The recent acquisition strategy by brewer Fuller’s shines a light directly on some of the key themes that emerged from our Future of Britain study. We observed a real move towards smaller and local amongst consumers. We can see this in a number of different areas.
One is the kind of companies we want to work for. Consider this; over half of 16-24s say that fun is an important attribute in an employer – a higher proportion than say financially rewarding. Four in ten think that being self employed will be more attractive than working for a big company. Patent applications last year were up 29% to their highest ever level, and technology is democratising creativity, fuelling new opportunities and ideas. Corporate Britain is becoming Creative Britain.
A second area is the values important to consumers. The economic downturn has forced Britons to question their mindless consumption and as a result we have become far more mindful about the brands we buy and the products we consume. The high street is a fulcrum of the personal tension and anxiety that consumers are feeling. 72% of our respondents would have an independent retailer (a butcher, baker, candlestick maker) on their high street, just 3% would have a pawnbroker.
So it’s no surprise that brands are capitalising on the opportunity arising from this step-change in consumer values. Michael Turner, the chairman of Fuller’s says ‘The consumer is increasingly interested in craft products, with local provenance, quality and authenticity…tipping the competitive landscape towards these producers and away from mass market giants’.
This is why Fuller’s have invested in a local Cornish cider house and launched their first craft beer. We can see a number of brands increasingly adopting this kind of strategy in the Future of Britain.