The Future of the Consumer in 2023

What emerging trends will we see in the new year

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Consumers have seen disruptions and innovations since the onset of the global pandemic. As the world resets and looks towards the future amid continued economic uncertainty, what recent evolutions will remain true and what previous trends will experience radio silence as we head into 2023?

In today’s special edition of The Speed of Culture Podcast, Suzy founder and CEO, Matt Britton will dive deep into where we’ve been over the past two years, the landscape for 2023 and what emerging trends might be bubbling up.

Stream the new episode below, listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or find it on Spotify.

Discover more about the future of the consumer in 2023 by checking the key takeaways of this episode below.

Key Highlights:

  • 02:37 – 04:48 – Youth Nation 2.0 – Britton wrote his book, Youth Nation, about the millennial generation, or the first generation to grow up with the computer and the internet in the household. That wired their brains differently and gave them expectations that later would completely disrupt the consumer industry. Now it’s happening again with Gen Z, who grew up not only with the internet, but also with mobile devices at their fingertips. Now, with a need for instant gratification and the power to choose what to consume, Gen Z is shaking things up for brands once again. 
  • 04:48 – 05:48 – The Macroeconomic Impact on the Consumer – No matter how excited new generations are about various trends, the current economic challenges impact their choices and give consumers less control. And the government is pushing buttons that control our realities in business in a way we’ve never seen in recent decades.
  • 05:48 – 13:42 – Macroeconomic Changes – Despite the terrible health impact, Covid-19 propelled our economy to new heights in 2021. With an influx of cash, consumers started buying homes they couldn’t afford and stocks in companies like GameStop. But, as in any boom time, nothing ever lasts forever. Though consumers wanted to buy more, materials, manufacturing and shipping processes were squeezed. With issues in the supply chain, prices went up and inflation became a major talking point in 2022. All of a sudden, consumers have begun to feel slightly less flush with cash. There’s a lot of uncertainty about the economy right now and no one knows what will happen next. 
  • 13:42 – 16:32 – Heading Into 2023 – The labor market is currently holding up the economy, with more open jobs than unemployed people in America right now. With raising interest rates, unemployment may also grow. With nearly all-time low savings and all-time high debt, consumers are feeling the pinch. This economic reality is something brands need to be prepared for heading into 2023. 
  • 16:32 – 27:16 – Focusing on Gen Z – As the most voluminous and diverse population in the U.S., Gen Z is an important generation to focus on. Nearly 86 million people are Gen Z consumers, and that cohort has been seriously affected by the pandemic professionally and personally. Their experience impacts the work environment (quiet quitting), a return to brick-and-mortar, deglobalization in manufacturing and openness to switching brands. Plus, their values of authenticity, impact on health and the environment, DEI all influence the way brands need to create and market products.