To understand the overarching factors at play in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s business and consumer landscape, it is important to understand the broader macroeconomic environment while detecting emerging signals of change. Understanding how these elements may combine to alter the consumer, retail and business environment can give companies a more informed and considered base to make decisions about the future.
Across Asia Pacific, there are a number of broad drivers of change such as population distribution and ageing demographics that will be vital for organizations to understand moving forward. The accelerating urbanization seen in other regions is happening here too, but the percentages of people living in smaller towns and cities as opposed to the growth of high density cities in China and India is comparatively very high and will translate to very different consumer environments. Infrastructure investment is also unlocking consumption in these less densely populated areas and could be an additional stream of opportunity to companies who target the unique lifestyles, characteristics and preferences of these people.
The ageing segment of the population in some countries across Asia Pacific like Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand is becoming increasingly prominent and will have major impacts on the way consumer-facing brands seek growth. Expert forecasts that over half the world’s diabetics will reside in Asia by 2030 due to age-related health issues and diet. This is likely to result in a range of specially formulated products appearing on the horizon.
These are just a few examples of the broader change agents at play and factors like legislation, trade agreements and evolving consumer attitudes are just some of the factors that companies should consider when formulating growth strategies.
There are a myriad of examples of companies and industries that have been blindsided by change they didn’t see coming. Conversely, there are a growing number of examples of organizations reaping the rewards of future-driven thinking. Innovations in research and analytics in recent years have brought about new capabilities to leverage tools like big data modelling, consumer groups and customized research to give greater direction and feedback loops to guide business and investment decisions. Such approaches are not about prediction nor do they guarantee success, but they do lay the foundations for more thorough and rigorous decisions to mitigate risk and unlock future growth.
For deeper insights on what the future might hold for your business, download the What’s Next Starts Now whitepaper or infographic for summary or view webinar playback for local insights from our other regions – Africa, Middle East, East Europe and Latin America.