According to a new report from Euromonitor, this year consumers will be increasingly turning to their social networks for shopping advice and demanding greener goods.
The April 2 report follows on from a March report into key consumer trends of 2012; international strategy research group Euromonitor has published an in-depth report on what it has identified as one of this year's macro consumer trends dubbed ‘Consumer Vigilantes Speak Up!' and summarized as "... pressurizing brands towards greater accountability and genuine innovative responses ...."
According to the report, the trend is characterized by the increased use of social networks by consumers to "discover, discuss and purchase goods," and particularly to use friends' opinions to decide whether or not to purchase a product. Consumers are looking at whether brands engage in greener policies in order to win the public's trust with regards to environmental and ethical issues. The report notes that brands are beginning to take action in order to address these trends, putting what is described as a "more human touch" on their policies by adopting more casual language or rewarding customers for 'liking' their brand on Facebook.
These trends have also encouraged the development of increasing numbers of brands or companies that serve to inform consumers about products and services. For example the Good Guide (cited in the report) provides shoppers with environmental and ethical information on the product they are about to buy while US-based Cliq provides consumers with information on local services based on opinions expressed by members of their social network.
The full report "Consumer Vigilantes Speak Up!" can be read at http://goo.gl/Mg5ll.
Increased use of social media by consumers and a greater demand for brands to implement truly green policies look likely to shape the retail environment of 2012.
A Trendwatching report, released in December 2011, identified an increase in brand-led recycling schemes and a demand for instant access to information as two of the hottest trends of this year.
Recent examples of this trend include Nestle Waters North America Inc's March pledge to use 50 percent recycled materials in packaging one of its brands, Starbucks' commitment to developing a "comprehensive recycling solution" by the end of 2012 and the development of a 'greener' toilet paper known as Andrex Eco by Kimberly-Clark.
This is one of a series that will be published by Euromonitor over the coming months examining the driving forces behind consumer behavior in 2012.