Thursday, July 19, 2012

Consumer Values Have Changed, Gartner Says

Of 10 consumer macro trends shaping the technology, media and service provider markets over the next 10 years, perhaps the most important is the shift to “value” as consumers reset expectations in response to sluggish global growth, analysts at Gartner now say.

“All 10 of these trends converge around questions of value, what consumers value enough to pay for, how consumers' values are changing, and how technology and service providers can respond to this to increase their sales and margins,” Gartner says.

Consumer technology markets are being redefined by consumer cuts of  discretionary spending in the wake of successive financial and economic crises.

Still, consumers seem to put a higher value on media and communications products in times of recession as they cut back on more-expensive substitutes, Gartner argues.

In addition to more “recession-friendly” marketing messages, a greater range of "affordable" or value product options, more-strenuous customer engagement efforts, and improved customer experience efforts, will be required.

Over time, there has been a closing of the classic "digital divide" between the haves and have-nots in terms of access to basic technology products and services. At the same time, there has been an acceleration of product update, upgrade and replacement cycles.

Acceleration should in theory give consumers more spare time to do the things they want. In reality, they experience the reverse. Therefore, the most valuable product that service providers can deliver to consumers is extra time in the day to do things that they want or need to get done.

Products and services that help consumers fill their time more productively and/or pleasurably are the most compelling, Gartner argues.

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