Family model foresights: demographic shift by 2030 will define future of brands

The last decade of December is the magical time of the year when marketing analysts, researchers and journalists alike look back at what has made 2013 tick, analyzing what’s to come in 2014. 

The London-based brand consultancy Dragon Rouge have taken it a few steps further and looked at what would shape brand communications in a 17-year time from the demographic and socio-economic perspective. Rather than looking at an individual, the agency have introduced a new approach to segmentation that considers groups of people—the so-called families of the future.

“Family of the Future” is an exciting and immersive research work, visualised in a 4-minute animated movie. It analyses six forces that will impact the UK’s society for years ahead, and pictures five typical models of the future families. There is room for brands in this future, too: the video features how families interact with 14 well-known brands (Regus, Gillette, GQ, Virgin, to name a few) in unknown ways in different situations. Watch the fun cartoon-like video below:

The driving forces that will shape how people interact with brands in a two-decade time in Britain have been investigated across six socio-economic, demographic, technological and environmental foresights. They are, as following:

 1. Pressure on a pinhead

By 2030, the UK’s population will grow to 70 million people, 92% of which will live in cities. High costs of living, insufficient amount of space, huge pressure on public services and infrastructure will force people to cooperate and share: Dragon Rouge predicts that 57% of first-time home buyers will consider purchasing a house with a friend.

2. Mobile and free

Even these days many people prefer to move from place to place freely, own less stuff, and share rather than buy. This rising trend of sharing economy will thrive for years ahead.

  • 10.9 million of single occupancy households in 2030;
  • 71% of millenials want and expect to work overseas at some point in their career;
  • 41% of millenials prefer to communicate electronically while at work, rather than face-to-face or by telephone.

 3. Multi-generation nation

As the average life expectancy in the UK rises, and economic and consumer optimism dims, many older children (with their own families) tend to live with their parents these days. This trend will gain momentum in the coming years.

  • 2.8 is the ratio of people of working age to people of pensionable age in 2030;
  • 3 million adults currently living with their parents in the UK;
  • 1 in 3 babies born in 2012 will live to be 100+.

 4. Reassessing richness

Simplicity will be (and already is) a new luxury. The perception of wellbeing and welfare is switching towards owning less/simpler things and embracing softer, more intangible aspects of happiness.

  • 14% of people on the UK say that the recession has been a positive experience that has focused them on the things that make them happy;
  • 1 in 4 people believe that they they would be better off if they owned fewer things;
  • 2 in 3 people worldwide believe they would be better off if they lived more simply.

5. Information inspiration

Data streams have shifted from being uncontrolled and overwhelming to properly managed and functional. People will continue to embrace technology into non-tech areas of life like health self check-up, for example.

  • 400 million of wireless personal health sensors predicted to be in use by 2014;
  • $2.5 billion is the annual revenue generated by health and fitness monitoring services and devices in the US;
  • 80% of Europeans use technology to work while participating in family activities.

6. Doing it for ourselves

Sustainability and social entrepreneurship are what will drive the circular economy of the future. Brands will have to help people be less reliable on government in regard to water, energy and food supply.

  • 30% rise in water demand by 2030;
  • 50% rise in food demand by 2030;
  • 50% rise in energy demand by 2030.

Based on the findings above, the report determines five types of the families of the future:

The “Family of the Future” research is a part of the bigger Dragon Rouge’s project “Brand Futures” that aims to define how brands can remain relevant and meet customers’ expectations in the short, middle and long term.

Read the full report here.