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ConsumerShift: How Changing Values Are Reshaping the Consumer Landscape

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Guest Author Andy Hines Lecturer/Executive-in-Residence, University of Houston Futures Studies

In my latest book, ConsumerShift, I outline the evidence that consumer values are changing in a consistent direction over time. Understanding these changes will provide organizations, individuals and businesses with critical insight for understanding the future consumer landscape and designing products, services and offerings that “fit.”

The book “translates” the values changes into seven emerging need states, brought to life in the form of seven future personas. (For those who want to specifically tailor a persona(s), a persona customization kit is included.) It will help you and your team make sense of rapidly changing consumer behavior – where they are coming from, where they are going, and what they are looking for.

The pattern uncovered in the research, drawing upon nearly two dozen systems but most heavily on the outstanding work of the World Values Survey and Spiral Dynamics, is that there are four types of values and there has been a consistent “developmental” pattern in their adoption over time. The four types are:

  • Traditional: Focused on following the rules and fulfilling one’s predetermined role, with priorities such as respect for authority, religious faith, national pride, obedience, work ethic, large families with strong family ties, and strict definition of good and evil
  • Modern: Focused on achievement, growth and progress, with priorities such as high trust in science and technology (as the engines of progress), faith in the state (bureaucratization), rejection of out-groups, an appreciation of hard work and money, and determination to improve one’s social and economic status.
  • Postmodern: Focused on the search for meaning in one’s life, with priorities such as self-expression, including an emphasis on individual responsibility as well as choice, imagination, tolerance, life balance and satisfaction, environmentalism, wellness, and leisure.
  • Integral: Emerging as the leading edge of values change, with a more practical and functional approach to employing values that best fit the particular situation, enabling one to pursue personal growth with an understanding and sensitivity to larger systemic considerations.

ConsumerShift presents a New Dimensions of Consumer Life Model for making sense of how consumers are changing along two primary dimensions: inner dimension changes being driven by these predictable long-term shifts in values, and outer dimension changes in society, technology, the economy, etc. This New Dimensions model thus provides a framework for understanding how consumers are changing.

These inner and outer dimension changes are forecast to come together into seven clusters of consumer need states. These need states in turn are brought to life in the form of a representative future personas. Finally, a customization kit is provided for readers and their organizations, whether in business, government, non-profits, or education, to customize the personas to the specific needs of each.

The book is currently available on Amazon and it is on Global Foresight Books list of recommended business books.

Visit http://www.andyhinesight.com/ or contact Andy at ahines@uh.edu.

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