Finding a solution

How to give consumers what they want in 2017 and beyond

By Rieva Lesonsky

Last week we talked about two top trends from one of my favorite go-to sources for trends—Mintel. You can get a copy of the recently released North America 17 Consumer Trends report from Mintel. Here are two more of Mintel’s top trends for 2017.

Trend 3: Be the Change

Consumers are frustrated by bureaucracy, says Mintel, and they expect “solutions faster than ‘the system’ can provide them.” This frustration, though, offers business an opportunity to provide the solutions consumers are looking for. Transparency is key here, as 81 percent of Americans think there “should be more regulation around ethical claims.”

Carli Gernot, Manager of Trends North America for Mintel, says, “Doing the right thing has become an expectation, and companies that go the extra mile to be the change that consumers want to see in the world will find tangible benefits. By inspiring change in the world and leading by example, more companies will see an increase in long-term profits and customer loyalty.”

Trend 4: Life in Sync

Thanks to significant developments in artificial intelligence (AI), Mintel says, “Life is becoming seamless and smarter.” Stacy Glasgow, Consumer Trends Consultant at Mintel, says, “Connected products and systems can now remove time-consuming steps from consumers’ day-to-day lives. The Internet of Things (IoT)…[now] allows people to pass monotonous and troublesome thinking and doing off to computers that can ‘connect the dots’ to make shortcuts on their own.”

Glasgow believes, “This seamlessly synced relationship between humans and intelligent computers will solidify as voice control technology vastly improves at recognizing various pronunciations, accents and moods. But despite the proliferation of intelligent systems, companies should never completely eschew the value of actual humans.”

In other words, consumers want companies “that keep such high-level synchronization in mind” but keep it real at the same time.