June 12th, 2012
London, 12 June 2012
A landmark report by Kantar Media Global TGI reveals that the grim economic climate in Western countries has done little to dampen the optimism of its inhabitants, relative to their counterparts in rapidly developing economies. Consumers in booming markets are more likely to be dissatisfied with their current standard of living and less optimistic about being able to change their lives for the better.
In the West, the popular economic narrative has been one of financial gloom, while China, India and South Africa experience persistent growth. However, the macroeconomic situation seems to have done little to change the attitudes of consumers.
The report – called ‘Global Consumer Perspectives’ – analyses middle class consumers in each of 10 key global markets to establish the impact of the economy on the lives of these people. Each market is examined relative to its consumers’ level of agreement with two attitude statements: I am happy with my current standard of living and there is a lot I can do to change my life, revealing the current levels of happiness and optimism for the future.
With roughly two-thirds of their consumers happy and less than one in five resigned to their situation, Great Britain, Germany and the USA occupy the “happy and optimistic” end of the spectrum – relative to middle-class consumers in the other markets.
Elsewhere, Indian consumers are among the happiest of the developing countries – but more than half think they have no chance to change their condition. This statistic makes them the second most pessimistic country in that respect. Brazil, Turkey and South Africa are markets with the most dissatisfied middle-classes, but there is a wide disparity between their levels of optimism for the future. Brazil – which has recently overtaken Great Britain to become the world’s sixth largest economy – has the most dynamic outlook. Whereas its consumers are 20% less likely to be happy than elsewhere, 58% are resolved that there is something that can be done to change their situation. Conversely, South African consumers are considerably more pessimistic about their prospects for the future.
The Global Consumer Perspectives report also reveals that western markets – which contain the happiest and most optimistic middle classes – are also those that place less emphasis on money as a determinant of success. By contrast, middle-class consumers in China are more than twice as likely as their counterparts elsewhere to believe that “money is the best measure of success”, while consumers in India and Egypt are also significantly more likely to share this view, with about half agreeing with this sentiment.
The report also indicates how the middle classes in India and China are more willing to sacrifice time with their family, as well as having a desire to get to the top in their career.
Sandy Livingstone, Director, TGI Insights & Integration at Kantar Media, explains “while emerging economies are experiencing more rapid growth than the traditional western powers, the Global Consumer Perspectives report demonstrates that this growth is yet to translate into greater optimism among their middle-classes. At present the middle classes in the emerging economies seem to be so focussed on growth and keeping the boom going that there is little room for contemplation of happiness and optimism. Conversely, in the West the bubble of rapid growth has burst and consumers perhaps feel less of a slave to expansion and money as they once did”.
Further charts with data from all ten markets are available below
Teresa Horscroft, Eureka Communications
Telephone: +44 (0)1420 564346
About the Global Consumer Perspectives Report
Global Consumer Perspectives is a unique in-depth analysis of ten of the world’s major markets: Great Britain, Germany, USA, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Egypt and Turkey. Available as a global overview or a bespoke market report, Global Consumer Perspectives uses TGI (Target Group Index) data to develop a wealth of consumer insights based, among others, on demographics, purchase behaviour and attitudes.
Fieldwork and sample size for Global Consumer Perspectives Report:
In total: 449,000 respondents
In 2011: 234,000 respondents
Fieldwork from Feb 10 – Oct 11
In 2007: 215,000 respondents
Fieldwork from Oct 05 – Nov 07
Data Manipulation – Global TGI Index
When comparing attitudinal data across different markets, it is important to take into account the differences in response styles. For instance, consumers in India tend towards the extremes of the response scale, while European respondents are inclined to avoid them.
The Global TGI Index is calculated by multiplying the sum of the percentage agreeing across all attitude statements and across all 10 countries. This total is then divided by the number of statements available in all markets. The individual percentage is now divided by the average percentages to create an index – allowing for an accurate comparison of agreement levels across markets.
About Kantar Media
Kantar Media provides strategic advice and competitive intelligence to the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies, helping them navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. This includes analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and, evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behaviour and digital insights, marketing effectiveness and online influence. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking 3 million brands in 50 countries.