As we move into a more atomised world of diverging lifestyle patterns, fragmenting use occasions and blurring categories, consumers are increasingly primed to focus on the desired outcome or intention of their consumption, with nuance and mindfulness, and are beginning their purchase and consumption journeys working back from this point. Need states frameworks give brand owners a powerful means of segmenting and targeting this modern consumer behaviour.
This report comes in PPT.
A culture of self-improvement has increasingly come to the fore, particularly amongst younger adult generations, promulgating the concept of “life hacking” and cementing a belief in the collective power of marginal gains, contributing to the resonance of need states positioning. Consumers are eschewing unfocused consumption for consumption’s sake and instead are seeing product and substance use as part of a holistic, intentional whole directed at achieving a series of goals, often in pursuit of a unified broader end.
Notwithstanding the enforced disruption of the pandemic period, in recent decades lifestyles have tended towards greater complexity and a faster pace. For some, this has resulted in a sense of rootlessness and stress, and a resultant desire to manage daily routines, energy fluctuations and mood transitions in a more nuanced and fluid way than legacy occasions and substances are capable of doing. This has led to an enhanced salience for the increased subtly and outcome targeting of need states propositions.
We inhabit a world with heightening levels of geopolitical, economic and environmental instability, with the lives of individuals stripped of the certainties related to employment and housing which had characterised previous generations. With society seemingly unwilling or unable to impose stability from without, consumers are more intent on providing stability from within, and engaging in meaningful and outcome-orientated consumption mediated by need states is one element in that strategic approach
Traditionally, the range of substances accessible to the average consumer has been rather limited in many major markets, meaning that the means of addressing ubiquitous lifestyle issues have been crude, with several of the same substances delivered in relatively narrow clusters of formats being used to managed multiple needs. Modern consumers are more conversant with the properties and effects of a wider range of natural actives, which they are seeking out to improve the sensitivity of their own issue management.
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