MaCher closely follows consumer data and insights to find shifts in underlying consumer trends. We always need to get a sense of how our own business, or that of our clients’, will have to adjust for future success.
We asked a selection of our clients across industries including travel, beauty, food & drink, and luxury goods to share what they think businesses can expect in 2023.
Back in 2020, when the world was awry, we all had to stop. Alongside the difficulties and frustrations, it was also a chance to look at our behaviors. Many stopped to wonder if they would or should be any different when pandemic restrictions were lifted. Would we be greener, kinder or more aware of our role in helping our communities thrive?
In recent weeks, while we’ve seen soup thrown on priceless artwork to protest a lack of climate action, a real shift towards prioritizing the health of our planet does seems to be happening. People are also emerging with a renewed wanderlust and a desire to experience and preserve the riches of our world.
Our clients seem to be recognising this change in mood
Mirroring many of the same consumer trend predictions that we discussed in 2020, our clients think that this year the focus will be for business to:
- Continue to embed environmental and social considerations into what they make and how they operate,
- Recognize that consumers are demanding greater transparency and openness,
- Prepare for constant disruption brought about through technology and society
- Optimize the ever-growing need for memories and experiences
Embed environmental and social considerations
All around the world, people are voting with their feet and their wallets for greater action on climate and societal issues.
“I think finally — finally — sustainability will become the default rather than “nice to have” In the travel industry”
“In the wine industry, there will be better choices for lighter glass bottles & higher quality wine being sold in boxes/pouches. We think more Restaurants will buy wine in 5 gallon refillable kegs for ‘By the Glass’ programs.”
Our clients also see the huge opportunities of the climate tech investment space. Some expect “far more crowdfunding, and just tons of EV stuff” for this year.
They also see their customers moving to more conscious choices:
“I do see a large shift in consumerism happening amongst various generations. I notice a lot more “conscious consumer” trends in the media. People are really giving time and energy into their purchases before they buy. Of course, this has been emerging for quite some time, but the frequency in which this appears in the media now has definitely increased.”
Businesses are changing too. There were only 844 B Corps when MaCher certified 2014 and there are over 6,250 companies now that make it our mission to give a voice to all of our stakeholders.
“I’m seeing a heightened interest – more now than ever – in the personal values/ethics of company leadership and how that impacts corporate work culture. Companies who are focused on things like: innovative hiring models (e.g. workforce development initiatives), ownership models (e.g. employee-owned), benefits and/or wellness/mindfulness/balance are seeing increased interest and recognition from consumers.”
“Increased emphasis on employee health and well-being. It’s no longer considered a soft value. It has proven measurable impact on the bottom line given the cost of attrition, absenteeism, poor performance, etc.”
Demand for transparency and openness
Whether in the ingredients that are used in products or the wider supply chains that provide support, legislation is increasingly following the calls for transparency that consumers demand. Companies need to keep up with this demand for ‘radical transparency’.
“New laws are helping to make consumers aware of the lack of regulation in the beauty industry. I think in 2023 we’ll start to see a push forward for more ingredient safety information.”
“We’ll start to see far more radical transparency because consumers are becoming more aware/educated and will become more demanding in terms of sustainability.”
One constant over the past few years has been that things are ever-changing. Threats and opportunities across the full spectrum of ‘PESTLE’ factors (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological and, Legal and Environmental) force business and consumers to re-think their attitudes to markets and to risk.
The worlds of cyber security and AI are continuing to grow in their influence in business. One of our clients sees the “Unstoppable force of ChatGPT’”as a key feature of the year to come. Its realistic, AI-derived content generation algorithms are even fooling scientists!
“Cybersecurity insurance providers will all shift to mandating a baseline security regime that will cost businesses more to maintain. Cybersecurity will no longer be optional if you want to have coverage!”
Moving to more natural science, one of our beauty clients sees the immense opportunities for skin treatments due to the evolution in enzymes. “We can provide potent, but non-irritating exfoliation in the professional treatment room. This evolution in enzymes will effectively bridge the gap between enzymes and chemical peels.”
Staying on top of the opportunities from disruption regardless of the underlying cause will require flexibility and agility in leadership.
“We must understand and take into account of that disruption. Whether due to climate change, workforce shortage or transition in workforce, supply chain shortage, etc., disruption will be the norm, rather than the exception”.
The travel industry is experiencing exceptional demand as people move to make up lost time during the pandemic. Whether staying closer to home, or planning later, “younger consumers are continuing to want to have experiences” over stuff’.
“Lead times for bookings have shrunk incredibly over the past couple of years. I think people will begin planning further out once again. This is welcome news for suppliers, as it allows for more accurate budgeting.”
Later planning may not lead to more customized experiences, but travelers want “more non-standard options. We will pivot to accommodate this change,” says one of our clients.
While admittedly not all believe that we’ve yet turned the tide towards greater sustainability, and regardless of the challenge, MaCher will be here to help support and guide you throughout 2023 and beyond. We’d like to thank all who shared their views with us for the year ahead.