Direct-to-Consumer Disrupts How Brands Engage with their Customers

While Direct-to-Consumer Brands are not new, the way they are challenging retailers by radically reorientating consumer expectations is ground breaking. Big and small brands of all kinds have embraced this model as consumers seek authentic and engaging brand relationships in an increasingly virtual and digital world.

In our latest survey we look at how some of Asia’s Direct-to-Consumer brands have succeeded in reimagining relationships and changing perceptions of convenience, quality and trust.

Successfully cutting through the noise

A Direct-to-Consumer brand’s success depends on its customer acquisition strategies, these successful brands manage an online presence across multiple platforms, building and growing a loyal base of followers that both support and believe in the brands key messaging.

Direct-to-Consumer brands prioritise customer engagement combined with their ability to be far more agile than traditional brands when adapting to new trends among consumers.

Staying current and responsive to their consumers has allowed successful Direct-to-Consumer brands to grow rapidly and achieve the reach that most retailers lack.

From Yours skincare is a good example of this, 58% of our respondents were the most aware of this Direct-to-Consumer brand compared to Sugar skincare (25%), Saturday spectacles (25%), Pomelo Fashion (17%) and Mejuri jewellery (8%).

More is needed to reach audiences

There was a split between most of our respondents when asked how often they see advertising for Direct-to-Consumer brands, 42% claimed to not see them very often, while the other 42% did. Only 17% claimed to see Direct-to-Consumer brand advertising regularly.

The most popular channels were online ads (75%) and on social media (83%).

Larger and established brands have an advantage when dedicating more resources towards developing their Direct-to-Consumer channel, brands like Nike and Xiaomi have both seen enormous success in this area, with forecasts for Nike as high as 30% of all their sales will be coming through this channel by 2023.

Changing Consumer Perceptions

A strong preference for Direct-to-Consumer brands is suggested in our survey with 92% of respondents claiming a preference towards purchasing directly from the brand itself rather than going through a retailer.

84% reported that it was likely they would even try a new Direct-to-Consumer brand, however only 42% were somewhat trustful of new Direct-to-Consumer brands. New brands contending for market share need to be wary that 75% of the consumers we surveyed still regard that established brands products are superior in quality.

Reimagining the consumer journey in a changing retail landscape, with more customer centricity using a direct approach, simplifying purchase and logistic processes, while embedding social proof in multiple parts of the purchase experience is likely the recipe for success.  

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us. 

The effects of the Great Resignation felt in Asia

What first began in the US with a staggering 4.3 million people quitting their jobs since January this year, a trend that can be described as a shift in our collective attitude and approach towards work. In our latest survey among workers aged between 18 and 50 years of age we found that while the trend has taken on in Asia, its effects are not the same as in the West. Our findings suggest that workers are conflicted between reconciling the pre-pandemic era’s status quo with today’s new normal. 

Just as businesses were forced to adapt to the new way of working (operating digitally and remotely), workers have also had to adjust to new demands and challenges from both their bosses and their customers. 

Retaining and engaging employees throughout these changes has been a particular struggle that many companies have yet to overcome. In our survey, only 30% of our respondents felt “highly satisfied” with their current job. 

Looking for a pay raise

40% of our respondents claim to be looking for a new job. The motivation for at least half of them is to “earn more money”. 

The level of inflation in most countries has been higher than the rate of increase for salaries. Even in the US, the consumer price index rose by 5.4% in 2021, but many Americans did not receive a 5.4% increase in their salaries. 

This could explain why financial renumeration is prioritised by most workers looking at changing jobs. 

Remote working preference 

We received mixed responses from those we surveyed about their views towards remote working. While 60% somewhat agree that remote working has made them more productive, around 50% showed a preference for working full-time in the office, the rest were also split between a hybrid working model and working fully remotely. 

Video conferencing and other digital tools that help us to collaborate remotely can only go so far to make up for the lack of sense of comradery and office culture possible when working together at the same location. 

Re-evaluating career and personal goals

Over 60% of our respondents claimed to have re-evaluated their career and personal goals in the past 6 months. 

Surprisingly 80% of our respondents would prefer to run their own businesses if given the oppourtunity. Perhaps the Great Resignation in Asia could result in a flare of entrepreneurial spirit with more small businesses and start-ups. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour reach out to us.

Schedule a call with us…

Longing for travel adventures as borders open up

After 2 long years of travel restrictions and closed borders, pent up desires for adventure can finally be fulfilled. In 2020, 217 holiday destinations were impacted by the global pandemic, with 45% implementing total or partial border closures. In the latest report by the UN World Trade Organisation published last year in November, that number had decreased to 46 destinations. Today, most countries have reopened their doors to tourists. 

Even during the pandemic, statistics showed that online searches for resorts and hotels were at an all-time high within the last decade. With less restrictions in place, renewed interests in turning holidays into a reality isn’t surprising. At Insightzclub we asked our panel of consumers what their thoughts were in our latest survey. 

An indication of strong demand

89% of our respondents told us that they were planning a holiday within the next 3 months, with 56% saying they were going to a local holiday destination and 44% looking to travel internationally. 

A longer holiday duration appealed to 44% who said they were going to spend 1 to 2 weeks on vacation. Perhaps because they had saved up annual leave, but the trend suggests that we want to stay longer to make up for missed holiday opportunities.

Consumer confidence in air-travel is also returning, with 56% of our respondents telling us that they choose to travel by airplane. This figure has doubled from our findings in a previous survey conducted last year that revealed only 27% were comfortable with flying. 

Concerns and Considerations for Health & Safety

All of our respondents were either slightly concerned (22%) or very concerned (78%) about their health and safety while travelling. Although this doesn’t seem to deter or prevent holiday makers, instead they have to think about extra considerations and take precautions before booking their trips.

An increase in the time it takes to plan a holiday reveals these additional considerations, with 66% of our respondents saying that they needed at least 3 weeks up to 2 months to plan for their holiday. 

Furthermore, 67% also agreed that travel insurance is “very important” for their holiday. This suggests that consumers are aware of the risks that come with travelling during a pandemic, but are still willing to do it. 

Luxury and Comfort are sought after

There are many reasons for taking a holiday, but there has been a shift towards seeking luxury and comfort. A get-away that pampers consumers is becoming more desirable. 

Our findings seemed to suggest the same with 56% of respondents saying that they were going to stay at 4* or 5* Hotels and only 33% said they were planning to stay at an AirBnB. 

66% said they were prepared to spend a budget of between $2000 and $3000 for their holiday. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us.  

Schedule a call with us…

Media Trends to benefit your brand in 2022

As we round up our exploration into this years top Media Trends, here’s a summary of the trends that your brand should get onboard with to better engage with your consumers and extend your brand’s influence while improving the impact of your marketing presence. 

Privacy Matters

In this day and age, our digital footprint has become widely available to most companies and brands that collect our personal data. With so many cookies and trackers monitoring our search history and activity across websites, applications and other platforms, it’s hard to stay anonymous while browsing the web. Have you ever wondered why advertisements displayed to you change after searching a certain keyword? Perhaps, you were looking for a new vacuum cleaner one day and all of a sudden, you are shown the latest model available the next time an ad pops up on your screen.

Although most consumers agree with personalised ads, at the same time, our respondents told us in our latest survey that privacy matters more. 78% claimed that privacy is “very important” to them. Therefore, making sure that your consumers are aware of what personal data is being collected and how you are safeguarding their personal data helps to ease their concerns. 

Furthermore, 56% of our consumers reported that they were “not comfortable” with allowing websites to collect and store their personal data. This highlights consumer’s fear of their personal data being abused or misappropriated. In order to alleviate this fear, brands should be more transparent about the data collected and provide an opt-out option to protect consumer privacy. 

Improve your brand’s perception

We looked at 3 areas of how brands could promote a positive image to their consumers. With a rise in awareness towards socio-economic issues like sustainability, corporate social responsibility and fair HR practices, consumers want to support brands that not only care about these issues but are at the forefront with initiatives aimed at addressing them. 

56% of our respondents reported that a brand’s stance and measures towards ensuring sustainability, in the form of eco-friendliness, using green technologies or cleaner waste was “very important” when it came to their consideration of supporting the brand. 

An overwhelming majority of respondents (89%) view brands that donate or collaborate with non-profit organisations and charities more positively. Brands which are viewed as being part of the community, seen giving back by supporting meaningful causes attract consumer’s attention and make them more favourable than those which do not take part in these initiatives. 

Internal practices of the brand in the form of promoting diversity, inclusivity and fairness among employees was also deemed important by 78% of our respondents. 

More demographic representation in advertising

Only 33% of our respondents claimed that they felt represented “very often” in the advertisements that they saw. 

While representation in advertising and media has expanded over the past decade, there is still much more room for improvement. When consumers see relatable portrayals of themselves in advertisements, they are able to engage better and more effectively with the message of the advertisement and even begin imagining themselves using the brand’s product or service.

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us. 

Schedule a call with us…

Cosmetics & Skin Care: A look into the aspirations for beauty

In the highly contested cosmetics and skin care global market valued at over 163 billion dollars this year, we take a look at how the market continues to grow and some of the changing trends that we observed in our latest survey. 

Big brands like SK-II previously launched marketing campaigns directed towards natural looking beauty. The hashtag #nomakeup challenge had became a trend all over social media, even big-time celebrities like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston and Selena Gomez took part with their own makeup-less selfies. 

Promoting self-image: 

Among our mostly female respondents aged between adolescents to 50 year olds, the consensus was clear; not only do cosmetic products improve self-image but skin care products play a very important role for maintaining beautiful and healthy skin. 

Our findings suggested that respondents were taking an active role, searching for ways to take care of their self-image. 67% of our respondents claimed to search online for new cosmetic products. While at the same time an equal number also reported that they have been influenced by social media to purchase a skin care or cosmetic product in the past. 

This points towards a conscious and aware market where information is highly sought after. Although reaching this audience has become a challenge as traditional forms of media are declining in popularity, for example only 33% of respondents claimed to rely on magazines for this information, which once used to be the standard of the beauty industry. 

The types of products demanded:

Our data appears to support the shift from make-up towards natural skin beauty, an overwhelming majority of respondents reported to regularly use facial cleanser (78%), serums (67%), moisturizers (56%) and treatments (44%) while compared to only 22% claiming to regularly wear make-up. 

We speculate the factors that prompted this shift, like changing standards of beauty and the natural look trend, less social events and mask wearing could be responsible. 

Being a recognized brand is important:

With thousands of options to choose from, fierce competition requires top brands to stand apart to dominate a loyal user base. 

78% of our respondents agreed that the brand name played a very important role when considering to make their purchase. 

With over half of our respondents spending up to $50 dollars a month on skincare and cosmetics monthly, the market is certainly still growing. Currently the affordable product range provided at pharmacies is the majority of where our respondents choose to shop at (56%) while only 33% are visiting department stores for more mid- to high ranged products. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us. 

Schedule a call with us…

Health Consciousness in the wake of the pandemic

Fear is known as a good motivator, since the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, health and wellness companies have capitalised on the growing awareness of illness and the importance of health. After an endless stream of news reports, advertising and media campaigns focused on health, has it left an impact on us to become more health conscious?

With multiple brands promoting products that boost our immunity, how has our perception towards health and wellness changed? In our latest survey we explored the effects of this among consumers. Our respondents were aged adolescents through to 40 year olds, a demographic that is most unlikely to need additional supplements for chronic health issues. When asked their opinion of how important it was to take additional supplements, a significant majority of 75% surprisingly answered: ‘Very Important’. 

The main motivations behind taking supplements: 

The medical debate for taking additional health supplements has strong arguments on both sides, with expert claims that if you are a healthy individual that eats a good well-balanced diet that includes all your nutritional needs, you don’t need to take anything extra. However, if you’re not getting everything you need from what you eat every day, you can take tablets with concentrated amounts of the nutrition you’re missing. 42% of our respondents recognised that they were not able to get enough nutrition from their diet, another 32% were very physically active at sports or the gym which also creates a need for taking additional supplements. 

A competitive market: 

Hundreds of brands fight for their share in this fiercely competitive and growing demand-driven market. For example, Vitamin C demonstrates this, it’s a basic entry level product both in terms of usage and price, with 83% of our respondents claiming to take it on regular basis. How do brands stand apart in this highly saturated market? 

Seeking help from Health Professionals seems like the way to go for consumers, 71% of our respondents told us that they were advised by either a doctor or pharmacist to take supplements. 

Moreover, we found that Blackmores, Bio-Life and Vita Health were the most popular brands that our respondents were considering to purchase from. 

The changing perception: 

More of us are buying into the health and wellness trend, with growing consciousness and awareness, 59% of our respondents agreed that taking supplements improves their quality of life. 

This supports global data that suggests over the next 5 to 10 years the market is expected to grow another 8%. 

Currently, our findings showed that 83% of our respondents were spending between $10 to over $100 dollars a month purchasing supplements. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us. 

Schedule a call with us…

The Hype surrounding the Cryptocurrency Craze

Since its inception in 2008 by an unknown group who called themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm, the excitement over this invention has never really died down. Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most popular and well-known cryptocurrencies are dominating the world with a market capitalisation of over 1 trillion dollars. 

So, what are the reasons behind this phenomenon? Well, there are many reasons, since 2008’s financial collapse many people lost trust in regulated, centralised financial systems. With the collapse of some of the biggest banks that were deemed ‘too big to fail’, something decentralised, unregulated and out of government control seemed to make sense to a lot of people. This combined with blockchain technology made peer-to-peer transactions possible without the need of supervision from any financial institution. Suddenly there became much more interest and trust in these digital ledgers than the age-old way of doing things. 

At Insightzclub we recently did a survey to look at consumer perceptions towards cryptocurrency and tried to understand some of the motivations behind why someone would want to own this kind of digital asset.

Scepticism among different age groups.

Some older investors have shown a more reserved and hesitant attitude towards cryptocurrency, listening to the famous and wise Warren Buffet, who focuses on investing in productive assets with intrinsic value. While majority of our respondents (67%) who were aged between 21 and 40 when asked how much trust they had for crypto-assets as a currency showed a neutral outlook with the remaining 33% responding that they were highly trustful. Furthermore 56% of our respondents agreed that cryptocurrencies are a good store of value. 

It appears that many people were fine with overlooking that almost all cryptocurrencies do not have any inherent value, instead their value is measured by how much excitement the next person has for it. Essentially the value of these cryptocurrencies is not determined by how much they are really worth but by how much you or I think they are worth. 

So many cryptocurrencies to choose from: 

As of February 2022, there are more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies in existence. Many of which I’m sure you and I have never even heard of before. 

But the big names like Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT and Dogecoin seemed to be most popular among our respondents with 88% claiming to have purchased or owning one of these coins. 

It’s not just cryptocurrencies that come with plenty of choices, but the platforms or exchanges used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies are also plenty to choose from. Binance was the preferred choice for our respondents with 44% reported using it, followed by Coinbase (22%). 

Is it just a gimmick? 

While it’s easy to believe that some of these cryptocurrencies are just a gimmick, even well-known cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin began as an internet meme in late 2013, but even then, it has somehow remained relevant and still has a large community following and market capitalisation. 

For most of our respondents, our findings suggested that to them it may just be a gimmick, with 67% reporting to have only invested less than $10 dollars into cryptocurrency and just 11% seemed to be serious about it, investing over $1000 dollars. 

The reasons behind what motivated them to get into cryptocurrencies varied with 44% reporting that they saw its rising popularity and trend, while 33% were interested in its high profitability. 

But this also contrasted with 80% agreeing that their main purpose for buying cryptocurrency was for investment purposes which strongly suggests that cryptocurrency may be more than just a gimmick to many consumers. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us. 

Schedule a call with us…

The Metaverse: a new frontier expanding human consciousness.

“A virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces” – as it was firstly described by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 Sci-Fi novel Snow Crash.

Augmented reality vs virtual reality

Often there is confusion over these 2 technologies and while both are capable of extending the boundaries of our reality, they do so in very different ways. Augmented reality layers additional visuals over the existing environment, whereas in virtual reality you transport yourself to a totally new and different environment. Both technologies are being developed and used for entering and enjoying the Metaverse. 

Gaming and Social:

In the Metaverse, Avatars become virtual representations of ourselves and can be customized to express and portray us in virtual spaces. 

Many game companies and designers developing the Metaverse are focused on extending reality with realistic virtual world building technology that create a rich and immersive experience. Notable gaming companies at the forefront of developing the Metaverse include Fortnite, Roblox and Pokémon. 

Games are becoming more social with more interaction among users with gamers often wanting to stay connected even after the game is over. 

Ecommerce & Business:

Big brands like Coca-Cola, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are also embracing the Metaverse, buying up virtual real-estate in the new emerging ecommerce avenue. 

There is massive shopping in the Metaverse, but surprisingly a lot of the goods are virtual and meant for your avatar. IMVU, the online world hosted a virtual fashion show in collaboration with real world designers. Virtual economies like this exist with thousands of creators there’s little you can’t buy. The idea behind this new consumer trend is just as you want to dress to impress in real life you also want to the same in the Metaverse. With clubs and other exciting virtual locations to meet up with others it motivates users to spend real money to look their best. 

Businesses could also see the usage of these Avatars to connect and conduct their meetings in virtual reality spaces. 

Consumer Awareness and Acceptability: 

In a recent study we conducted at Insightzclub we discovered that not many people were aware of the new metaverse and among those who had heard about it, there was a mixed understanding of what it really was. Between a virtual reality, gaming platform and ecommerce platform, people were often confused at the multiplexity of the metaverse. 

While the majority (90%) agreed the metaverse would revolutionise the internet with a divide among users over how they would use the metaverse; just under half saying that they would use it for gaming/social and the other half for business/work. 

Consumer confidence to spend in the metaverse seems hesitant as a majority of respondents (60%) had their reservations and only 20% were either likely or very likely to be onboard with spending. Moreover, the amount that respondents were willing to spend varied with 50% saying they would only be willing to spend less than $10, while only 10% were willing to spend over a $1000. 

To learn more about consumer behaviour and trends reach out to us.  

Schedule a call with us…

What do recent supply chain disruptions mean for marketing?

Widespread backlogs in the global supply chain are becoming a serious hindrance in retail cycles. Surplus demand from consumers returning to pre-pandemic purchasing levels is causing backlogs in production, culminating in substantial shortages. Shipment delays have exposed bottlenecks in the global supply chain. Port congestion and unusually long waiting times for docking is largely symptomatic of the predominant issues in the modern-day supply chain, or supply web as referred to by researchers. Marketing departments are now in desperate straits, unable to market inventory they do not yet have access to. Given the stakes, it’s important marketers are well-equipped to weather the storm for the foreseeable future. Here’s what you, the ever-aspiring marketer, need to know to stay ahead of the curve:

How has this happened? 

The global supply chain crisis boils down to surprising resurgence in consumer demand. Producers, inundated with excess [and unanticipated] demand, encountered shortages in inputs, freighters faced port congestion, and soaring shipping prices. Long-term supply-chain management and distribution channel solutions aren’t typically devised overnight. And though we are in dire need of developments in this domain, immediate fixes from adjacent areas in the marketing value chain make for, arguably, the more pragmatic approach in the short-term until true distribution solutions are born.

 What can marketing do? 

Dynamic shifts in consumer demand make for a challenging assessment of current demand trajectories. Truth be told, there are no real benchmarks for demand in scenarios comparable to the pandemic. Nonetheless, there are two strategies marketers may deploy: AI analytics, and pre-meditated promotions. 

By utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, predictive analysis of consumer demand trends may be significantly enhanced, in terms of precision and reliability as the unpredictability reigns supreme in a post-pandemic transitionary period. 

Early promotions constitute the second strategy. The holiday season is soon approaching, so too are the countless sales and promotional runs. To prepare for a further surge in demand towards the end of November, holiday season promotions may be advertised prematurely during November. Scarce inventory is carefully dissolved, along with advancing the company’s understanding of near-future demand prospects through pre-orders. 

InsightzClub is uniquely positioned to provide its clients with actionable and intelligent insights, based off AI analytics. Reach out to us and find out how you can always stay three steps ahead of the curve.  

3 things you need to know about video streaming preferences in SEA


How many hours have you spent on your video streaming service of choice? The pandemic has kept many people largely to the confines of their houses, even rooms. Reports indicate that the video streaming market worth skyrocketed to $71.5 billion in 2021. We at InsightzClub, a tech-based, regional market research start-up, set out to identify key consumer metrics in South East Asia with respect to video streaming. Here are 3 things you need to know!

YouTube reigns supreme

Undoubtedly, YouTube captures the largest market share, as InsightzClub identified close to 88% of consumers in South East Asia often used the app. The sheer variety in both content and content creators, along with no subscription fee explain the firm lead YouTube holds in the video streaming market. Netflix comes in a distant second at 20%. In line with subsequent analysis, pricing was the most significant determinant of a consumer’s chosen video streaming service.

Budget and accessibility first, content second

Respondents were most swayed by free and/or low subscription fees – a combined total of 51% of collected responses. Accessibility, or the availability of subtitles, were a surprise finding for us at InsightzClub. One third of participants indicated a preference for video streaming services with subtitles. This may point to an increasing affinity for foreign content among South East Asian residents. Slow streaming and constant buffering can quickly become frustrating for new subscribers. Per our analysis, video buffering issues was a major deterrent for close to 20% of respondents.

One hour of weekly video streaming at least

We now spend an increasing amount of time at home, impeded from outdoor activities and casual shopping adventures. Streaming your favourite shows or tuning in to YouTube ‘How to?’ videos has become the pastime of choice for many amidst the pandemic. InsightzClub’s participants affirmed this notion, where 83% of individuals spent at least one hour streaming content on their favourite service. 

InsightzClub is a tech consumer  insights firm with multiple consumer insights solutions using active and passive data.

To know more about InsightzClub and our solutions to understand consumer behaviour reach out to InsightzClub.