SINGAPORE: Globalisation of work, outsourcing of memory and the popularity of traditional medicines are all trends currently impacting consumers across Asia, according to a new report.

The findings are the result of the Pan Asian Wave II study by the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight which had 26,800 respondents aged 18-55 with moderate and high disposable income from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Globalisation means Asian consumers are leading 24/7 lives, Gemma Calvert, ACI’s director for research and development, told the recent Neuromarketing World Forum in Singapore. (For more, read WARC’s report: Five emerging Asian consumer trends.)

“We (in Asia) do a full day here, but because many of us are working with global partners, we also often have to be available at the end of the day and into the night when the day is starting for many Western partners,” she observed.

Being able to conduct an internet search for just about anything on the fly is also leading to an “outsourcing of memory” and as a result, young consumers are remembering less than previous generations, simply because they don’t need to.

According to Calvert, this in turn means that marketers will need to provide “more external cues” so that they are able to recall the necessary information. “There is going to be a shift in demand away from knowledge to search, because young Asians are outsourcing memory to Google,” she said.

Interestingly, rather than seek out the newest and the shiniest, Asian consumers are turning to solutions that are rooted in yesterday.

“Originally the assumption was, because of globalisation, everyone will become more uniform,” said Calvert.

But far from homogenisation of culture, there is a trend to “a return to traditional wisdom and practices” such as Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine being repackaged for using in a modern world.

“Actually we are seeing greater diversification of markets now,” said Calvert. “People are having more revived interest in traditional methods, traditional knowledge and philosophies.”

Sourced from WARC