This is the fourth of 5 thoughts addressing social trends in Australia. To avoid repetition, I have avoided trends associated in social media, content marketing, and digital marketing to focus on interesting trends that many may not be aware of.A recent Australian survey found that 3.7 million Australians over the age of 14 consider themselves to be image conscious. That is, they consider it important to be a trendsetter, stand out from the crowd, look stylish, and wear distinctive (generally ‘label’) clothing.
This market is thought to be growing at a rate of 3.5% per annum.
Given the potential reluctance of consumers to admit to being ‘image conscious’, it would not be surprising if the number in this segment was actually greater than reported and the growth rate faster.
The image conscious Australian is now considered a powerful market segment and its members are seen as powerful potential brand allies. They are potential influencers and have the capacity (through social media and other channels) to drive the sales of products they ‘connect’ with and consider to be consistent with their image.
There is also growing evidence to suggest that the image conscious are bigger spenders, particularly when it comes to products and services they believe will enhance their image. They are keen to indulge their passions and be seen to do so. The image conscious are also much more likely to describe themselves as affluent. Among millennials, image conscious consumers are 53% more likely to have an income above $120,000.
At the same time, there is a growing demand for personal branding consultancy services offering training in presentation skills, personal presentation, deportment, and other image enhancement services.
Some might suggest that Australians are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and they may well be.
I have found that many image conscious Australians are simply recognising the importance of personal image in influencing the jobs they get, their promotional progress, the relationships they develop, and their overall success in an increasingly competitive and image focused world.
We should also remember that human beings tend to make lasting judgements about people they meet within 30 seconds, and those judgments are very difficult to change.
The growing number of image conscious people in Australia needs to be understood, embraced and even leveraged by marketers.
In 2018, target image conscious consumers
Every year – put the facts ahead of intuition and guesswork.
Core sources of statistics – n-insights, ABS, Integrate, M, We Are Social, Eventbright, McCrindle, AR Pos, HBR, and Deloitte.