There’s been an interesting announcement by Unilever chairman Amanda Sourry today about the changing demands of today’s UK consumers and how brands, particularly in retail and FMCG, need to adapt in order to remain in the game.
We all know the British shopper is experiencing financial constraints but still wants the best possible quality from retailers. Recent data shows that the UK has the fifth highest poverty rate among the 27 EU member countries. Unilever said that 20% of UK households lived on or below the poverty line and data from the Office of National Statistics reports that the country is experiencing the biggest decline in income in nearly 35 years.
These facts would naturally mean that brands should reconsider their approach to customers, who are now more likely to look for goods on promotions and shop on daily deals sites, like Groupon (and of course it explains their rapid uprising in 2011). However, we know modern consumers are highly informed and would only buy the best product available, while calling for transparency and dialogue with brands they are interested in.
Sourry added that there is a tendency for using cash over credit cards and DIY solutions over paying a middle man. Consumers are inclined to wait until they find a bargain instead of rushing to buy what they need. More evidence that customer service, and well thought through brand and shopping experiences should be top priority.