Environmental Factors and the Future Consumer
I’m part way through a small research piece for an FMCG company that is interested in exploring the future consumer and what kind of environmental factors might influence their purchasing decisions. Interestingly enough toward the end of last year I had three FMCG firms approach me about a similar challenge, so ‘Future Consumers’ must be ‘flavour of the month’ (pun intended). When talking consumers, an Environmental Factor refers to the things that influence the consumer, especially at point of sale and delving into some of the emerging developments in this space is delightfully interesting.
Without giving too much away before I hand my report to my client, there’s a very distinct sense of change in the food sector that suggests a myriad of possibilities in the products space. There’s examples of how data is being used to engage with customers; examples of product stewardship; examples of functionality and more. But perhaps the biggest challenge is what appears to be a shift in price sensitivity over which OTHER factors are being layered. I won’t say much specific here but offer an example from a different but aligned sector: petroleum.
It appears that over the past 12 months, Petroleum has crossed the ‘must have threshold’. In otherwords, regardless of current price, people were going to fill their tanks. But recent Environmental Scanning has identified that the threshold has snapped. Simply put, a confluence of factors (cost per litre, down-sizing by companies leading to job losses, increased acceptability of genuine job flexibility location options and new technology among others) now suggests that consumers are actively choosing to reduce their need for fuel. The cost has become overladen with other factors that heighten consumer sensitivity to it. Environmental Factors are shifting consumer behaviour away from the incumbent.
This has a whole array of other impacts connected to it – less consumption increases prices charged increases less consumption. Higher prices lead to fewer car sales = slump in imports and on it goes.
Building the systems map for my FMCG client is showing some glaring change over the next five to ten years that will potentially capture many current brands by surprise. In summary, the Environmental Factors that influence consumer behaviour appear to be evolving. Opportunities and Risk abound!
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Looking Up Feeling Good will be running an workshop on the Organisational Evolution Model in Perth. The Org-Ev model has been used by a wide number of agencies across almost all industry sectors, and was originally developed for the Australian Strategic Planning Institute. The workshop is limited to 25 people and will take place at…Read More >
If you’re involved with setting policy, allocating funding, designing products or services and delivering on them, then one book you simply must have read is the absolutely astounding ‘Invisible Women’ by Caroline Criado Perez. What Perez has done with this book is ALL OF THE RESEARCH you need to have available to you when you…Read More >
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One of the most challenges aspects for owners of businesses, and also for Boards charged with running businesses, is how to allow for the impact of a decision to unfold over time. Many listed company Boards will be delaying with a CEO on a limited tenure. The Board will have set expectations for performance and…Read More >
Local Governments in Australia face an emerging risk space that many seem unaware of. Brought on by rising costs, especially in business premises rentals, compliance needs and registration costs, research we’ve identified as part of work with a Local Government client is indicating a significant increase in businesses popping up in residential areas. What seems…Read More >