A growing audience of experienced, less-easily shocked, outspoken consumers appreciate brands that are a little bit more daring and outspoken, according to consumer insights firm trendwatching.com.

The Rise of ‘Maturialism’
trendwatching.com has dubbed this growing consumer trend “Maturialism.” According to trendwatching.com, consumers of today no longer tolerate being treated like yesteryear’s easily shocked, inexperienced, middle-of-the-road consumers. Able to handle much more honest conversations, unusual flavors and risqué experiences, these consumers increasingly appreciate brands that are pushing the boundaries a bit.

Maturialism Part of ‘Brand Fabric’
trendwatching.com deems maturialism as part of a larger social trend it calls “Brand Fabric,” which is defined as brands truly needing to focus on how to move with the culture. In addition to pushing boundaries, Brand Fabric also entails serving customers in an innovative manner, recognizing the increasing sophistication and intelligence of the modern consumer, transparency and authenticity.

‘Casual Collapse’ Fuels Maturialism
Casual collapse, or the ongoing demise of many beliefs, rituals, formal requirements and laws that modern societies once held, without predicted social annihilation, is a key driver of maturialism. Modern consumers are bored, if not distrustful, of the conventional consumer-producer relationship, and now look for brands and products that are more authentic, more human, and quite simply more mature.

In emerging consumer societies, there’s an obvious link between the broad spread of more liberal attitudes and increasing urbanization. As new arrivals are ‘liberated’ from traditional social and familial structures, and are exposed to a wider range of alternative goods, services, lifestyles and experiences, their tolerance to (if not their interest in) these alternatives grow. trendwatching.com advises that casual collapse happens at a very slow pace.

Online Culture Supports Maturialism
More than 2 billion people worldwide are online. The resulting ‘online culture’ is intense and uninhibited. Mature consumers are uninterested in sanitized corporate websites and seek a more real online experience. Live, unscripted online events and webcasts that go beyond the limits imposed on TV broadcasts are two methods brands can use to take advantage of the mature online culture.

Status Shifts toward Maturialism
Sources of status in mature consumer societies are moving beyond conspicuous consumption (see below). Increasingly sophisticated, increasingly wealthy, increasingly urban consumers are more try-out-prone, more demanding and more daring as they search for the next big thing to impress or discuss with people.

Constantly exposed to, and increasingly tolerant of and enamored by modernity, today’s mature consumers positively embrace innovation, creativity and unconventionality when it comes to consuming products, services and experiences.

trendwatching.com further advises that pure shock without innovation or thought behind it is never a successful marketing device.

Status Moves Beyond Consumption
The definition of status is diversifying and moving beyond simple consumption, according to a previous trend briefing from trendwatching.com.

Although the need for status is at the heart of every consumer trend, in mature consumer societies (such as the US), consumers are moving beyond owning the most and/or priciest items, according to Status is now also tied to less tangible symbols such as acquired skills, eco-credentials, connectivity and generosity.

Despite this shift, trendwatching.com says the lust for luxury will continue, especially in emerging consumer markets such as Brazil and Russia. In addition, consumers want to be “in the know,” to have deep and trivial knowledge they can share with less knowledgeable colleagues to gain status. Mobile applications that provide locations and other information serve this growing status need.

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