Corporate Eye

Economic Considerations, Value and Store Brands will Dominate Purchase Trends in 2010

store_brandA new report by Nielsen Business Media identifies consumer purchasing trends in the U.S. in 2010, and as you might assume, the fallout from a weakened economy is expected to continue to have an effect in purchasing in the coming year.

Three of the 2010 consumer purchasing trends in the U.S. can be directly related to brand strategy:

1. The economy

Economic considerations won’t go away in 2010.  Instead, consumers have become savvier shoppers in recent years thanks to the weak economy.  In 2010, consumers might start to see an end to the recessionary tunnel, but they won’t give up their savvy ways when it comes to spending anytime soon.  Discount brands and brands that make consumers feel good about spending their money will gain market share while brands that represent more frivolous spending will have a harder time retaining or gaining market share.

2. Value

After living through a recession, consumers in the U.S. expect more value for their dollar than ever.  Brands that push the value proposition (whether they’re luxury or discount brands) and live up to consumer expectations based on those value propositions will prevail.

3. Store brands

Generic brands and store brands will continue to grow, again, as a result of recent economic conditions, which prompted consumers to try these lower cost alternatives and in many cases realize that they’re just as good or better than more expensive, branded alternatives.

In short, we might be over the worst part of the economic struggles the U.S. and much of the world have faced in recent years, but consumer purchasing habits won’t revert back to the way they were before overnight.  Brands that recognize that and communicate messages of value, frugality, and trust will be better positioned than their competitors in 2010.

You can read a more detailed overview of the study (including results and predictions for Canada) here.  The full analysis is available for download here.

What are your predictions for consumer purchasing behavior in 2010?  What do you think about the predictions from Nielsen’s analysis?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.