Brands are trusted by consumers more than governments and other institutions, and are expected to offer efficient and effective support during life's challenges. In 2023, there will be challenges such as the rising cost of living, and brands are rising to meet these challenges by offering initiatives like interest-free loans and pausing price hikes. Some consumers, especially the younger generations, are considering delaying retirement because of financial constraints, but with the help of brands, they may have more options to manage their finances.
This trend originates from the report:
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In fact, among consumers, businesses are the most trusted major institution type, above government, the media and NGOs. 2023 will have its fair share of challenges that brands can rise to meet. When it comes to the cost of living, 22% of Brits, rising to 37% of Gen Z, agree they are considering delaying retirement in order to support their family.
While government support programmes are promised to bring down the cost of energy bills, for instance, and reduce inflation, brands are also offering eye-catching initiatives. For example, UK frozen foods retailer Iceland announced an interest-free loans programme to help customers through the cost-of-living crisis, while in the US apparel brand Old Navy announced that it was pausing price hikes of its children’s clothing ranges to help families struggling with the rising cost of living. Decentralized collaboration supplants top-down support.
In a context where trust in authority is depleted, and where traditional sources of support such as the state are unable to offer sufficient help, consumers are turning to one another. We saw this in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where consumers used Airbnb to book stays with Ukrainian hosts with no intention of actually visiting, to give money directly and speedily to those who needed it. In reaction to the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are setting up GoFundMe donation pages to crowdsource contributions for staples like baby formula and groceries.
More broadly, we see growing adoption of peer-to-peer services. These include money-lending websites), and lending services for household goods (from 12% in 2017 to 17% in 2022 globally). Looking further out, the rise of distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs) and the development of Web3 suggests the potential for crowd-powered entities to play a more fundamental role in societies.