Futures Company taps into consumer values

Consumers are looking to justify the money they spend, a Futures Company poll has shown.

The poll, based on the opinions of 1,000 respondents, showed that nearly three-quarters (84%) of British people felt the current economic climate would stay the same or get worse in the next 12 months. This, researchers said, was a 13-point increase from the 71% in September 2010.

Consumer attitudes on spending have been tracked by the company since the credit crunch in 2008. This is the seventh wave of research published and has shown “crucial changes” and suggested a new era of “realism” from the consumers’ point of view.
Futures Company director Fran Walton explained that talk in the past about shifting consumer attitudes and behaviours had become fact. “The deep-rooted sense of anxiety, as a result of the global financial crisis, has disappeared; people are still concerned, but they know they can cope through planning and budgeting. Forty-eight per cent of people say that, since the recession, they have become better at managing their finances,” he said.

However, he added that, “while life is hard” there was a sense of “acceptance” of what was going on among consumers. “People want to re-establish their lives and not wait for the external world to get better,” he said.

Walton added: “Consumers will spend money, but are looking to justify it and prove the value. Vigilance is replacing the deep sense of anxiety; rewards are acceptable again and consumers are looking to find new meaning in life. Sixty-nine per cent of British consumers say they are now more focused on enjoying what they already have, instead of trying to become better off. Our research has found the more people look outwards and make new connections, the more positive they feel.”