Blog: Leonie BarrieYour consumer just evolved! Did you notice?

Leonie Barrie | 13 November 2003

Staying one step ahead of the consumer is the Holy Grail for fashion designers, marketers, and retailers. They must have what their customer wants before she knows she wants it. If they're behind her, they've lost her. If they're in step, she's not excited. If they're two steps ahead, she's not interested.

So it’s not surprising that a whole range of tools has grown up to help the fashion machine get it right – from forecasting guides to fabric fairs – and that designers are constantly tapping into everything from the art world to the ‘street’ in an attempt to hit the right emotional temperature.

But as fashion gets faster and faster – consigned to sepia-tinted memory are the days of two annual fashion seasons and nine-month lead times – and a four-week turnaround from concept to store becomes the norm, the pressure to come up with a constant stream of newness has gone into overdrive. So much so, it seems that the current approach to forecasting is reaching breaking point.

Enter a new approach from French firm Style-Vision which has just published its latest report on ‘Life Attitudes to 2006.’ Its research is quite complex but basically looks at consumption based around moods and themes. So for marketing, targeting people is no longer about age, sex or other demographic data but more emotions, inner beliefs and social attitudes.

It also breaks away from the more familiar tactic of focusing on just one industry, believing quite rightly that whether consumers are buying food, fashion or cars the purchasing drivers are increasingly blurred. It’s different and thought-provoking, and well worth a look. Like so many good ideas it also begs the question: why hasn’t it been done before?

For more information on the style-vision report on Mega trends in global consumer moods to 2006 ‘click here.

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