Consumers Crave Security, New Report Suggests

19 December 2002

The pursuit of security and safety is fast becoming a key element of consumer aspirations, according to a new report from Havas’ Euro RSCG Worldwide agency network.

Sparked by the events of September 11, fuelled by economic uncertainty and the threat of world recession – as well as possible war in the Middle East – a growing number of young consumers across the globe are in pursuit of ‘safety’.

So opines a study on future trends produced by the network’s research unit STAR (Strategic Trendspotting and Research).

In best agony aunt mode, Euro RSCG’s chief strategy officer Marian Salzman soothingly explains: “So much of what we're seeing in trends right now is a response to our heightened feelings of insecurity. Even as we go about our daily business, we are aware that things are not quite normal. This is why we're turning to products, services, and new behaviors that help us to retain some sense of control.”

Among the main global trends identified by STAR are …

Pursuit of Safety
With consumers willing to spend money to feel safe, there will be a greater emphasis on defensive and preventative products such as `panic rooms,' personal weaponry and water filtration.

Personal responsibility
The post 9/11 trend toward ‘everyday heroes’ will mean consumers demand greater personal responsibility and “a lesser willingness to accept quick fixes that gloss over problems”.

Family focus
The backlash against artificial, high-tech environments will mean that consumers think “companies owned and managed by families are more likely to make products they can trust and to treat their employees well”.

Home is king
In the past eighteen months, home has “gained new meaning, whether it's an increased interest in DIY, household comfort, home schooling, cooking, or creating personal spaces”.

Forming Tribes
With the growth of tribes of “unmarried young adults” and “substitute families and sources of security” there will be a more organized “branding” of these groups.

As to youth marketing trends:

• Energy drinks, narcotics, indulgent foods, sensual fabrics and visceral music will be favorites.

• Guerrilla marketing tactics will continue to grow in popularity mimicking the way young musicians for instance build grassroots fan bases and use the Internet to work around the major labels.

• ‘Trucker chic’ and ‘bohemian chic’ aesthetics in fashion and decor are spilling over into life. Local dives and neighborhood bars are supplanting exclusive clubs.

• Convergence of social and gender identities: young people will explore cultures that were previously off-limits. Male vanity will continue to rise.

• Younger married teens in the US, reversing a decades-long decline.

• Growth in house parties and in-home entertainment.

• Slow, Thoughtful Food: young people seek fresh, convenient but healthy foods.

While in Europe there’ll be …

Increased Ethnic Marketing
There is growing awareness among marketers that they must get to grips with cultural nuances, linguistic preferences, and consumer attitudes of each ethnic group.

Compliance with EU directives banning certain marketing practices and restricting the advertising of a number of products are causing uncertainty. This is likely to lead to an increase in alternative marketing, including buzz campaigns on-and offline.

The forecast is based on the findings of ongoing online surveys of Euro RSCG’s X-Plorer Panel, a group of influential youth aged 18-29. Input also comes from the network’s Stargazer panel, comprising Euro RSCG employees worldwide; while further information accrues from online data scans.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff