In 2025, consumers will choose quality over quantity
WGSN gives us an opportunity to look at the buyer of the future. Recently, the industry's leading trend forecasting service published a report Future Consumer 2025; for the eighth year, the report has been advertised as the company's flagship official document.
The purpose of the report is to summarize signals about changes affecting consumer behavior. The analysis, based on a six-week intensive study, revealed four key consumer profiles, as well as strategies for effective interaction of companies with these groups. And one compelling conclusion is that in 2025 (and possibly earlier) consumers will prefer quality over quantity more than ever. Functionality will also be of paramount importance.
For example, one of the consumer profiles, nicknamed "timekeepers", considers time to be its most valuable resource. Creating meaningful memories is more important to them than material values, and according to the report, "quality will always be more important than quantity for these consumers, and they are more interested in acquiring lasting memories than in material goods." From the point of view of purchasing habits, these people are looking for time-efficient products that will help them free themselves from constant obligations.
WGSN also talked about "pioneers" who are as immersed in the digital world as they are in the physical one. These are the thinkers of the future, interested in new technologies, entrepreneurial strategies and the metaverse. Trailblazers need products that allow them to move freely between the physical and digital worlds, as well as "more personalized products and services."
The environmental impact is also the main concern of most of these future types of consumers. Take for example the "reductionists" who reject excessive consumption. They are aware of the impact of the textile industry on climate change, and 64% actively support local businesses. Meanwhile, the "new nihilists" are looking for happiness outside the mainstream. Of this group, more than 45% report that thinking about climate change negatively affects their daily lives and functioning.
"We are facing cascading and unprecedented challenges as a planet," says Carla Buzasi, President and CEO of WGSN. "Therefore, it has never been so important to understand the fears, desires and problems of consumers and deliver products that will really change their lives."
WGSN offers four "success strategies" for these future consumer groups, one of which is to "offer quality instead of quantity."
"We are oversaturated with choice, even when it becomes clear that our world cannot meet our demand for its resources," the report says. "To stand out, you need to offer something better, not just something bigger, and you need to clearly explain to consumers how your products and services will add value and enrich their lives."
These results are consistent with the trends that we have already begun to observe in the fashion industry, primarily the transition to timeless, functional, wearable things. The main through-line among the fall 2023 shows was "hidden wealth" or "quiet luxury", that is, clothing that does not deliberately advertise its value, instead relying on high-quality fabric and construction. The latest collections from Prada, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander and Loro Piana are particularly striking examples of this. It also corresponds to the growing trend of the "core of the recession", a new era of classic minimalist clothing in the face of economic turmoil.
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