Understanding the Consumer of the Future

Special thanks to one of our members (wished to remain anonymous) who forward this article.

Leigh Buchanan, salve
of Inc Magazine, interviewed John Gerzema of Young and Rubicam in August about the consumer of the future. The interview focuses on overall consumer attitudes that are applicable to both consumer facing technologies/applications and consumer goods.

It addresses many questions such as:

  • Many people have been financially devastated by the recession. Probably most were spooked by it. Is that enough to end consumerism as we know it?
  • Your data also show that people increasingly seek to make purchases from companies that reflect their values.
    If, as you say, consumers are pinching pennies to rebuild lost wealth, will they really be able to afford to shop at a values-oriented business like Whole Foods?
  • How can companies target populations that might hold different values?
  • Your data show that kindness and generosity are among the qualities customers increasingly demand most from business. Yet customer-facing employees often feel overworked and beaten down, and in many instances customer service seems worse than ever. How do companies solve that problem?
  • You cite research that many Americans no longer consider products such as televisions, dishwashers, and air conditioners to be necessities. How do makers of products newly rendered unnecessary rethink their marketing and value proposition?

Click here to read the complete interview.

Do you see the same change in consumer attitudes or has your experience shown something different? How should consumer facing technology companies respond to these changes?