Four trends shaping consumer behaviours online: Social good, retro tastes, local inspiration and new styles

Jul 3, 2019 | Ads, Content marketing, Social

Six out of ten online consumers (61%) believe brands play a significant role in social good, with 65% interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things, according to new research.

The global study carried out by media agency UM identified four key trends shaping contemporary consumer behaviour.

Wave X Remix Culture tracked social and digital media usage and motivations from more than 56,000 active internet users across 81 countries and found that the four key behavioural trends (and underlying findings) are:

1) ‘Resist’ – Six out of ten online consumers (61 percent) agree that brands play a significant role in social good. When brands do not live up to these expectations, consumers hold them accountable by leveraging social media to voice their concerns.

2) ‘Retrograde’- generational trends from the past are now in the foreground, shaping personal style, language and beliefs as consumers gravitate towards brands and content that embrace nostalgia. Two thirds (68 percent) like listening to music or watch movies from other decades and more than half (55 percent) enjoy watching TV shows that are no longer on air.

3) ‘Reglocalise’ – the modern global consumer’s desire for local inspiration to adopt and appeal to their sense of individuality is more prevalent than ever. More than half of consumers (57 percent) think that local brands and products are more authentic than content and products from other countries.

4) ‘Recreate’ – as personal identities become more complex, people are taking notice of brands that appeal to multifaceted identity factors. Two thirds (65 percent) say they are interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things. Meanwhile, 61 percent indicate their personal style includes elements from different eras, cultures and traditions.

“Remix Culture reveals the path forward on cultural connectivity by going deeper into the types of content that informs cultural identity and influences consumer behaviour,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, Global Chief Cross-Cultural Officer, UM.

“These insights help our clients understand cultural trends and better navigate their digital presence at a time when online trust continues to drop and it’s more important than ever to make their brands culturally relevant.”

UM’s Wave X Remix Culture was conducted in 44 languages across 81 countries, representing a universe of 1.73 billion active Internet users worldwide. To learn more about the study visit

All topics

Previous editions

Get email edition