Consumer Hopes for 2011

Consumer Hopes for 2011

The recent Hopes and Fears Snapshot Report has been quite a hit. We figured that if we could get consumers to delve into their inner hopes and fears and somehow relate that back to spending intentions, we’d be able to understand a bit more about consumer spending behaviour in the months ahead.

The Opinium Research Hopes and Fears report is an ideal starting place for anyone wishing to stay in touch with their customers. It is an excellent launching pad from which to base marketing decisions for products and services in the months ahead.

The report provides an understanding into how consumers are likely to behave, allowing the reader to plan accordingly and stay ahead of the competition – all in the face of the new consumer reality.

Hope has been described as the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.

As mentioned, my team at Opinium Research thought that if we could try and understand consumer’s hopes, we might be able to provide a glimpse into their intended spending and consumption patterns for 2011.

We initially carried out an exploratory wave of research where we asked respondents to send us their verbatim hopes for 2011 giving them as much freedom as possible to come back to us with whatever was on their minds as the New Year approached. We reviewed in depth this list of nearly 2,000 responses, using it as a starting point in the development of our final questionnaire.
In the main study, respondents were first asked to select their hopes for 2011 from a list generated using the pre-wave research. They were then asked to select their one main hope for 2011 from their list of chosen hopes.

It is interesting to note that when given the choice to select more than one main hope, more than half of respondents state they are hopeful that their financial situation will improve in 2011 (51%), an obvious choice given the UK’s current economic predicament; However, when forced to actually make a choice between their main hopes and select their single biggest hope for the year ahead (i.e. the one of absolute most importance to them), improved/good health for self and family (25%) emerges as the most valued element of their lives for a quarter of the population, with financial hopes for the year ahead falling to second place.

The results featured in this report only serve as a snapshot of the research we conducted; however drilling down a bit deeper we are able to provide some interesting insights into consumer behaviour in the coming months:

  • Younger consumers are far more likely than older consumers to be concerned about improvements to their financial situation with 24% in their twenties stating this as their one main hope for 2011, compared to 13% in their sixties.
  • In contrast, older respondents are more hopeful of health improvements/continued health for 2011, with 42% in their sixties hoping for good/improved health above all else, compared to 14% in their twenties.
  • Economic recovery is the number one hope for only 2% of those in their twenties, rising to 6-7% among those aged 50 plus.
  • While getting a job is more likely to be the primary hope for those in their twenties, those in their forties are most likely to hope they will be able to keep their present job.
  • Meanwhile, those in their twenties are most hopeful of finding new love this year.
  • Women are twice as likely to state ‘losing weight’ as their single biggest hope (8% vs. 4% males). Among those in their thirties (men and women), 9% state this as their biggest hope.
  • Those in social grades C2 and D are most likely to hope primarily to achieve financial improvements in the year ahead.
  • Nearly 10% in full time employment state that keeping their current job is their biggest hope for 2011 (compared to 4% overall).
  • The biggest hope for students/those not yet in full time work is getting a job (29%), followed by improvements to their financial situation (21%). In contrast, the recently employed are most hopeful they will have the opportunity to change jobs in 2011.