More Ish: Setting the consumer tone for 2013

Melanie Howard
Future Foundation

'Ish' is the name for consumers' ever-growing insistence on freedom and flexibility, from shorter mobile contracts to try-before-you-buy homes.

Years of what we describe as maximising (the constant search for the best deal) has morphed into 'Ish' – the growing tendency of consumers to espouse far more fluid lifestyles. A sizeable chunk of the population – 27% – tell us they are 'cancelling or reducing personal entertainment contracts/subs/ magazines'. This is a big number for an item that represents relatively small spend. Meanwhile, 44% of the population agree that they are 'cutting back on all things wherever they can'.

Making its first appearance in late 2012, Ish has proven so relevant for many of our clients that we have already issued an addendum entitled More Ish, which fleshes out the commercial consequences of this trend. We define this as the need to offer shorter and more flexible contracts and build in constant and automatic upgrades.