Four Key Trends Shape Modern Consumer Behavior According to UM’s Global Wave X Remix Culture Study

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Four Key Trends Shape Modern Consumer Behavior According to UM’s Global Wave X Remix Culture Study

UM, the strategic marketing and media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, has announced the global launch of Remix Culture, the first culturally-focused iteration of its annual Wave X study that tracks social and digital media usage and motivations globally across 81 countries and 44 languages.


Asia Pacific countries included in the study consist of Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

The results reveal four key trends that are shaping modern consumer behavior: Resist; Retrograde; Reglocalize; and Recreate.

Remix Culture reveals that 68 percent of online consumers in APAC agree that brands play a significant role in social good (61 percent globally). When brands do not live up to these expectations, consumers hold them accountable by leveraging social media to voice their concerns, launching and cultivating a “Resist” movement.

“Retrograde” behavior is reflected in how consumers are gravitating towards content and culture from previous decades and brands that embrace nostalgia. Generational trends from the past are now in the foreground, shaping personal style, language and beliefs:
• 62 percent like listening to music or watch movies from other decades (68 percent globally)
• 61 percent say their family practices the culture/traditions of their ancestors (57 percent globally)
• 47 percent enjoy watching TV shows that are no longer on air (55 percent globally)

According to the research, the modern global consumer’s desire for local inspiration to adopt and appeal to their sense of individuality is more prevalent than ever, a trend identified as “Reglocalizing.” When it comes to enjoying consumer content/products from other countries, 55 percent agree that local brands and products are more authentic (57 percent globally).

The study also finds that consumers increasingly want to broaden and “Recreate” their identities. When asked to select factors that define their identity, top choices include health/fitness level; friends; school/knowledge/education; family traditions; passions; belief in importance of science/evidence/understanding; and country of birth. As personal identities become more complex, consumers are taking notice of brands that appeal to multifaceted identity factors, with 65 percent both regionally and globally saying they are interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things, and 61 percent of consumers both regionally and globally indicating that their personal style includes elements from different eras, cultures and traditions.

“Remix Culture reveals the path forward on cultural connectivity by going deeper into the types of content that informs cultural identity and influences consumer behavior,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, Global Chief Cross-Cultural Officer, UM (pictured). “These insights help our clients better understand and navigate cultural trends at a time when trust continues to drop and it’s more important than ever to make their brands culturally relevant.”

This edition of UM’s Wave X focused on Remix Culture included a quantitative study of 56,397 active internet users—those who use the Internet every day or every other day. Conducted in 44 languages across 81 countries, the study represents a universe of 1.73 billion active Internet users worldwide.