Laura Koetzle, VP, Group Research Director
If you’re a brand selling into European markets in 2022, you better have your values well defined. Why? Because in 2022, more than half of European consumers will buy from brands whose values match their own. That’s a 15% increase from the previous year’s survey. And “consumers are pretty decent at sniffing out when you’re just saying you align with a value as opposed to really doing it,” says Forrester VP and Group Research Director Laura Koetzle in this special Predictions 2022 episode of What It Means.
One of the values that European consumers consider most is sustainability. And in 2022, Forrester predicts that 25% more EU firms will appoint a chief sustainability officer. Koetzle says the drivers behind that prediction are twofold. First, there is the growth in values-based consumerism. But the other piece is the increasing urgency around environmental regulation taking place in the EU, which is driving the appointments of C-level sustainability roles.
Later, the episode turns to a discussion around the post-Brexit European Union and where the UK may diverge from EU regulations. “In many ways the pandemic hit pause on Brexit really being felt,” Koetzle points out. But one issue that Koetzle says should be on the radar of EU business leaders is the UK’s plan to free up personal data transfers to a new set of countries and to relax privacy requirements. “UK firms that do business in the EU still have to comply with the EU rules,” Koetzle says, before providing data that shows roughly half of UK consumers are very concerned about data privacy, which is influencing the brands they buy from.
The episode closes with Koetzle providing actionable advice for European business leaders on issues discussed in the episode, including values-based consumers, sustainability, and post-Brexit data privacy concerns in the UK.
For a broader look at Forrester’s European predictions, be sure to visit the European Predictions Hub.