Lately, the headings "new consumption trends" and "change of paradigms" appear again and again to point out profound changes of consumer behaviour with important consequences for the entire market. The methodical prerequisite for the discovery of a "change of paradigms" on the consumer side is a change of paradigms in market research. In most cases, the latter is not enough emphasized. Formerly, market research often started out from unfounded theoretical presuppositions about consumer behaviour. This has led us to the assumption that newly discovered attitudes are not new but were overlooked in former research. When using a qualitative psychological market research concept, the "new consumption trends" seem to be controlled by a collectively effective polarity of the motives "enhancement" and "return". On one hand, there is the trend to enhance the enjoyable sides of life by consumption, on the other hand, there is the desire not to go this way any further but to "return". Both motives result in the demand for products, either with an "enhancement" signification or with a "return" signification. This background makes it easy to explain the use of numerous products and brands of today. With respect to the individual consumer, different mixtures of "enhancement" and "return" demands can be found and made visible in a typology of consumers. Finally, it becomes apparent that those products will have the best chances in the future which make it possible to achieve an "enhancement" with a simultaneous "return".
Author: Klaus Nemetz
Company: IMAS International GmbH
June 15, 1989
Author: Jochen Hansen
September 1, 1994
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