Report: Recession changes everything

Recession is Game Changer for Consumer Behavior (Initiative)A new report by Initiative finds that shifts in the economic climate have created permanent shifts in consumer behavior. The report “Game Changer” provides marketers with insight on how brands can take advantage of changing values in their products and messaging.  Some of the key findings included:

-Massive decline in trust of “establishment”  (Further proof of what we’ve known for awhile, that consumers are trusting each other and online communities more than ever)

-Qualities such as “reliable,” “open” and “honest” are now valued more than “well-known” or “established”

-The Internet has become an “essential form of technology” for 75 percent of consumers surveyed, with mobile in second at 56 percent (interesting here was the 40 percent who said they are most likely to maintain spending on the Internet compared with other forms of technology and communication) 

-Three quarters of consumers have altered their spending habits  to save money by “buying on promotion, trading down, or switching to an own-label”

-Consumers are still treating themselves, with even the hardest hit homes splurging on entertainment, vacation and eating out

-26 percent of consumers say they plan to continue with many of the changes they have made, even once the economic situation improves

How marketers will put these learnings into practice will be a challenge–but they underscore the fact that social media and online communities must be at the center of any effective marketing strategy. Check out AdWeek’s report on the research here.