#Consumer Trends, Movements & Other Head-Turning Shifts

As consumers become more self-reliant, they often put an increased emphasis on the need for financial responsibility.

Think like a consumer. For financial institutions (FIs), understanding consumers’ perspectives is key to developing lasting relationships and relevant offerings. On a recent podcast, I sat down with Karen Postma, TMG’s vice president of risk and consumer services, to discuss emerging consumer trends and their potential impact on FIs.

Karen kicked off our discussion by describing how the “Maker Movement” is gaining momentum. This trend highlights consumers’ interest in becoming creative upcyclers rather than passive purchasers. What FIs should take away from this movement, Karen suggests, is the opportunity to fulfill consumers’ needs for self-reliance. By promoting their savings and loan features, FIs can tap into this spirit of self-sufficiency.

Consumers also increasingly rely on each other for news, Karen says. The concept of the “Netizen Reporter” – a combination of the words “net” and “citizen” – is on the rise. With this phenomenon, any consumer with a smartphone can act as a journalist capturing news. For FIs, it is important to get active on social media and harness the power of these consumer voices. Cultivating and gathering local influencers can, in fact, be very effective in building brands.

As consumers become more self-reliant, they often put an increased emphasis on the need for financial responsibility. The gaining popularity of the “Tiny House Movement” epitomizes this trend. At its core, tiny living represents a desire to economize costs and one’s environmental footprint while maximizing freedom. To leverage consumers’ interest in being financially fit, FIs should consider increased promotion of low-interest and pay-as-you-go products.

Besides the evolution of consumers’ home buying attitudes, there has also been a shift in consumers’ approaches to education. More consumers are considering forgoing higher education all together or opting for educational tourism. What’s interesting about this trend, Karen says, is the opportunity FIs have to help consumers challenge the status quo and live out their own creative solutions. A great place to start is to help consumers address how they can afford going to college.

To hear more from Karen, take 15 minutes to listen to “Consumer Trends, Movements & Other Head-Turning Shifts.”

If you’d like to receive updates on future podcasts, follow our channel at blogtalkradio.com/tmgglobal.