ConsumerShift identifies the changing consumer values and external trends that are remaking the consumer landscape. Five key themes form the core of these changes, making “A CASE” for change. Fourth, is “S”: Self-expression.
Disillusionment with modern life and consumerism has led individuals to turn inward and reassess the meaning of their lives. There is a sense of emptiness from adding yet another material possession—and the data shows that having more money and goods–beyond poverty level–adds nothing to one’s happiness. Thus, there is a search for deeper purpose in one’s life. This pursuit is seen as a worthy one that has intrinsic value, and people want to tell the world about it.
The shift is from a passive to an active orientation; they want to express their views, their values, their purpose, and their creativity. Thus, the flourishing of social media—an ideal conduit for self-expression. And the emergence of “identity” products that tell the world who they are and what they’re about. They buy hybrid vehicles to show their support for the environment. They buy fair trade coffee to show their support for that cause. Self-expression is taking many forms – it’s not showing off, but sharing, in hopes of influencing, because they believe in what they are doing. Andy Hines