Posts Tagged ‘Marketplace’

Consumer Confidence: four-year high

Consumer Psychology:  changed forever (or close to it)

December 3, 2012 – Digit #23

At 73.7, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is higher than it’s been since the pre-recession days of February 2008. We’re still far from the all-time peak of 144.7 in 2000, but we’ve come a long way since the Consumer Confidence Index sank to 25.3 in 2009.

That rise in consumer sentiment was echoed by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey released this week with its November index at 82.7, also the highest since before the recession.

So is the American consumer we all knew and loved back? Yes and no. Growing optimism is bringing consumers back into stores and online, but we’re now marketing to changed consumers, reprogrammed with a new kind of spending calculation firmly implanted in their buying psychology. (Note: does not apply to the uber-wealthy consumer whose income and spending are in another galaxy.)

The definition of the “have it all” consumer has morphed from the “all” being about the quantity of our stuff to the “all” being about the co-existing expectations packed into each selective, researched purchase. Consumers say “bring on the great quality at great prices” (Black Friday and beyond) and “delight me with access to something cool and surprising” (the Target/Neiman Marcus designer products and just about anything Apple).

Our SCAN findings underscore what matters to consumers now – everything
Tied for the top spot in “very important in choosing a brand”:

% of total adults
who strongly agree
“Offers a quality product or service” 84%
“Offers a fair price” 84%

Business Implications: The “have it all” consumer means co-existing demands of brands. Great quality with good pricing. The exclusivity of Neiman Marcus with the accessibility of Target. Back to the future with the new consumer!