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Fords’ 11th Trends Report finds growing consumer optimism

Ford Motor Company has released its 11th annual Trends Report. The major insight from the survey reveals that the global population has a positive ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ sentiment, even amidst national and global instability. 

The findings from the Ford Trends 2023 survey are generated from 16 120 online interviews in 16 countries across the world. The survey is open to diverse opinions and curious about the consumers’ thought process. It analyses consumer preferences and behaviours influenced by external factors across a range of themes. The survey attempts to look into the future through an analysis of the findings.

A key insight suggests that “The participants of the survey believe society will be stronger in five years. Consumers have not given up on the notion of a ‘happily ever after’  but for now, they will gladly settle for some silver linings wherever they can find them,” says Jen Brace, Ford’s Global Trends and Futuring Team.

“The future of Ford centres on a purpose bigger than building vehicles. We are helping to build a better world. In the survey a range of themes are explored: from consumers taking stock of their fears, reconsidering reliance and the safety of technology, practising escapism, and cautiously leaning into optimism while searching for inspiration and joy,” says Sheryl Connelly, former Chief Futurist at Ford.

Some of the trends highlighted in the report include:

Facing Our Fears

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The 2023 Trends Report reveals that 65 percent of South Africans say that they have lost trust in political structures, and 57% have a growing scepticism in financial systems. In another question about what consumers fear the most: 88% of South Africans resonated with the “inflation and high prices” response. These insights from the report correlate with a recent BusinessTech article stating that the recent electricity price hikes and the ongoing power crisis in the nation have led to an upsurge of costs for consumers and businesses from a microeconomic perspective. However, looking into the future the survey reveals that 66% are hopeful that their financial burdens will be lifted in the year ahead.

Taking a Stand

A global average of 64% of respondents believe that political representation is deficient in their respective countries, while 82% of South Africans  think that there is more being done to cause division in the country than there is to unite it. The report states that political protests have initiated consumer boycotts, in particular towards brands that remain neutral on social and environmental issues.

According to the data, 89% of South Africans agreed with the following statement: “We need more laws and policies to hold companies accountable for their environmental and social impacts”. As a result, consumers believe that companies should have to be accountable for any environmental or humanitarian harm they cause.

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In line with disclosing its current progress towards the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, Ford published its latest Sustainability and Financial Report in 2022.

Cautious Optimism

The Trends Report reveals that 85% of the global average of participants think “more love and forgiveness is needed in the world”.

Another optimistic insight reveals that 81% of South Africans believe that their actions can result in positive change and a further 86% think they can attain the vision they have for their lives, with millennials leading the generational cohort of positive self-belief. A notable 90% confirm that their past mistakes do not define them but rather create an opportunity for learning and growth to do better going forward.

The road to joy 

The report highlights that 83% of South African participants affirm that they ‘intentionally try to find joy in the mundane or everyday aspects of life’. From spending time in their cars with others to playing their favourite songs on the radio, or simply choosing to practice gratitude – people are choosing joy.

The popular ‘No chill in Mzansi’ mentality, streaming across social media platforms, epitomises choosing joy in everyday aspects. It has garnered a reputation for conceiving amusement even amidst political, and socio-economic uncertainties occurring throughout the country. It highlights how South Africans have an innate ability to find silver linings in every situation.

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Click here: www.fordtrends.com to discover additional details from the ‘Looking Further with Ford’ 2023 Trends Report.

By The African Mirror