15 year challenge to develop products with, not for customers

Consumer behaviour has shifted from ‘shopaholic’ to ‘saveaholic’

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer behaviour shifts from ‘shopaholic’ to ‘saveaholic’
One challenge for companies in the next 15 to 20 years will be to develop products with customers, not for them, according to Jörgen Jedbratt, trend forecaster, Kairos Future research and consulting firm, Stockholm.

We are entering a shopping detox economy, and that’s a whole new ball game​,” he told Iggesund Paperboard’s Inspire magazine (Issue 50, 2015).

Reuse, recycle & rent

j_rgen_jedbratt_webb.160x160
Jörgen Jedbratt

We are starting to see a shift from ‘shopaholic’ to ‘saveaholic’ consumer behaviour, where we reuse, recycle and rent more products than ever​.

At the same time, companies need a more circular rather than end-focused process for product development, with new technology driving collaboration with consumers​.”

As an example, Jedbratt talked about when Lego was about to go bankrupt in the early 2000s and it turned to its fans for ideas.

The company faced stiff competition from Mattel and Hasbro and in 2004 had debts close to $1bn with sales falling 40% in two years. As a result, Lego sold off every part of its business that wasn’t an integral part of its core product.

'Get customers to engage with your product'

It sold four theme parks to Merlin Entertainments Group, a video game development division and shortened product development from two years to one.

Lego then recruited passionate AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) to serve as ambassadors and consult on new and upcoming product lines and attended conventions like BrickCon in Seattle, Washington.

The trick is to get your customers to engage with your product. If brands can understand that, they will see design and development in a new way​,” he added.

When punk came, everyone could play it. Now you can see that in production and lifestyle goods​.

Design is being democratised. We don’t know exactly what will happen but it will involve more collaboration.​”

According to Jedbratt, the digitised collaborative economy offers tremendous opportunities.

Artisans will have more control over the shopping process through the internet.

They will be better able to collaborate in new ways with their audience and other artisans doing handicraft with a twist, using 3D printers and mini-robots to serially produce things they couldn’t produce before because it was too expensive.

Related topics: Market Trends

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