“…I'm living in a house worth over £1 million but I've never felt so poor as I do now… I’m using vouchers when shopping and always looking for promotions…” (The Consumer Paradox)
Consumers are living in an increasingly indulgent and affluent society yet feeling poor! This is the consumer paradox brands need to accept - cut price consumerism (the ebay infulence).
At the start of the Credit Crunch we conducted a year-long study of consumers recessionary reactions. Inspired by the above quote in North London group this summer we are revisiting this project and will be feeding back snippets through various blogs and tweets.
The basic motivational responses to coping with financial squeeze can be summarised as; restricting, recycling and rewarding.
Restrict - Resist impulses
Adopt more disciplined approach to all shopping:
- Clear idea of what they will be buying when they enter the store.
- Impulse shopping avoided.
- Learn to exercise restraint, shopping lists on iPhones.
Examples: restricted shopping expeditions and use selected stores (discount and favourite). If having to top up take a basket and not a trolley.
Recycle - Revert to traditional practises
Reduce wastage where possible, think about meals and planning ahead:
- Buy family favourites and resist experimentation, which can be wasteful.
- Avoid having to throw out food past sell by date by adopting 'better buying' approaches.
- Transform left overs with ‘clever’ cooking – stir fries, curries, Bolognese.
Examples: Low wastage makes them feel good, believe they are being responsible consumers.
Reward - Indulge the family not individuals
Consumers are looking for value not austerity. Retrench to known 'proven' brands and lines:
- Premium can be justified by certainty.
- Seeking 'permissible' shared family indulgences.
- Pleasures counteracted puritanical economising
Examples: A ‘special’ meal for family and friends can be a rewarding alternative to 'the usual' fast food restaurant.