UM study: resist, retrograde, reglocalise, recreate

Four Key Trends Shape Modern Consumer Behavior, According to UM’s Global Wave X Remix Culture Study

UM, the marketing and media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, has 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 globally across 81 countries and 44 languages. The results reveal four key trends that are shaping modern consumer behavior: Resist; Retrograde; Reglocalize; and Recreate.

Remix Culture reveals that 60% of online users 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.

“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: 72% in MENA like listening to music or watching movies from other decades.

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, 61% agree that local brands and products are more authentic.

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. 76% like to think outside the box to find new solutions to old problems and 66% indicate their personal style includes elements from different eras, cultures, and traditions. As personal identities become more complex, consumers are taking notice of brands that appeal to multifaceted identity factors, with 69% saying they are interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things.

“Remix Culture reveals 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, UM. “These insights help our clients understand cultural trends and better navigate their digital presence at a time when online trust continues to drop and it’s more important than ever to make their brands culturally relevant.”

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. To learn more about the study visit http://wavex.umww.com.