Simplicity is the new luxury
on August 4, 2012

Euro consumers2.pngToday’s VUCA landscape (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) is having a profound impact on consumers as well as companies. All of us are grappling with 3 key trends in our lives:

• Life is too busy, particularly for women juggling home and work
• Technology has become too complex for most of us to understand
• The economic outlook is far more uncertain and volatile

Successful companies are already repositioning themselves in response to these trends, as an interesting New York Times article describes. In it, leading marketing guru Marian Salzman highlights how:

“We all have this desire to simplify our lives, but we don’t know how to do it. We envy the time when we had just 3 TV channels to choose from. We envy the man in the grey flannel suit who knew when work started and ended”.

Thus the word ‘simple’ is taking on added power in consumer marketing strategies

• Coke is now selling 13 chilled drinks under the Simply brand
• Time Inc has 2m subscribers to its Real Simple magazine

This is the same insight found by consumer research company Euromonitor, and summarised in the above chart. The consumerism that drove the 1982 – 2007 economic supercycle is disappearing. Instead, simplicity is the new luxury.

In turn, of course, these trends have profound implications for chemical companies, as we discuss in our workshops with Boards and planning groups. They provide wonderful growth opportunities for those prepared to look forward into the future.

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