The British economy faces challenges if it is to be globally
competitive going forward. At a Policy Exchange event, sponsored by
Kantar Retail, we were asked to speak about global consumer trends,
to help identify the opportunities and challenges from global
Kantar's The Futures Company has identified six key global
consumer trends. We call this framework: 'The six faces of the
- More urban: not just more people living in
urban communities, but also more urban in terms of the way people
think, their values system and the way they buy products. We need
to think about how this drives a different type of economy. The UK
has real strengths in city based services, such as: urban planning,
distribution of goods and services and e-commerce.
- More female: that doesn't just mean there will
be more women working in the formal economy; it also means women
will have more impact on society and values.
- Older: this has implications for the economy,
in terms of the rising cost of care and pension costs, but a number
of UK businesses are very well positioned to take advantage of
aging populations globally, for example: the financial services and
- More connected: this is linked to the 'more
urban'. The UK's Technology Strategy Board has recently set up a
"Futures Cities Catapult" to galvinise UK investment and capacity
primarily in the UK's engineering, architectural and technological
- More aware: The Futures Company have
identified a more general movement towards more sceptical consumers
who need more reassurance about products and services. There is an
increase in assurance based products, regulation, legal agreements,
and so on, where the UK still has a good reputation for fairness
and neutral dealing.
- More personalised: manufacturing on demand to
provide personalised products and services at different sites.
If the UK can take advantage of our strengths around: our
knowledge base; design and innovation; brand UK; and the strength
in our service based sector, we can grow our existing industries
globally and find new areas for growth.
Source : Kantar Retail, Kantar Futures, Kantar