The Speed of Culture Podcast: Weathering the Financial Storm

The current financial environment and its impact on consumers

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Welcome to a special edition of The Speed of Culture podcast! In this episode, we bring you a recent Suzy State of the Consumer webinar where host Matt Britton delves into the current financial environment and its impact on consumers. Britton discusses recent trends in the banking crisis, sheds light on how consumers feel in the current economy and shares insights on other macro-financial factors that are shaping consumer behavior. 

Britton is a consumer trend leader, millennial and Gen Z expert, new media entrepreneur and futurist. Over the past two decades, he has consulted with over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies and delivered over 400 keynotes on 5 continents. Britton is currently the founder and CEO of Suzy, an end-to-end consumer insights platform that enables customers to understand the consumer at the speed of culture.

Key Takeaways:

  • 03:24 – 08:42 – The Continuing effects of Covid-19 – The current state of the American economy is undeniably fragile, and almost all of the challenges we face as an economy today are a direct result of Covid-19. The fiscal stimulus measures implemented to combat the pandemic have led to an overheated market with excessive demand and insufficient supply. 
  • 10:57 – 16:57 – Silicon Valley Bank – The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank caused a ripple of panic in the tech industry, as those heavily invested feared for their financial security. The impact on the economy was significant, leaving many uncertain about the stability of other financial institutions. However, the majority of consumers remain loyal to their banks, with a recent survey revealing that sixty-two percent still trust their chosen banking institution. 
  • 16:57 – 23:06 – Rising debt – The “Buy Now-Pay Later” trend is tempting, but it’s leading consumers down a dangerous path. More and more people are financing their lifestyle through debt, leading to increased interest rates and the potential for defaults on credit cards, mortgages and car payments. The staggering amount of overspending has contributed to an all-time high in debt loads, adding to the concerns of those already struggling to keep up with their finances. 
  • 26:18 – 31:07 – The future of finances – The Covid pandemic has revolutionized the way people spend and handle their money. A whopping 63% of consumers now prefer digital payments over traditional methods, causing payment platforms like Venmo and PayPal to skyrocket in popularity. Younger consumers, particularly Gen Z, have ditched cash entirely for tech-based payment options. Furthermore, research found that 40% of consumers are open to trying online-only bank accounts, signaling a major shift in consumer banking preferences.
  • 31:07 – 32:24 – The rise of AI – This year has seen a surge in AI technology. From ChatGPT to other language-learning tools, people are beginning to realize the vast potential for the next generation of computing. One industry where AI is already starting to make a mark is in wealth management. As these systems become more dependable, consumers will increasingly rely on it to manage their portfolios without needing to pay costly fees for a financial advisor.