Monday 20 May 2019

A glimpse into the minds of today's consumers

Eircode TV ad
Eircode TV ad

Price is king and consumers are more concerned in getting value and less interested in brand names, a new report for Bord Bia shows.

The online study by WPP's insight agency The Futures Company shows consumers are becoming far more independent and less reliant on old forms of authority and claims made by brands on packs and in adverts.

Presenting the report to Irish food producers, Bord Bia's director of consumer insight, Helen King, said trust is at an all-time low as consumers become more cautious. But the Government will be chuffed to learn that perceptions of the economy are on the up, with 51pc of consumers believing that "things are going well financially in Ireland" - compared to just 8pc four years ago.

With the global spotlight on Ireland with the landmark Yes result in the marriage referendum, the country has seen huge change in the last decade from social attitudes to technology.

The demise of the 'Celtic Kitty' has helped shaped new behaviour. In 1986, 64pc of Irish voters rejected legalising divorce. Yet by 1993, homosexuality was decriminalised and two years later divorce was introduced.

Ireland was redefined from being a socially conservative country to a nation embracing liberal values. The results spawned a generation of consumers with a new mindset. Young people in Ireland lead the way with an outward and broader mentality, creating new rules for food and drink marketers.

King said technology is no longer an aside to how people live their lives - it's central. Technology is not just a platform, it's a lifestyle. But while the internet allows people be more creative, it's a double-edge sword as technology causes unease, prompted by concerns about data protection and privacy.

Young people in Ireland are more conscious of this technological wariness than their UK counterparts.

When it comes to personal finances, Irish consumers are more upbeat than people overseas. But King is quick to point out that Irish people go for a positive spin, in the same way as they would say they are good drivers.

One in two Irish consumers believe in living for the moment. They have no desire whatsoever to return to the 'bling' and excesses of the Celtic Tiger. Apart from self-reliance, Ireland's new consumer agenda is about balance - having me-time, being able to turn off their mobiles and go to farmers' markets at weekends.

Material possessions and status symbols have less value. What matters is collective kinship and doing things with loved ones.

People are aware of the implications of consumerism, like the fact that a third of all food purchases in Europe end up in bins.

Results for the 'Irish Consumer 2015' report are based on a 600 sample size and - in a bid to get a better take on future trends - comprised a booster sample of 300 youths aged 16 to 24. Among the food marketers attending the Bord Bia seminar were Ray Coyle, Largo Foods; Alison Cowzer, East Coast Bakehouse and Jacquie Marsh, Butler's Pantry, pictured left.


* Ireland's new postcode has been in the news a lot these days and often for curious reasons - as with Shannon landing in Limerick. The Department of Communications Energy & Natural Resources awarded the €27m postcode licence to Capita Ireland. Marketing Network was charged with rolling out Eircode along with its PR agency, Prior Communications.

Eircode's marketing and communications director Katrina Brooks says a €350k spend has been assigned to TV, radio, press and digital, espousing the 'Find life easier' message. Created by Trevor Turner and Shane Harrison, 'Directions' was made by Red Rage Films, with Brian Durnin directing and Paul Holmes as producer. Pictured in the Eircode TV ad (main picture) is actor Damian Kearney, who could be misplaced for Simply Red's Mick Hucknall.


* As AdLib reported recently, Tesco's media buying may be staying put at Initiative in Dublin but after the beleaguered British multiple quietly moved its ad account from Target McConnells to Rothco it now transpires a new consumer PR agency has also been hired.

Drury Porter Novelli was appointed after seeing pitches from The Reputations Agency, Thinkhouse, PSG's Notorious and the incumbent, Q4. Drury's head of brand, Nicky Crichton, pictured below, works to Tesco's internal PR team headed up by Aoife Donohoe. Q4 still handles Tesco's corporate assignments.


* DIY chain Woodie's is getting behind the Make-a-Wish children's charity. The Wow! - Working on Wishes campaign is a five-week drive to grant youngsters with life threatening medical conditions 37 wishes - one wish for each hardware store nationwide. Woodie's marketing director Ruth Brett says its designer Principle created about 123k promotional items for the campaign.


* An Post's Data Ireland has a new online service for marketers. Called, the service combines population stats - including information from the last Census in 2001 and the CSO household budget survey - with Data Ireland's details. Companies are provided with a breakdown on household demographics and spends.

Michael Cullen is editor of

Indo Business

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