customer obsession emerged as a focal point for excellence with the rise of digital products and services, but customers are increasingly noticing companies are emphasizing profit over customers and even the strongest brands are losing trust. In fact, the latest Lifestyle Trends report found that 37% of people worldwide think that many companies are prioritizing higher profits over customers.

Perception is a critical issue in the evolving landscape of consumer-business relationships. While most brands prioritize profitability to remain viable in a challenging economy, customers often perceive these actions differently. Businesses need to be vigilant not only in their interactions with customers but also in monitoring consumer sentiment as a whole.

Despite the challenges, there's a significant opportunity for businesses to redefine customer relationships positively. Meaningful and competent customer experiences will likely become decisive factors in defining brand loyalty. Identifying and addressing the breaking points that lead to customer resentment will be crucial in this endeavor.

Question this raises: Are you as a customer feeling the love from big brands? Which brands are these? What are they doing that you could replicate for your own company?

Trend 2: The Great Interface Shift

Generative AI is upgrading people's experience of the internet from transactional to personal, enabling them to feel more digitally understood than ever. 44% of people feel comfortable with the idea of using conversational AI tools for work, while 42% are comfortable with the idea of using conversational AI to find product recommendations.

With the rise of generative AI and conversational tools, a new era of flexible personalization and relevance is on the horizon. Multimodal capabilities will further enhance the customer experience, leading to deeper connections between consumers and brands.

Question this raises: How do you see generative AI helping you as a customer?

Trend 3: 'Meh'-diocrity

Novelty drives excitement and emotional connection, but entertainment and content are leaning too hard on familiarity. 35% of respondents find app designs indistinguishable across brands, a sentiment that rises to nearly 40% among 18-to-24-year-olds.

As creativity becomes increasingly reliant on technology, businesses must strike a balance between familiarity and novelty. Customers crave novelty, and businesses that can deliver unexpected and delightful experiences will stand out in a sea of monotony. 

Question this raises: When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised by a brand?

Trend 4: Error 429: Human Request Limit Reached

People are increasingly agreeing that "Technological progress is ruining our lives". Changes feel too fast, and technology promises a lot but also demands - digital literacy, attention and time, and mental health. Intense hype cycles make people feel like passengers.

The rapid pace of technological advancement has led to feelings of overwhelm among consumers. Balancing the promises of technology with its demands is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship with customers. Businesses must strive to simplify and enhance the customer experience without adding to the burden of information overload.

Question this raises: How is your relationship with technology? Have you reached your limit? When was a time you felt technology helped your experience as a customer?

Trend 5: Decade of Deconstruction

48% of survey participants either make plans for less than a year into the future or don't plan at all. New freedoms and constraints are prompting deconstruction of what has always been accepted as true. Common ideas of success are giving way to diverging paths of personal enrichment. Less reliance on systems is observed.

Traditional milestones and societal norms are undergoing deconstruction, leading to diverging paths of personal enrichment. Businesses must recognize and adapt to these changing dynamics, offering flexibility and customization to meet the evolving needs and aspirations of their customers.

Question this raises: When you compare yourself to previous generations, how do you think the decisions you make at your age differ from theirs?

In conclusion, understanding these consumer trends is paramount for businesses aiming to forge stronger relationships with their customers. However, merely acknowledging these trends is not enough; proactive steps must be taken to adapt strategies accordingly. In essence, navigating the evolving landscape of consumer trends requires agility, empathy, and a keen understanding of customer preferences. By embracing these challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation, businesses can build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their customers and thrive in an ever-changing marketplace.

These trends were discussed at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's 'Consumer Trends: Develop Stronger Relationships with Customers' event, presented by Accenture.

Accenture's Life Trends 2024 report looks at the changing customer, the influence of generative AI, the balance of tech benefits and burdens, and people's new life goals. A resource for businesses and brands looking to develop stronger relationships with customers, the report offers a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as businesses seek to keep up with changing customer trends and habits.

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