AI Identifies 3 Consumer Trends for Brands to Navigate

Spate has harnessed the power of AI technologies to analyze online search data across a diverse set of industries, including beauty, to create what it claims is “the first AI generated consumer trends report.”
“For brands navigating the complex landscape of today’s markets, this report offers more than mere information—it’s a compass. A guide to understanding where the consumer is venturing and the consequential shifts in their desires and needs,” Spate explains.
Using AI technologies such as GPT-4, Spate dove into the top shifts in behaviors based on a comparison of rising and declining trends.
The following are the top consumer trends identified by Spate using AI:

1. Craving Authenticity in a Sea of Sameness

In a world filled with mass-produced goods and recycled ideas, there is a growing hunger for authenticity and individuality, says Spate. Consumers are not just buying products; they are seeking deeper connections, genuine narratives, and a sense of individuality in everything they consume.
For instance, the rise in interest in authentic flavors, diverse narratives in media, and activities like river surfing and hill running suggests a desire for originality and genuineness. In contrast, the decline in specific types of furniture, jewelry, handbags, and home decor indicates a move away from material accumulation.
Spate says: “Brands that recognize and incorporate this craving for authenticity in their product development and marketing strategies will resonate more deeply with their audience.”

Brands can balance authenticity & efficiency with the following strategies:

  • Modular Design: Create base products using efficient, mass-production methods. Then, allow for customization or handcrafted elements to be added. This way, the foundation is produced efficiently, while the details can exhibit craftsmanship.

  • Integrate Technology: Utilize advanced machinery and AI for repetitive tasks while leaving intricate details and final touches to skilled artisans. This way, technology aids the efficiency part while humans ensure the touch of craftsmanship.

  • Storytelling and Transparency: Even if a product is mass-produced, brands can offer authenticity through storytelling. Share the origin, the people behind the product, and the techniques used. This can give consumers a sense of connection, even if the product isn’t 100% handcrafted.

  • Limited Editions: Offer special, limited-edition items that are handcrafted, while the majority of the product line is mass-produced. This caters to both segments of the market: those wanting something unique and those looking for standard, efficient options.

  • Feedback Loops: Continuously gather feedback from both consumers and craftsmen. This will help brands identify where they might be leaning too heavily toward either efficiency or craftsmanship and adjust accordingly.

2. Navigating the Digital Minefield

In an increasingly digital age, people are becoming more conscious of their online footprints, Spate found. This extends from data privacy to engaging with digital events and shows. At the same time, there is a growing desire for a balance between digital and physical experiences.
For instance, the rise in ‘data privacy and protection’ and technology gadgets indicates growing digital awareness. Conversely, the rising interest in physical arts like drawing, mezzotint, and “still life drawing” suggests a desire to reconnect with tangible experiences.
Spate says: “Brands that prioritize data privacy and create a balanced offering of digital and physical experiences will cater to the evolving needs of consumers in this digital age.”

Brands can balance digital & physical in the following ways:

  • Hybrid Product Offerings: Develop products that fuse digital and physical elements. For instance, a traditional board game could be enhanced with augmented reality features, or a digital purchase could include a tangible collectible or merchandise.

  • Experience Centers: Even predominantly digital brands can establish physical touchpoints—like pop-up shops, experience zones, or event spaces—where consumers can engage with the brand in a tangible manner.

  • Community Engagement: Host both online and offline events. Digital webinars, virtual meetups, or online challenges can be complemented with offline workshops, product launches, or community meetups to offer a holistic brand experience.

  • Revive with Modernity: Repackage or reintroduce classic, tangible products with modern elements. This could mean reintroducing an older product with smart features or collaborating with modern influencers or designers for a fresh take on a classic.

  • Transparency in Digital Practices: As part of their digital experience, brands should emphasize clear communication about data usage, easy-to-access privacy controls, and transparent terms of service to build trust.

  • Promote Digital Detox: Brands can offer solutions or campaigns that encourage users to balance their screen time with real-world interactions, underlining the brand’s commitment to the well-being of its consumers.

  • Collaborative Initiatives: Partner with artists, craftspersons, or event organizers to incorporate tangible experiences into predominantly digital offerings. This could be through limited edition merchandise, sponsored physical events, or interactive digital content that encourages physical participation.

3. The Pursuit of Betterment and Resilience

With more access to information, Americans are feeling less sure of themselves and their surroundings. In a world filled with uncertainties, there is a growing desire for self-improvement, resilience, and personal agency. According to Spate, consumers are challenging themselves, trying new activities, and stepping out of their comfort zones.
For example, the rise in activities like target shooting, unconscious bias, and retirement planning suggests a desire for personal resilience and self-improvement.
According to Spate, brands that promote self-improvement and resilience in their products and marketing strategies will cater to the evolving needs of their target audience.
Brands can support betterment resilience in the following ways:

  • Product Development and Innovation: Brands should focus on developing products that empower consumers in their personal growth journeys, whether it’s by providing the tools they need to pick up new skills, improve their physical health, or enhance their mental and emotional well-being. Products should be durable, reliable, and trustworthy, reflecting the value of resilience.

  • Brand Messaging: Marketing strategies should revolve around the notions of empowerment, resilience, and self-improvement. Testimonials and success stories can be impactful, showing how the brand’s products have helped consumers achieve their goals or overcome challenges.

  • Educational Content and Tutorials: Brands can position themselves as thought leaders by providing educational content via video content. By equipping consumers with knowledge, brands can build trust and cultivate a community of loyal followers.

  • Collaborations and Partnerships: Partnering with influencers or experts in the fields of self-improvement or resilience can further boost brand credibility.

  • Experience-driven Opportunities: Offer consumers the chance to try out new activities or experiences, e.g., hosting workshops or classes.

  • Community Building: Fostering a community where consumers can share their personal growth stories, challenges, and tips can deepen brand loyalty. This strategy aligns with the rising desire for connection and shared growth experiences.

More Consumer Trend Reports

PowerReviews recently surveyed over 26,000 beauty shoppers to shed light on the trends driving the popularity of beauty. See their insights.

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