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Consumer Life Report: Disunited Kingdom

As the recent referendum result has shown, the British people are more driven by divisions that at any point in the past 50 years. There are many uncertainties ahead, as well as unanswered and unanswerable questions. One immediate question that brands and companies in all sectors should be asking is, how to effectively speak to and address the needs of British consumers.

This special, one-off report combines the latest data from our post-referendum Consumer Confidence Barometer with a longer term view from GfK Consumer Life on how the values, attitudes and behaviours of UK consumers are shifting by age and income group, and what this means for the brands, products and services they choose.


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Introducing GfK Consumer Life

How can we understand tomorrow's Consumer and thus implications for brand growth? For over 25 years, companies have turned to GfK Consumer Life (Roper Reports) to dive deep into today’s market and where it’s heading, to develop strategic opportunities.

Covering all aspects of consumer behaviour, attitudes and values, Consumer Life is our key tool to help marketers plan for the future across mature and high-growth markets worldwide. Every year we ask over 30,000 consumers about their wants and preferences to identify opportunities in categories from food to finance, beverages to beauty, appliances to automotive.

Find out more

Other available Consumer Life reports

You also might be interested in these Consumer Life reports, which are availabe

    • 02/24/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    03/14/17 - 03/16/17
    GfK at eyeforpharma: exploring customer engagement

    Meet with GfK at eyeforpharma Barcelona 2017, the largest commercial pharma meeting of 1000+ industry leaders.
    • 02/24/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Don’t call it a comeback: What health means to consumers today

    As we get busier and more distracted every day, key priorities like health often fall to the wayside.  But interestingly, health and fitness (defined as “making an effort to be in good physical and mental shape”) is a rising value globally; currently, it’s #12 on a list of 50 personal values tracked by GfK Consumer Life, up four ranks since 2011.  And nearly half (48%) of Americans believe that their eating habits, diet and overall health are better than their parents were at their age, a 6-point jump from 2012. After years of being back-burnered by the Great Recession, people finally feel ready to take a more active role in their own wellness.  But the return of health brings new questions: what does health mean to today’s consumer?

    Mind + body matters

    Most (69%) Americans agree that a key aspect of good health is “having a positive, optimistic state of mind and outlook on life” – #4 on a list of 12 possible health descriptors.  As new outlooks on health emerge, this is a critical one.  No longer are people consumed just with the number on their scale or the size of their jeans – they need to feel good, not just look good.  This outlook is more pronounced among those who are 60+, perhaps due to enhanced expectations for a longer, happier life.

    New nuances to fitness

    Almost six in ten (58%) Americans believe that “being physically fit” is included in their definition of “good health” – but it’s a bit more complex than that.  Other dimensions of physical fitness are actually ranked higher on this list, including the ability to do daily activities without obstacles (78%) and avoiding obesity (62%).  This heightened awareness of the impacts of fitness are evident in the top physical concerns Americans share about aging – gaining weight (34%) and loss of mobility (34%) are among the top five items on this list. With that in mind, it may come as no surprise that nearly two in three (65%) Americans exercise to keep fit weekly or more often; this habit is up six points since 2012.  And one in three (32%) admit that physical movement helps them treat health conditions they have.

    “Whole person” customization

    The marketplace for health and wellness solutions has expanded in recent years to include many more players.  Tech companies are competing with pharmaceutical leaders, and startups are often able to deliver solutions faster and more efficiently than more established brands. This is good news for the consumer.  Not only are there more products and services to choose from, the ability to personalize one’s wellness regimen has accelerated tremendously.  There’s a combination of solutions for everyone, whether it’s aging consumers who are focused on declining mobility and memory, younger individuals who care strongly about fitness, or the affluent audience drawn to more preventative health solutions. With wellness finally back on the front burner for consumers around the world and new spaces for a variety of companies to play a role, discussion of what “health” is will continue to grow – opening doors to new ideas on how to live healthfully. Rachel Bonsignore is a Senior Consultant for GfK Consumer Life.  She can be reached at
    • 02/24/17
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Consumer Life
    • Connected Consumer
    • Connected car
    • Global Consumer Values
    • Global
    • English

    Vehicle features: Latest driver tech ‘very important’ to 1 in 3 people across 17 countries

    GfK, has released findings showing which vehicle features, from a given list, people see as being ‘very important’ in a vehicle. 
    • 02/23/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    German consumer optimism declines slightly

    After a splendid start into 2017, con-sumer confidence in Germany suffers a minor setback in February. Both economic and income expectations, as well as propensity to buy are expected to decline. The consumer climate forecast for March is at 10.0 points following a level of 10.2 in February.
    • 02/22/17
    • Global
    • English

    Nations as brands: Why global perception matters

    In today’s world, places are getting increasingly accessible, and global citizens have a vast array of choices where to do business and work, and where to spend their leisure time. Digital technologies and modern consumer goods and services are everywhere, regardless of nations’ cultures, religion, and level of development, bridging the gap in hospitality offerings and business environments across the world.

    Reputation a key differentiator for nations and cities

    As a result, competition among nations and cities for business investments and tourism revenues is heating up, and this is a trend for years to come. In this context, reputation has turned into a key differentiator for nations and cities. The global public admires “made-in-USA” products, American strength in science and technology, and the nation’s creative energy, yet the US struggles to win the world’s recognition for its governance, a reputation asset in which Canada and Switzerland are perceived best. Tourism attractiveness is a key differentiator for Italy and France, while Germany needs to do more to promote its natural beauty. Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin are not recognized for their welcoming people, as opposed to Sidney, Toronto, and Amsterdam. Current events do not define nations’ reputations in the long run, yet their short-term impact can be quite profound. For example, in 2016, a very turbulent year, USA and the UK have suffered large decreases in positive global perception. Our Nation Brand Index’s (NBI) creator Simon Anholt comments: “It is a country’s perceived impact on the world that affects its global reputation, far more than its assets or achievements – and this is what we are seeing here. Those countries that are perceived as being world influencers are suffering following a year of ongoing international conflict and humanitarian issues.”

    Leading nations held most accountable for domestic and global problems

    The souring global mood about leading nations reflects a world beset by conflicts and socio-economic uncertainties. This proves a trend we have seen in the NBI data before: that leading nations are held most accountable for domestic and global problems and they suffer reputation losses in tough years. But at the same time, leading nation brands are resilient as they have reputation capital to spare. At least in the past year, the leaders held their top positions despite score drops. The world still gives them credit, although with much greater skepticism.  Hence, USA managed to retain the top position in the NBI rating in 2016, followed by Germany and the UK which barely edged Canada, ranked fourth.

    Spotlight on the US

    Leading the Nation Brand Index at number one, the US scored strongly in the categories of Exports (#1 worldwide), Culture (#2), Immigration & Investment (#2), Tourism (#3), and People (#5), but struggled on the Governance metric, where the US ranks 19th – down one place from 2015. Note that the data were collected before the recent US presidential election and its contentious aftermath, the events to watch for impact on the US Governance image in 2017.

    Spotlight on a hot-button issue: Immigration

    In NBI, Investment and Immigration metrics measure the power to attract people to live, work or study in each country and how people perceive a country’s quality of life and business environment. Combined, these metrics put Canada in the top spot for its Investment and Immigration attractiveness, followed by the US and Germany. Canada performs strongly on all Investment and Immigration metrics, except as a desired destination for studying, on which the US is a clear leader. But the US lags in how it is perceived globally on social equality.


    Brand image and reputation go a long way for consumers. To be successful in the business world, companies must create and maintain a positive image and reputation, especially during times of social conflict. The same is true for nations. Those with more favorable branding open their doors to expanded opportunities around tourism, imports and exports, and investment. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'eff4e86e-6faf-4bf2-afc7-1d9ae9a6e041', {});
    • 02/22/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: vehicle features

    Which features come top as ‘very important’ for a vehicle to have, according to consumers? What about latest vehicle technology? Download our global study and get the answer!
    • 02/22/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Car features: which are ‘very important’?

    In our global study, 1 in 3 people across 17 countries say that latest driver technology is `very important´ to them. Download our infographics and explore the top 3 by country.
    • 02/21/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Why biopharma needs to improve customer engagement

    Biopharma has no lack of touchpoints to optimize engagement with its most important stakeholders. Yet the industry is lagging behind in leveraging those crucial points of the customer journey to meet stakeholders where they are. Below are some suggestions for how biopharma can improve the customer experience and innovate successfully.
    1. Rethink engagement, experiences and relationships

    It’s time to question the effectiveness of pharmaceutical engagement with its stakeholders. The 15th Annual eyeforpharma Summit (March 14-16 in Barcelona) poses the questions*: “What’s stopping us from being patient-centric? Is it laziness? Or…is it simply too difficult to give up control?” The same organization recently partnered with The Health Perspectives Group** to review the state of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in North America. They concluded that pharma companies are still overly reliant on TV advertising blitzes and have under invested in authentic patient-centered stories delivered via digital channels. This addiction to old-school push marketing has inflated DTC spending, yet has led to a decline in DTC ad awareness and patient pull-through. How can an industry with such strong scientific roots and talent get it so wrong?
    1. Take advantage of the new digital realities

    Unclear guidance from regulatory agencies has led to genuine industry-wide caution when activating digital channels. However, this doesn’t explain a drop in digital pharma advertising spending (excluding search) in the US from 2015 to 2016. Digital shyness can’t be the result of resource constraints because TV, radio, magazine and radio ad spending all increased during this same period. What’s more, new drug applications (NDAs) are back to record highs, so the industry has a great innovation story to tell. And the mobile app surge continues even though most branded and unbranded health apps have few users. Meanwhile, companies are struggling to reorient and redeploy sales forces to take advantage of the new digital realities. We are in a post-iPad world, where the rep and account manager can be curators of targeted and relevant digital content. Yet biopharma still uses outmoded recall and share-of-voice metrics when gauging detail effectiveness.
    1. Innovate from a new playbook

    To paraphrase the futurist William Gibson: The future is already here, it’s just not widely distributed. Plenty of pioneering examples within and outside the biopharma industry heed some basic principles:
    • Build experience around the patient and customer, not around the product – beyond the pill can be more than a cliché.
    • Don’t rely on digital as a medium for pushing branded messages; rather, use it as an opportunity to connect in a two-way conversation.
    • Don’t try to exert too much control as a marketer because you are no longer in control – instead engage, reward, nurture and adapt.
    • Look outside our industry for great examples of enduring customer engagement and consumer-centricity – especially when developing unbranded ways of engaging.
    • Upgrade your multichannel marketing content – multichannel marketing requires multichannel content and multichannel measurements. For example, upgrade sales force effectiveness programs with multichannel modules.
    1. Draw from examples from pharma pioneers

    There are plenty of success stories such as AbbVie’s patient access programs, Novartis’ real-world psoriasis patient stories (fueled by the largest-ever global survey of PsO patients in over 30 countries) and Otsuka’s fusion of traditional and digital therapies. These are just a few of the pioneers that will gather at eyeforpharma in Barcelona in March to share the best and brightest ideas for engagement with patients and customers.
    1. Join us at eyeforpharma Barcelona in March

    Join the dialogue as we exchange ideas for advancing the art and science of customer engagement. I will be hosting the Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement tracks on Day 2 of the conference, Wednesday, March 15. If biopharma makes these five smart moves, they will have the tools to innovate through richer relationships with a breadth of stakeholders, by embracing the new digital reality and by continuing the transformative dialogue on customer engagement. The conversation continues outside of the conference. We invite you to join us for a meeting onsite anytime during the eyeforpharma program, or be our guest for a special dinner where you can meet other industry peers. Join us Wednesday, March 15 at OneOcean Club, overlooking the beautiful Barcelona marina Schedule a meeting and join us for dinner at OneOcean Not going to Barcelona? Just click here to pre-register for GfK’s post-conference briefing sharing the best and brightest ideas from Barcelona. *Chairman comments in program for 15th Annual eyeforpharma Barcelona Summit **The Great DTC Shake-up: Patient perspectives on direct-to-consumer advertising