Understanding Global Commonalities In Consumer Mindsets Is Key To Your Business’s Success

The goal of every business today is to succeed in a competitive environment which means allowing for growth and expansion while meeting consumer demand.

One key element that most companies forget is searching for patterns of commonality in today’s diverse world of consumers. A recent study by BCG (Boston Consulting Group) sheds light on what it is that really motivates a customer’s preference globally.

The world is complex and filled with people coming from all backgrounds. And while most firms try to analyze market trends via regions, they tend to miss out on the big picture- the mindsets of consumers from around the globe.

Similarities in mindsets and needs of customers

How similar are the mindsets of those willing to make a purchasing decision in Asia when compared to those hailing from the North American region? Do their needs or wants share any common ground? Well, to answer this question, BCG took into consideration 40,000 people hailing from 18 of the biggest global markets worldwide.

Not only were their mindsets revealed, but so were their needs whenever making a buying decision. And to many people’s surprise, the responses generated were a unique world of their own.

It was mind blowing to see so much diversity in trends but at the same time, you might be surprised to learn that there were plenty of similarities too. This was especially true for nations like the United Kingdom, Australia, the US, and Canada.

Meanwhile, the trends seen in the Asian market were so shockingly unique but the same wasn’t seen for those in Europe. You might be appalled to learn how the Chinese are more worried about how they’ll be seen in the eyes of others while the French or those from Russia don’t have a care in the world.

In terms of entrepreneurship, Indians and Nigerians would adore any new business venture but the same can’t be said for those hailing from Japan.

Another interesting point worth a mention is how similarities in mindsets don’t always mean the same needs for one product. And believe it or not, it’s results like these that suggest how risky it can be for an organization to base its decisions on results seen in one region because of variance.

Finding options for organic growth through consumer mindsets

After taking into consideration 60% of the global consumer market, the BCG study understood consumer demands and that led to more chances for growth.

First, trends in mindsets and attitudes were looked at. These are key elements of a person’s personality. And as you can understand, there was a huge difference in cultural factors that came into play.

For instance, Indonesians stress a lot upon religion while the Chinese look up to others, and in the UAE, your career is what made the difference. We could go on and on about the differences but some things that were too common to miss out on included the realization that technology is great and how sports was a passion many nations shared. Similarly, people are very health conscious with the pandemic possibly being one of the main reasons.

Other common points spoke about how much those arising from South Asia and the Middle East regard the community. In the same way, the study highlighted how those arising from emerging markets had more optimism about their future and were keener on establishing businesses.

The benefits of looking at countries as pairs

So how can a business benefit from all this data? Well, researchers believe the time has come to look at nations as pairs. See which duos are highly similar and which ones differ the most. Now, firms can use this as insights for studying foreign markets and those that best align with theirs or others that share the same presence as they are taking into consideration.

What’s important is to look at both mindsets and needs. You’ll be shocked to learn how different a role both of these play. Just because one country’s mindsets are the same doesn’t mean their needs will be and that’s what the BCG’s stats have proved.

You'll find similarities in the most surprising places

Keeping in line with the theme of how dissimilar needs and mindsets are, one part of the BCG study compared the mindsets of the Chinese population purchasing snacks with those of 17 other nations and found zero similarity. However, when comparing their needs, it was seen that they correlated with those seen in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and even Indonesia although the culture is remarkably different.

A similar trend was seen in the auto market in China where the mindsets differed completely from countries like Nigeria but when looking at needs, the two opposing countries were remarkably simpler. This means China’s automobile makers could have great potential in the Nigerian market.

How can marketers benefit?

Researchers have ended up laying down a protocol that businesses can best benefit from the wide level of diversity seen:
  • Embrace the differences that come your way- If you want to make the most of global advantage, understand that people’s mindsets are too diverse. One thing won’t work for all.
  • Learn to outline needs at a more local level- The model used in the research shows that needs and demands are very different from mindsets. It’s best to study needs at a local level.
  • Understand needs using the bottom-up approach- To help firms nail the aspect of the needs, granular understanding is the best way out as they not only find commonalities but also pick out market clusters. Keep mindsets as a separate factor from needs and go on from there.
The take-home message is very clear for businesses. This is the best opportunity to gauge what is it that drives consumer preference in the worldwide market. Behaviors of consumers will change and firms need to appreciate what it is that ultimately leads to their buying choices.

Researchers claim organizations must learn to understand that diversity is presented in heaps and bounds but deepening understanding of demand strategies is what can separate them from others. And with this edge, companies won’t be far from leaving their footprints in the global market.
Read next: Consumers Prefer Ads Over Paid Services But Voice Concerns On Suspicious Ad Tracking
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