How Well Do You Know Your Future Consumer? 

April 6, 2023

Four Reasons the Right Time to Invest is Now. 

2023 started as a year that feels permanently in crisis, increasingly uncertain and complex. The best companies will need to learn how to anticipate, shape and respond to changes as they occur. That is the challenge of this year, and in the years to come, companies will need to embrace change, become agile and create foresight capabilities that assist with long-term organizational planning, so they are ready for whatever happens next.

Your consumer is also learning to anticipate, adapt and respond to the world around them.

There is no longer such thing as ‘the average consumer’; for this reason, it is more important than ever to invest in getting to know how today’s consumers are living their increasingly complex lives.

Given our state of perma-crisis, management teams are cautiously limiting investments, but now is precisely the right time to invest in research and insights to avoid future risks and stay ahead of your competitors. A Gartner study that tracked capital expenditures during 2007 to 2009 economic downturn found that 60 companies that increased their investments during the two years saw their earnings double between 2009 and 2015. Those that failed to invest saw little change in their profit picture in the years that followed.

Pandemic-accelerated change in how consumers live, work, and play continues. For brands and organizations, understanding and being prepared for how these changes may shape their business is more important than ever. 

Your consumers will adapt and move forward, with or without you

They always have and always will. Staying open, involved, and curious about their changing world is far less risky than trying to play catch-up. Prioritizing investment in your consumer today is the key to unlocking longer-term brand loyalty and sustainable growth

Understanding your consumers’ changing needs can lead to new opportunities.

Behavioral science tells us that identifying consumers’ new beliefs, habits, and “peak moments” is central to driving behavioral change. In our work with clients, we have seen that understanding potential shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors provides an opportunity to reinforce beliefs better, shape emerging habits with new innovative offerings or align brand messaging for new demand among new audiences.

These changes may mean you need to evolve. Are you prepared?

One of the significant shifts of the pandemic is that consumers learned to work, learn, be entertained, or socialize from anywhere with the click of a Zoom button. Many brands were unprepared for this digital revolution, while others quickly pivoted and thrived. For example, Walgreens partnered with Postmates to deliver various grocery items and personal care products. This partnership allows Walgreens to serve customers more quickly and efficiently during their time of need, something today’s consumers demand.

Investing in your consumer now can lead to a bigger payoff later.

The most adept companies are able to understand that the recession doesn’t make people stop spending but instead encourages them to spend in different ways. This is why investing in understanding your future consumer is so important – it helps bring clarity to the voices of your customers so that you can better determine where and how to invest across your company. Without that insight, you’re always in reactionary mode.

In uncertain times, we can all be reactionary to a fault. While obstacles must be addressed, being too cautious can leave you blind to bold thinking and problem-solving.Today many companies and brands are building capabilities and incorporating strategic foresight and futures design to support operational functions across innovation, R&D, marketing, and corporate strategy. 

Start investing in your future consumer today

Foresight Factory works with a global client roster to help them stay connected with their future consumers through our use of robust qualitative data, predictive consumer trends and evidenced based frameworks that are personalized and deliver information in real-time. To discover new ways to identify growth opportunities, prepare for shifts in consumer behavior and activate strategies to meet your evolving needs, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals. 



Written by Noelle Weaver

Managing Partner, US at Foresight Factory. My passion is and has always been about finding strategic ways to help businesses grow, evolve and change due to evolving customer and market demands.

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