MANILA, Philippines– Calls to boycott brands engaging in unfair labor practices and the growing popularity of environment-friendly items are just some of the latest trends in business, according to a study, and brands have to adapt and take a stand if they want to stay in business.
A paper by communications solutions agency Havas Ortega Group entitled "Emerging shifts in Filipino consumption mindsets" found that certain types of people called prosumers believe that their money and the way they spend it can make a difference in the world.
Who prosumers are: They are the types of consumers that are first to try what's new and are relied upon by their circles for recommendations and opinions. They are influential in what the mainstream will patronize within 18 to 24 months.
Prosumers are present across social classes and various demographic groups. They are not necessarily or limited to the rich and famous or social media bloggers.
The numbers: The study involving 300 Filipino respondents found that 93% of prosumers believe in responsible consumption, 86% believe in their capacity to make a difference in the world, and 49% believe in the strength of their purchasing power more than their voting power.
Moreover, 60% of prosumers will choose a product depending on a company's values or political and social activities.
"These numbers indicate that Filipino prosumers have truly realized the power they have in influencing not just the marketplace but society as a whole. The mere act of choosing at the grocery, at the supermarket, in a botique, or in the mall are more than just shopping and buying for Filipino prosumers," said Phil Tiongson, Havas Ortega's head of data and analytics.
Tiongson said the respondents of their study also feel guilt and worry over the impact of their consumption on society and the planet.
"They are redefining what makes a good purchase and are moving towards more mindful and meaningful buying habits," he explained.
Meanwhile, 73% of Filipino prosumers are becoming more selective, asking themselves if they really need to buy a particular item. The figure is higher than the global average of 61%.
In addition, 88% of respondents said they are willing to shell out more cash for items that will contribute to a good cause. And 95% think about the impact of their shopping habits on the resources of the planet.
Tiongson also said consumers are starting to prefer local brands over international brands.
"People feel that if they buy local, it helps the economy. Plus, they are realizing that local products are good," he said.
What it means for business: Havas Ortega chairman and CEO Jos Ortega said businesses have to keep up with these emerging trends.
He said businesses have to "adapt by taking the consumers' guilt out of the equation" and help them express a sense of self.
Tiongson also said that consumers are increasingly asking businesses on their stand regarding certain social issues. Campaigns on equality, the environment, and nationalism are some of the effective ways for brands to reach consumers.
He said companies should carefully study and take into account these new needs of consumers to stay relevant. – Rappler.com