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5 Actionable Consumer Trends in Asia That Can Supercharge Your Brand

Posted By: SGK April 30, 2015

When it comes to the consumer market in Asia, you need to be nimble. That’s because the pace of chance and innovation continues to accelerate across the region. In his BrandSquare Live Session, Maxwell Luthy, Director of Trends & Insights at Trendwatching.com, shares five actionable consumer trends in Asia that can unlock new opportunities for your brand. Each trend highlights a key innovation opportunity that could help you serve, delight, surprise or build stronger relationships with consumers.

1.    Perfect Payments
In Asia, mobile subscriptions were estimated to hit 3.6 billion in 2014, which is roughly 51 percent of the total worldwide. That, combined with increased access to financial services, has caused mobile powered payments to go mainstream in Asia. Skipping cash and checks, Asians are expecting top quality banking via mobile. To meet the need in Vietnam, MasterCard partnered with Sacombank to create mobile POS terminals that allow wet market traders in the region to take mobile payments. 

2.    Here/Now
In Asia, the mobile-wielding population has an endless desire for on-demand economy. Consumers are seeking services that provide the basics – transport, food, laundry, and deliver them right here, right now. Parking Duck’s online marketplace helps Bangkok drivers find alternative parking spaces from peers and companies. And when it comes to media consumption, Lukup Media is the first on-demand TV service to be launched in India, giving subscribers immediate access to music, movies and more.

3.    Digital Discipline
Brands in Asia are beginning to ease the digital addiction that many consumers in the region are feeling. Luthy cites that Asian consumers are increasingly looking for a break, or even treatment, to keep them away from their devices. This means there is room for brands to step in and help consumers achieve this goal. In the Philippines, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have introduced the BFF Timer application, which rewards users with badges and coupons when they are spend time away from their mobile devices. In Hong Kong, Volkswagen created a viral movie theater campaign to highlight the dangers of texting while driving.

4.    Made (Classy) In China
China is quickly becoming a new global source for luxury products and services. With rising incomes, Chinese consumers and brands want their social and cultural capital to rise as well. Exception de Mixmind is a classic example of an understated Chinese luxury brand that steers clear of conspicuous branding. Jeweler Qeelin, leverages Chinese heritage and symbols and plans to double stores across China. The moral of the story: Don’t underestimate China when it comes to luxury.

5.    Taboo Busters 
Fading social norms mean that Asian consumers are creating and living by their own value systems. Forces such as urbanisation, access to education and awareness of diverse lifestyles through the media, are leading Asian consumers to question longstanding social norms and rules. In India, where remarriage is still taboo, Tanishq, a popular jewelry brand aired television ads featuring a woman’s second marriage, spreading progressive views on marriage and winning new fans in the process. 

Tracking trends, especially in Asia can help you meet and surpass consumers’ rapidly changing expectations. By looking at trends powered by continued urbanization, rising affluence and ever-more connectivity, you can unlock a wealth of opportunities and fortune for your brand in Asia, and beyond. 

For more insights, be sure to watch Maxwell Luthy’s BrandSquare recording on Youtube, “Unlock the Opportunities: 5 Consumer Trends in Asia.”