Companies that take leadership on the values and concerns of the stakeholders that matter most to their business, their tribe, will gain competitive advantage.
As part of the FutureConsumer.Now research, EY identified over 150 drivers that could shape the future consumer, along with eight hypotheses related to how people will shop, eat, stay healthy, live, use technology, play, work and move.
Through a series of one-week hackathons in five cities around the world (Mumbai, London, Berlin, Los Angeles and Shanghai), business leaders, futurists and industry professionals explored these hypotheses further and modeled possible future worlds and how they would impact consumer-facing companies.
Pinakiranjan Mishra, and National Leader- Consumer Products and Retail, EY, says, “Consumer-facing companies in India have been confronting disruption for a decade. However, given the exponential speed of change, achieving relevance requires companies to anticipate the probable, possible and plausible consumer needs of the future to shape a preferable future for their business.”
EY offers the following recommendations for consumer-facing companies to address the five business imperatives:
Challenge every assumption
Agile market entrants are using technology and new routes to market to challenge incumbent business models, yet most companies are trying to protect legacy businesses by leveraging scale and chasing incremental improvements. Companies will need to address three requirements: maximize the declining benefits of existing business models to fund transformation; build on current capabilities in ways that drive new business models and create new capabilities that enable a pivot into new opportunities.
Choose your tribe
Companies that take leadership on the values and concerns of the stakeholders that matter most to their business, their tribe, will gain competitive advantage. By differentiating on their purpose and embedding it across every facet of their organization, business stand to form deep, lasting, and profitable connections with consumers, talent and other stakeholders.
Win every micro-moment
Technology-empowered consumers will increasingly purchase goods, services and experiences in “micro-moments,” without a preference for a platform they use. Companies will need to customize and adapt what products they offer, at what price and when they offer them as consumers make purchasing decisions in split seconds, regardless of brand.
Deliver measurable outcomes
As technology provides the consumer with more insight on purchases than ever before, generalized brand promises will become redundant as consumers demand more measurable, personalized outcomes that go beyond the key benefits of the product or service. The smart consumers of the future will have total transparency about the quantifiable consequence of every purchase and consumption choice they make. Companies can show the transparent, positive impact of their product or service in order to better appeal to their target consumers.
Master the ecosystem
As new technologies and business models disrupt established value chains, successful consumer-facing companies will seize new opportunities based on where and how they can add value. Companies need to identify the consumer-centric ecosystem they want to create and decide where in this ecosystem they want to play.