Close to the edge

21 June 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Sarah King writes:

Yesterday’s news reports indicating that seven million Britons were only one bill away from disaster came as no surprise to anyone at The Futures Company. Our Feeling the Pinch study has been taking the temperature of UK and Irish consumers in recessionary times since 2008. We have identified and tracked three broad swathes of consumers, the self explanatory ‘Plain Sailing’, ‘Choppy Waters’ and ‘All Hands on Deck’ groups.

Across the study we have seen a significant increase in the size of the ‘All Hands on Deck’ [AHOD] group as more people move down from ‘Choppy Waters’ into a more pressured position. 60% of AHOD say that the level of debt they have is ruining their quality of life, and 37% of them say they could only cover their living expenses for less than a month if they or someone in their household became jobless.

At a Kantar event last week, the sentiments and behaviour of these three segments were mapped across polling by our colleagues at TNS-BMRB and retail analysis by Kantar Worldpanel. This work demonstrated that while value-seeking behaviours are entrenched in all groups, strategies differ.  Those in AHOD buy offers that involve less outlay and actually reduce the volume of food they buy. It may be that they are wasting less food, but the possibility exists that some are going hungry.

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, there are people who are much more comfortable, playing their hand carefully and tactfully in tough times but essentially doing fine. This is characteristic of recessions which tend to be spikey. The challenge for marketers is both to find ways to help one set of customers and to identify the pools of money that do exist out there, and which offer the ‘new sources of growth’ discussed in our latest Future Perspective report.
The image at the top of this post is from the personalfinance4ll blog, and is used with thanks.

Entry filed under: consumers, economic downturn. Tags: , , .

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The Futures Company blog

The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.


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