Reaching risk-averse shoppers: Insights from the Future Foundation

Emily Barley

Many shoppers became highly risk averse during the financial crisis, and this habit is likely to remain a fixture of the consumer landscape even as the recovery gains strength. In response, brands and retailers must engage their target audiences using deeper insights and new technologies.

This was one of the main themes to emerge from the Future Foundation's Global Client Conference, held in London in October 2013, and based around the theme of "Fate, Hype and Clarity". Presentations from the company's in-house experts delved into the global context, as well as the day-to-day environment in which people are making decisions.

Economic realities

Richard Nicholls, the Future Foundation's head of intelligence and economics, predicted that the pace of GDP growth could slow in numerous emerging markets for the near term at least, while the US and much of Europe should see a continued rebound. As such, fully 50.8% of growth opportunities are likely to come from advanced economies, where major brands often have a rich base: small gains in percentage terms add up to large returns in such markets.