Even in this data-rich age and with terrific tools at their disposal, brands and businesses continue to struggle with understanding today’s consumer. Intriguing new research frommarketing and media agency networkUMsheds light on modern-day consumers’ true preferences and motivations—and reveals a true path forward on cultural connectivity.

The org announced the global launch of Remix Culture, the first culturally-focused iteration of its annual Wave X study that tracks social and digital media usage and motivations across 81 countries and 44 languages. The results reveal four key trends that are shaping modern consumer behavior: Resist; Retrograde; Reglocalize; and Recreate.

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Remix Culturereveals 61 percent of online consumers agree that brands play a significant role in social good. When brands do not live up to these expectations, consumers hold them accountable by leveraging social media to voice their concerns, launching and cultivating a “Resist” movement.

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

“Retrograde” behavior is reflected in how consumers are gravitating towards content and culture from previous decades and brands that embrace nostalgia. Generational trends from the past are now in the foreground, shaping personal style, language and beliefs:

  • 68 percent like listening to music or watch movies from other decades
  • 57 percent say their family practices the culture/traditions of their ancestors
  • 55 percent enjoy watching TV shows that are no longer on air

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

According to the research, the modern global consumer’s desire for local inspiration to adopt and appeal to their sense of individuality is more prevalent than ever, a trend identified as “Reglocalizing.” When it comes to enjoying consumer content/products from other countries, 57 percent agree that local brands and products are more authentic.

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

The study also finds that consumers increasingly want to broaden and “Recreate” their identities. When asked to select factors that define their identity, top choices include health/fitness level; friends; school/knowledge/education; family traditions; passions; belief in importance of science/evidence/understanding; and country of birth. As personal identities become more complex, consumers are taking notice of brands that appeal to multifaceted identity factors, with 65 percent saying they are interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things.

  • 61 percent of consumers indicate their personal style includes elements from different eras, cultures and traditions
  • 65 percent are interested in trying companies that reflect a new way of doing things

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Four key trends are shaping modern consumer behavior—how to evolve your culture

Remix Culturereveals the path forward on cultural connectivity by going deeper into the types of content that informs cultural identity and influences consumer behavior,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, global chief cross-cultural officer at UM, in a news release. “These insights help our clients better understand and navigate cultural trends at a time when trust continues to drop and it’s more important than ever to make their brands culturally relevant.”

Read more about Remix Culture here.

This edition of UM’s Wave X, focused on Remix Culture, included a quantitative study of 56,397 active internet users—those who use the Internet every day or every other day. Conducted in 44 languages across 81 countries, the study represents a universe of 1.73 billion active Internet users worldwide.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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