November 25, 2019

Consumer behaviour : Individuality. Independence. Immediacy.

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by Adela Alonso Alonso

These three words quite simply and efficiently describe the key priorities in current consumer behavior and, therefore, the keys to success. And these trends have only been pushed farther by the pandemic.


Consumer behavior online shopping

Millennials have been labeled “the ME, ME, ME generation” . Articles and Articles have been written describing the so-called “narcissistic” approach that this generation has to life.

Further analysis has shown, in fact, that while Millennials strive to feel and show their unique values and preferences as individuals, they are far more involved in social and environmental causes than any other generation before.

Millennials are the generation that lived the birth and rise of the internet, social media, Youtube and Wikipedia. They (well, WE, actually) saw the way our parents learned information and communicated and the evolution of it as well.

It was the first generation able to find strangers sitting on the other side of the world to share interests and opinions with, regardless of how niche they were. It was the first generation able to find out in real-time about conflicts and issues on the other side of the world. News generated not by mass media, but by the people directly affected by them. It was the first generation to be able to teach and learn absolutely everything online, at any time, and mostly free.

They feel unique, and they have strong opinions. About almost everything. So they will not spend their money on something that doesn´t “represents them”. And this trends is here to stay, since we are seeing this need for personalization and individuality only grow with Gen Z.

So what do I do? : Find a niche, know your niche, build a tribe.

(Meaning : Don´t try to sell to everybody. One size doesn´t fit all.)


independence consumer behavior

Hand in hand with the elevated sense of “me” comes a distance from the sense of “them”.

The general consumer has lost trust in institutions, government, and corporations. They want to make their own decisions and they need to feel they are in control.

Peer-to-peer solutions have been defying sector after sector for the past 20 years. Since then, companies have either embraced this change and adapted their business models or disappeared. From Blockbusters to Netflix, from travel agencies to Airbnb or – consumers want to find what they want without anybody telling them to do so.

Long story short : if you want them to buy, you can´t push sales. Fun, right?

So what do I do? : Cover a need and find the needful.

Meaning: Develop a product or service that provides a real solution and figure out “where” to find the people that need it. Engage with them in a way that speaks to their values and lifestyle and they will make the decision to buy. But also, allow them to find their own answers. Make them feel not like you convince them, but like they chose you.


immediacy consumer behavior

The attention span has been reduced from 15″ in the year 2000 to 8″ nowadays.

This means if you are trying to capture the consumer´s attention, you have to make an impact fast. But that´s not all.

This also means that once you have captured their attention, even their interest, you need to make sure to finalise the process as quickly and easy as possible. Otherwise, you will lose the sale.

The consumer is no longer used to having to wait for things. We can book a flight or a hotel in less than 5 minutes. We can buy online with 1-click checkout and same-day delivery. Access to millions of songs and movies easily from our phones. “Aint nobody got time” to spend 15 minutes filling out a form in order to buy something. Or to go to the other side of town to buy something if they are not sure it´s going to be available. And “aint nobody got time” to wait 2 weeks to receive something they ordered.

So what do I do? : If you want to sell, make it easy to buy.

Meaning : This particular point will vary significantly depending on your sector. But it basically means to simplify the process as much as possible. A few examples :

  • Avoid endless registration steps: ask only for the needful information or allow log-in through social media profiles.
  • Reduce the number of steps from intention to purchasing. Make shoppable posts in Social Media, enable 1-click shopping, and speed deliveries.
  • Invest in logistics and omnichannel. Offer free returns at home or in-store for the online shopper, or allow for online shopping from-store if the article they want is not available.

¿Too much information?

I promise it´s simpler than it seems. Consumers are more educated now than ever. This means they know what they want and they know how to find it. You just need to make sure your niche is defined, your message is clear, and your process is simple.

But, then again, I might be biased. Consumer behavior is one of my all-time favourite things to study. But if for you is not that fun, I strongly recommend you take a look at my book The Passion Entrepreneur. It´s an easy-to-read, step-by-step guide in strategic brand building. Amongst other things, you will learn how to create a detailed and actionable customer persona profile perfect for your brand.

And if you still feel like this is not “your jam” – reach out! That is what I am here for. I specialise on strategic branding and innovation, and I help both companies and entrepreneurs build brands that suit their goals and products that seduce their customers.

Drop me a line in the box bellow, let me know what you are thinking!


Adela Alonso Alonso

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