ALF Industry Insights: Top Trends and Brands in 2024

1 month ago

ALF’s Natalie Fedden has shared exclusive insights on the top trends for 2024

By Natalie Fedden

The team at ALF are always trying to help agencies get one step ahead of the competition.

And the first quarter of the year is the time to be setting goals and putting strategies in place to help you get there.

For example, you may have a list of dream brands to being as a clients, but how do you know when the right time to contact is?

This is where ALF, an Agency Hackers Recommended Partner, comes in. Natalie Fedden has put together a list of predictions and trends for the year ahead, highlighting brands that could see change from consumer behaviour and events.

Don’t forget ALF gives you access to these brands’ decision-maker contact details, historical advertising spend trends, agency relationship data, latest news stories and much more! You can learn more about how they are able to help your agency make strategic moves here.

What to prepare for in the coming months

The cost of living crisis has brought about new customer behaviours.

Although the economy is expected to get a little better in 2024, in terms of consumer trends we can expect much the same as 2023: discretionary spending will continue to be squeezed and consumers will still be cautious with their money. 

So, the retail pie will be smaller in 2024. Put simply, people have got into the swing of spending less and seeking out the best deals. Consumers are now more selective about where they shop and what they buy.

Since the pandemic eased, consumers have been prioritising experiences, and switched wants and needs for products and purchases that add value to their lives. 

With the competition for market share heating up, its paramount that business get their marketing strategies right in order to retain customers and attract new shoppers. Those brand who don’t invest in advertising in such times, will not be front of mind when consumers do make purchases. It is a great time for brands to showcase what they stand for and what value they offer beyond their products, which will benefit their brand awareness and brand health long term. Brands that have been hit by changing consumer behaviours could take the opportunity to switch up their marketing strategy, bringing in a new brand image or approach. 

Consumers are forcing retailers to reconsider what it means to be a retailer, offering more value than just material goods; they want to have a seamless interaction whether in-store or online, a complete omnichannel brand experience, the latest advances in technology, to feel part of a community, and to ensure the brand they are shopping with stands for something. 

This means there will be opportunities particularly for providers of events and experiential, customer insight, customer data and CRM, tech-enhanced shopping experiences, as well as those with diversity & inclusion and CSR specialities. 

Retail 

According to GlobalData’s Top Themes in Retail & Apparel 2024 report, D2C retailers will continue to struggle following a pandemic boom. The report states: ‘The postCOVID rebalancing of retail away from online towards stores will continue to challenge online pureplays, who saw a sales boom when consumers were confined to their homes, as consumers have sought to regain the advantages of the instore shopping experience.

This could present an opportunity to work with D2C brands who need to reinvigorate themselves post- pandemic and find new ways to engage with their audience. 

Health and wellbeing 

While things in the macro environment, such as the economy, climate change, and geopolitics, may seem out of our control, consumers will focus on what they can control in their own lives. Health and wellbeing will be considered of high value and consumers are more likely to invest in branded products in this area. This is backed up by the lipstick effect – when in tough times consumers treat themselves to small luxury purchases. 

Customers will be interested in using apps for health and wellbeing and look to brands that offer targeted and personalised products for specific issues. This could also see an increase in investments in wearable tech. 

The global beauty and grooming market is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of more than 4% cent during the period 2021 to 2025. 

In health, there has also been an increase in private healthcare, which could continue into 2024 as patients prioritise their wellbeing and seek out shorter waiting times than the NHS can offer. There will also be an increase in virtual healthcare services. 

Brands to Watch: Boots Beauty Store, L’Occitane, Space NK, Coty, Spire, Benenden, Bupa, BetterHelp, Whoop, Apple, Fitbit, Peloton 

Grocery 

In food and drink, shoppers will continue to opt for own-brand items that were sought out at the height of the cost of living crisis. Shoppers may still opt for tinned and long-life goods as they look to save money and reduce waste. FMCG businesses selling branded goods will need to focus on their advertising and marketing in order to try and entice customers back to their brands when financial pressure eases.

This could include highlighting ESG commitments, meaningful partnerships or loyalty perks. Shoppers may still opt for tinned and long-life goods as they look to save money and reduce waste. 

Consumers are increasingly turning away from alcohol, both as a lifestyle choice and out of necessity due to the tightening of purse strings. Instead, customers are looking for drinks with health benefits that improve gut health, boost mood, or are vitamin-rich. Traditional alcohol businesses will continue to focus more on their 0% offerings. 

Brands to Watch: Lidl, Aldi, Poundland, Unilever, Walkers, Muller, Princes, Kenvue, Tenzing, Trip, Activia 

No splashing out on food 

Consumers will continue to spend less on takeaways and eating out. Takeaway companies will need to take advantage of calendar events such as the Euro 2024 football tournament. They will also need to focus on what they can offer in terms of loyalty, incentives and discounts. 

Instead, consumers will look for small treats at home that could give a boost to premium food ranges and brands. 

Brands to Watch: Uber Eats, Just Eat, Deliveroo, Pizza Hut, Taste the Difference, Tesco Finest, Waitrose, M&S, Charlie Bigham’s 

Financial control 

As consumers pay closer attention to their budgets, banks and fintechs have the opportunity to show customers how their services can help them get in control of and grow their money. 

Insurers will be looking to communicate the safety blanket they offer after consumers have been cancelling optional policies in order to cut back and save money for essentials. Though car insurance is a necessity, consumers could increasingly look to more affordable pay per mile options. 

Brands to Watch: Monzo, Revolut, By Miles 

Loyalty schemes and paid for memberships 

Retailers will need to fight for customers’ loyalty on the grounds of value. Shoppers have now got used to shopping around for the best deal so loyalty and membership schemes will help entice them to stay true to a particular retailer or brand.

This could include member pricing, personalised offers and gamification. 

Brands to Watch: Co-op Membership, Tesco Clubcard, Nectar, Lidl Plus, Beauty Pie, H&M, Virgin Red, Adidas Adiclub, M&S Sparks, Boots Advantage Card, Expedia Rewards 

Apparel 

Clothing brand and retailers will also have to fight for customers’ attention as this is one of the areas that consumers are happy to consider non-essential. 

When investing in apparel customers are increasingly looking for basics and elements of a capsule wardrobe and may be swayed to spend more with brands that offer authenticity, higher quality, sustainability, ethical practices and longevity. 

Brands to watch: Levis, Uniqlo, Reiss, Primark 

Second-hand/resale 

According to an article by Internet Retailing which details The DeliveryX Top1000 Europe 2023 report, ‘recommerce is not a new concept, it is an ecommerce trend that has really picked up over the past few years.

In fact, recommerce growth is 16 times faster than traditional retail, with 66% of businesses expecting the percentage of turnover from recommerce to increase further in the next three years. Furthermore, the European recommerce market is predicted to grow by 60% by 2025, to €120bn (£103bn).’ 

Fashion has been one of the early adopters of circular retail models and, according to Retail Sector, is expected to grow three times quicker than the wider clothing industry as a whole. 

Brands to Watch: Vinted, Depop, eBay, Preloved, Nextdoor, BackMarket 

Gaming 

In Global Data’s Telecoms, Media & Tech Predictions 2024, it states that ‘the gaming industry is in the throes of a transformation driven by themes like artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, cloud gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the metaverse, and esports.’ It predicts the industry will be worth over $279bn (£219bn) this year and $470bn by 2030. 

Gaming will be helped in 2024 by the launch of the Nintendo Switch 2 and Sony PS5 Pro consoles in the second half of the year. 

Brands to Watch: Nintendo, Sony Playstation, Take-Two, Rockstar Games, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft 

Electric Vehicles 

The global electric vehicles market is expected to grow by 16.1% between 2023 and 2028 according to GlobalData forecasts. By the end of this period, battery electric vehicle production will overtake that of hybrids. 

Brands to Watch: DS Automobiles, Peugeot, Jeep, Toyota, Nissan, Jaguar, BMW 

Travel 

Consumers continue to prioritise experiences over things meaning the travel market should stay strong. However, jetsetters are increasingly looking for more authentic experiences and new, interesting locations. 

There has been a trend in consumers booking more Northern European destinations, after climate change has driven the traditional Mediterranean destinations to become too hot in the summer for some.

This could also once again give rise to UK staycations, which witnessed a boom during the pandemic years. 

In travel, consumers will be looking for a seamless, digital booking experience and increasingly use apps to have ease of control over their trips. 

Brands to Watch: Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, Get Your Guide

For further insights and brands to watch that will elevate your new business strategy at your agency, click here. The team at ALF are more than happy to have a chat about how there service can help you.

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