Seven for 2013 _ 7 Sins/Trends Consumer Insights in the Middle East
Seven for 2013
What will make the world tick in 2013? What will the consumer do in 2013?
What is the forecast of trends in the near future? Planners and intelligence
department do their share of the job and thousands of reports everywhere
are evaluating, analyzing, studying and demonstrating the crucial trends
of the coming year…
At Cheil UAE, our observation skills, trendspotting & pattern recognition
are “MADE IN THE REGION”. From different global and local research to
supermarket visits, café ear-dropping, social behaviourism and practically
anything that showcases or hints to any new pattern being built, we
develop our MEA 2013 collection of trends.
Today, obesity rates in the Gulf exceed those of the U.S: In Saudi Arabia,
recent surveys found that 28% of men & 44% of women are obese. In
Kuwait, 36% of men & 48% of women are obese while 41% of people in
Qatar are obese. Obesity rates are higher among women in the region not
only because they don't eat healthy, but most importantly because they
lack physical activity! Brands should become a positive force for change
and seriously think of how to introduce exercise in the Arab culture.
Example: Visitors to Emaar’s Downtown
Dubai, can now rent a push-bike to explore the
myriad wonders of the iconic location. Not only
are the push-bikes a convenient & green way to
travel, they also promote physical well-being.
Great initiative but how many Emirati women
will ride those bikes?
It’s natural for any person/consumer/shopper to always desire more.
Contrary to what one might think, it’s not low income consumers that
are the most vulnerable to feelings of envy. It’s the privileged few who
are the most “ENVIOUS” & always in constant war to show-off. In this
region exclusivity is still the name of the sin. Luxury brands and some
new brands understand how the limited edition & the pre-ordering are
totally working for the show-off, Envy creator, Arabic shopper.
Example: In Jan 2013, Beirut-based
W Motors unveiled the HyperSport. With a
750 horsepower engine, it’s
capable of a
top speed of 240mph, and is priced at 3.4
million $. The brand (which is the 1st
luxury sports car brand from the Arab
region), planned to produce only 7 units.
However, over 100 orders were received
within the 1st week of the launch.
For years, native Arabic speakers used to avoid speaking in Arabic
due to a lack of pride in who they are. A lot has changed during the
past years. Today, Arabs in the region are proud of their origin &
highlight their culture in Art, Fashion, Music.. Even Arabic
calligraphy has never been more trendy. Therefore, brands tapping
into heritage and traditions will deﬁnitely ring true with the
contemporary Proud Arabic consumer.
Example: The Wild Peeta is a truly
imaginative brand that builds on
culinary heritage: Its success comes
from the fact that it reﬂects the UAE
culinary tradition as well as other
cultural aspects including the
restaurant design, which includes pop
art portraits created by UAE artists
representing young National
The mad men industry is really mad these days, creating a new trend
of campaigns seeking to channel the frustration and rage of
consumers in the region trying to cope with a cost of living that is
getting higher and higher. This presents an opportunity for brands to
address consumers’ concerns and turn their Wrath into effective,
light-hearted campaigns. Brands addressing consumer outrage are
trending high as a result.. Talk about Anger Management Therapy!
Example : Prepaid card users in Lebanon
have created “missed calls” codes to save on
their cell phone credits (Service provider
Touch ended up with approx. 300,000
missed calls daily) Answering the consumer
anger, Touch launched a satirical campaign
for prepaid lines, that would save them up
to 62% on calls & SMS.
Customer “Service” has never been so literal. Servitude is what
brands are turning to facing greedy consumers who are more
demanding, and deﬁnitely more educated, with a huge sense of
entitlement. When all brands are expected to provide higher and
higher levels of “Service”; good becomes not good enough. Going the
extra mile today is the only differentiator between brands to be
visible in the sea of competition.
Example: Dubai is now home to the world’s
most expensive police patrol car, the
Lamborghini Aventador at a cost of
$550,000. Deputy director general of police
Khamis Matter AlMuzaina admitted that
the cars are going to be used in popular
tourist areas for show-off and impression.
As if we are not already impressed by Dubai.
Gen Z are a generation born with a mobile in hand. They expect
everything: info, products, friends to be INSTANTLY available in their
hands. It makes this generation a very impatient and LAZY one at the
same time! This techie, geeky and lazy generation use their mobile for
everything. Does this explain why Mobile payment is on the rise? Fact
is, for this generation, mobile payment is deﬁnitely the future of credit
Example: Tim Hortons coffee chain is the
latest addition to the UAE’s mobile
payment scene. The chain is joining other
names like Subway, Cold Stones, Géant
Supermarket and other outlets across
Dubai’s malls. The Beam Wallet is one of
those mobile payment solutions made
possible just by downloading an App.
In a market like the Middle East, you don’t expect Sex to sell. You
actually don’t expect any sex, lust, passion, or desire. Brands who play
that game (Axe, Wonderbra, Häagen-Dazs) are usually challenged to
ﬁnd alternative ways to communicate. But truth is, Sex does sell, and
more than anywhere else in the world, lust and desire are very
attractive in this conservative society. The challenge for brands will be
to ﬁnd the right tone & manner.
Example : An Emirati man was expelled
from Saudi by its feared religious police for
being too good looking has become a famous
person worldwide after his expulsion hit
headlines in global newspapers, triggering
a feminine deluge on his social website.
Omar Borkan Al Gala, was previously a
hardly known actor and poet.
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Operating in Dubai since 2006, Cheil UAE is an integrated communication
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“ideas that move” - Ideas that move consumers, brands metrics, products.
To ﬁnd out more about our “ideas that move”
or more info on our trendspotting & strategic tools
and how it can help move your business log on to www.cheil.ae
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