Global companies are increasingly seeing the urgency to study just how to better create products to attract more consumers.
And Singapore wants to be the place to help them do that.
It has set up an international panel of experts to propose how the city-state can become a pan-Asian business and innovation hub.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) Consumer Insights International Advisory Panel comprises 12 members representing companies like Lenovo, Philips Consumer Lifestyle and Titan Industries. The group held a two-day inaugural meeting in Singapore recently.
Asia is home to a growing middle class population and increased spending power.
Chinese consumers, for one, are already exhibiting their buying appetite all over the world. And by 2030, it is forecast that more than 70 per cent of China’s population could be middle-class.
This group alone is expected to consume nearly US$10 trillion in goods and services a year.
To better understand consumers and their needs, Singapore is planning to set up an institute to study consumer patterns and demands.
The institute will essentially be home-based, a clearing house where people would go to access not only case studies, to access a pipeline for talent, to access help and understanding, how to set up a regional headquarters here in Singapore.
“Right now, if you think about the population of Asia, there are probably close to about a billion and a half people who would be making decisions, first decisions about some categories. So now is really the time to understand consumer emotion because it will set the consumers’ purchase behavior for the next several years.”
Information gathered will not only help companies sell their products to new customers. It will also enable firms to develop innovative products customized specifically for Asian consumers.
To develop products like shampoo or shower gel, many companies have often studied what the consumers in the western countries wanted and what suited them.
But today, organizations are seeing a growing importance of shifting that attention to meet the needs of consumers in Asia. Moving forward, you can expect companies to create products and solutions based on Asian demands and then re-apply that to the west.
Keeping up with the growing Asian market will be the key focus for many corporations as they move forward.