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Understanding your target market: 2024 trends for brands

The report titled “Trendspotting 2024” provides insights into the latest social and demographic trends shaping the Australian consumer landscape. 

Authored by Nichola Quail, the Founder and CEO of Insights Exchange, the report delves into various demographic shifts and their implications for businesses and brands seeking to understand and connect with their target audience effectively. Polarizing news feeds have contributed to a complex demographic landscape in 2024, driven by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, which has widened the gaps between different demographic groups in Australia and New Zealand. With over two decades of experience in market research and demography, Nichola Quail emphasizes the importance of staying abreast of demographic shifts for brands, identifying opportunities within these gaps to engage with consumers effectively and build brand loyalty.

Consumers today expect brands to align with their values, needs, and concerns. The report highlights key areas such as sustainability, inflation, and the evolving nature of work, shedding light on consumer behavior and preferences. It underscores the significance of understanding demographic trends for developing robust brand strategies, product offerings, and marketing campaigns that resonate with consumers.

The executive summary provides a concise overview of six key trends identified in the report, including Frugal Sustainability, The Mooch Generation, and Generation Jones, among others. It emphasizes the need for brands to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and preferences, particularly in light of economic pressures and demographic shifts.

Frugal Sustainability

The intersection of sustainability and affordability continues to be a focal point for Australian consumers. According to recent surveys conducted by leading market research firms, 78% of Australian consumers consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions, with 43% willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. This trend is particularly pronounced among millennials and Gen Z, who are driving the demand for sustainable and ethically sourced goods. Brands that prioritize sustainability in their products and practices not only appeal to environmentally conscious consumers but also tap into a growing market segment that values authenticity and social responsibility.

Inflation and the Gender Gap

The specter of inflation looms large over Australian households, impacting spending patterns and priorities. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 3.5% in the past year, outpacing wage growth and putting pressure on household budgets. Interestingly, there is a notable gender gap in concerns over inflation, with women expressing greater apprehension about rising prices compared to men. This discrepancy can be attributed to factors such as the gender pay gap, women’s disproportionate responsibility for household expenses, and traditional gender roles. Brands that acknowledge and address these disparities by offering targeted promotions, flexible payment options, and financial education resources stand to foster stronger relationships with female consumers.

A Paradigm Shift at Work

The traditional notion of work is undergoing a seismic shift, propelled by economic pressures and technological advancements. The rise of the gig economy and the proliferation of AI are reshaping the way Australians work and earn. Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that nearly 1 in 3 Australians are now engaged in some form of freelance or contract work, with a growing number opting for flexible arrangements that allow for a better work-life balance. Additionally, advances in automation and AI are creating new opportunities for remote work and digital entrepreneurship. Brands that adapt their marketing strategies to resonate with this emerging workforce, emphasizing flexibility, autonomy, and skill development, are poised to capture the loyalty of this dynamic demographic.

AI – Devil or Deliverer?

Artificial Intelligence continues its march into various facets of Australian life, promising both transformative benefits and potential pitfalls. While familiarity with AI is widespread, concerns linger regarding its impact on livelihoods, privacy, and the quality of human interaction. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 68% of Australians believe that AI will have a significant impact on their jobs in the next five years, with younger generations expressing greater optimism about the potential benefits of AI compared to older demographics. Brands that leverage AI to enhance customer experiences while preserving personalization and empathy, such as chatbots for customer service or personalized product recommendations, stand to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly automated world.

The Mooch Generation

The phenomenon of young adults delaying financial independence and continuing to reside with their parents presents both challenges and opportunities for brands. According to data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the proportion of young adults living with their parents has steadily increased over the past decade, driven by factors such as housing affordability, student debt, and changing social norms. However, contrary to stereotypes, many adult children living at home are gainfully employed and contribute to household expenses. Brands that understand the unique needs and spending habits of this demographic, offering products and services tailored to their transitional lifestyles, can capture a significant share of this market segment.

Generation Jones

Often overlooked in marketing narratives, Generation Jones, aged 55-70, represents a demographic with distinct characteristics and preferences. Contrary to stereotypes, many in this cohort are digitally savvy, financially stable, and actively engaged in the workforce. According to research from Roy Morgan, 65% of Generation Jones use the internet daily for various activities, including shopping, banking, and social networking. Climate change emerges as a top concern for Generation Jones, signaling an opportunity for brands to align with their values and address their specific needs and interests, such as eco-friendly products, ethical investments, and sustainable retirement options.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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