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UK Insights

Six faces of the global consumer

Wayne Levings


Economy 18.02.2014 / 10:00

Is global growth a challenge or an opportunity for the UK?

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 growth.

Kantar's The Futures Company has identified six key global consumer trends. We call this framework: 'The six faces of the global consumer'.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 pharmaceutical industries.
  4. 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 expertise.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Editor's Notes

Click on the video above to see Wayne's speech in full. Journalists wanting to interview Wayne Levings should contact us.

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