The environment and macro dynamics around the Egyptian consumer is continuously changing. Consequently, the consumers are always changing as well.
Marketing experts across industries strive to understand and even anticipate coming changes, always staying ahead of the curve. The ultimate goal: win over the consumer. Observation and effective analysis provides insight into waves that move in the same direction.
These are the consumer megatrends.
Around 33% of the Egyptian population is under the age of 25. Being mostly ready to try anything, they are considered the trend setters driven by a need to experiment. The world of the youth today zooms in from globalization to personalization.
This influential segment strives to have a unique identity and persona in order to stand out. Be it through fashion statements, career choices, things they own, what they say and what they do, their sense of freedom comes through expression.
Youth today feel empowered to establish start-ups either for profit or for the benefit of the community. Using updates in technology and the advantages that social media provide, many of the youth-initiated innovations available in the market today are considered every day-use brands.
96% of Egyptian youth claim to want to get healthier. Knowing that actions speak louder than words, 69% of those concerned youth take action. ‘Healthy’ is quickly becoming the “way to be” with several youth not only taking up exercise, and a proliferation of workout studios providing a variety of options including customized workouts.
Beyond exercise, eating right is on the rise with consumers actively increasing their awareness about nutrition and health benefits. Eighty-one percent of Egyptian respondents to Nielsen’s Global Health Report are willing to pay a premium for all-natural foods.
With so many options out on shelf, catching the consumer’s eye has become a lot more than packaging and marketing. There is a need to establish an emotional connection with the brand.
Frequently brands aim to provide a rich story of the brand and allowing consumers to live the brand lifestyle in totality and be part of the story. Besides the functional benefits, marketers are challenged to find a way of adding symbolic meaning to solidify the connection.
Majority of consumers also believe that corporates should take action to make the community better. Nielsen’s Global Corporate Social Responsibility Study in 2014 revealed that 68% of Egyptian respondents are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact. Before deciding to purchase a brand, 64% check the packaging to ensure it is committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Consumers now expect much more from their products than what they are made for. The youth are looking for what suits their lifestyle, and with the decrease in confidence towards spending ability, there is a need to get more value for spending. In fact four out to 10 Egyptians are facing difficulty with their financials, and three out of 10 Egyptians see that their financials vs cost of living is bad.
The 2014 Nielsen Connected Devices study revealed that mobile usage has reached maturity in the Egyptian market, while the internet continues to grow. Smartphone penetration has reached 34% in Urban Egypt. General Internet penetration has reached 46%, showing an increase in the number of new mobile Internet accounts.
In light of this growing trend, product manufacturers are considering how to add a digital feature, from interactive applications to complimentary digital solutions to the main product.
Terrorism ranked as the number one concern for three out of four quarters in 2014, as well as the first quarter of 2015 in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index. Some of the most resonating brand activities during times of instability were ones that addressed this key consumer need.
Following a trend requires an immense amount of effort and financial investment, and is likely not the right marketing move. Going with the ‘flow’ can also prove counteractive because a trend is not permanent. On the other hand, disconnecting what’s happening with the consumer means missing out the main business target.
With these considerations, the best marketing strategies would be ones that make the megatrends work with and for the product, ultimately fulfilling consumer needs as well as business objectives.