What matters to Australians in 2023? Brand and consumer trends

Brands would be expected to anticipate that the Australian zeitgeist will remain set in 2023 on social health and interconnected wellbeing, due to the pandemic. But new global consumer research from Insites Consulting suggests otherwise. Amy Fridlund, director of research at the research and intelligence consultancy, explains why.

The 2023 edition of Insites Consulting’s ‘What Matters 2023’ report identified 12 major trends for 2023, with ‘Adaptable Essentials’ (a trend relating to conscious spending and preparation) and ‘Life Rewilded’ (a trend relating to a renewed appreciation for the natural environment and a desire to integrate it more into everyday life) ranking first and second globally.

On both trends, however, Australia is outperforming the indices relative to the rest of the world, meaning we can expect the impact on businesses domestically to be greater as a result.

What matters to Australians in 2023?  Brand and consumer trends

The extensive research highlights 2023 as a time of cultural and environmental transition. The report explores a collective desire to reimagine, reinvent and transform the world around us. It also shows what motivates Australians and where we stand out from the rest of the world among the 12 global trends.

For this study, InSites Consulting first consulted a global network of cultural experts, investigating how global and market forces are shaping and impacting the audiences and categories of the future. The researchers then developed a future-focused framework of understanding built from psychological models of human meaning.

Insites Consulting then spoke with leading consumers around the world to contextualize and develop an understanding of the emerging lived experience of these themes. Finally, these trends were quantified via a survey of over 15,000 people worldwide, including 1,000 Australians, to better understand what will matter most in 2023 and which trends are niche, nascent, emerging or expanding. .

Translate into brand action

While Australian hearts and hands may be unassumingly utilitarian and down-to-earth in 2023, that’s not to say that meeting these needs for practical solutions and things that bring us closer to nature is reserved only for companies that provide food and recreation.

On the contrary, research suggests that opportunities exist in many industries and that taking advantage of these trends is about creatively adapting product and service offerings to meet people where they are motivated.

Adaptable Essentials

For example, while the food and beverage sector and the healthcare industry are expected to play a pronounced role in the “Adaptable Essentials” trend – a trend that concerns conscious spending and preparation – financial services play the largest role in this trend compared to indexing in Australia, according to the data.

This is because it is an established trend in Australia and is growing with deeper roots in society. We see it manifest in the financial industry’s buy it now and pay later offers, access to earned wages for those struggling to pay check after check, and increased accessibility to unsecured loans for those who have few assets.

The significance of this trend indicates that it will continue for the foreseeable future and that it is shaping Australian thinking and behavior in ways that businesses across all sectors need to pay attention to and adapt.

The data suggests that even household goods companies and media and entertainment companies need to provide consumers with solutions that can help them adapt to the economic pressures of life today. Currently, it looks like cheaper concentrated soap and detergent sachets for refillable bottles that are cheaper to ship with constrained supply chains. But what are you going to offer tomorrow’s customers who expect more?

Life revived

Many of these same household products have also been designed to meet the needs of ‘Life Rewilded’, the second trend in Australia. Local sustainable cleaning brands, such as Koh and Zero Co. were founded with this idea at heart.

With its narrative “Bring more nature into your daily life”, Australian brand of natural cleaning products Koala Eco, is quite literal in its effort to embrace nature. Yet data indicates that Australia’s home improvement, furniture and gardening industries, alongside travel and tourism, are and will be most heavily impacted by this growing trend, which sees people seek to align and synchronize with nature physically, socially and spiritually.

Beyond the economic and environmental aspect of sustainability, this trend is about recognizing that we are part of a bigger whole in deeper and more meaningful ways. While ecotourism has been around in Australia for decades, we now see operators such as Qantas committing to net zero emissions by 2050 and phasing out single-use plastics, which roll off your tongue quite easily. But Qantas isn’t the local takeaway that’s getting rid of its plastic cutlery.

Weight and balance considerations of even a non-plastic spoon require teams of engineers and industrial designers to resolve. And carbon reduction targets can’t be easy to achieve when you’re operating one of the most remote airline fleets in the world.

While the trends in the “What Matters” report may seem ambitious at first glance, their implications, once fully understood, are decidedly practical and can be translated into tactical initiatives for any business.

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