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Cross-Category Trends

Cross-category trends

The importance of seniors – and they’re not that old!

They’re physically active, sociable, comfortable with technology and spending money in pursuit of their passions. No, not Millennials or Gen X, Y or Z. It’s retirees – the hot, hot demographic so frequently overlooked by marketers. They’re not just a lucrative target audience, they’re also younger and more youthful than you might expect. Although the legal age of retirement has risen in recent years, half of Spanish workers take early retirement, so the average age of retirees is just 62. They have money to spend, and time to pursue their enthusiasms. They are deeply loyal to the brands they trust, and care about the environment. They’re also tech-savvy; on average retirees have three electronic devices, and 70 percent use WhatsApp. Brands need to change their views about the value of older people, what motivates them, and how to reach them.

Women’s roles are changing, but stereotypes persist

Spanish women’s role in families and society is changing; in research spanning five years, more women now say they feel the same pressure as men to have a good job that gives them financial independence enabling them to take financial responsibility for themselves and others. Yet Europe-wide research for International Women’s Day found that society more broadly has not caught up with this change in how women perceive themselves. Only a third of Spanish people think there is workplace equality for men and women – one of the worst results across Europe. Stereotypes are still very much alive; 53 percent of Spanish people believe that women are "more likely than men to make decisions based on their emotions" and 29 percent say the most important role of a woman is "take care of the home and the family”.

Willingness to splurge gives boost to spending

Consumer confidence in the state of the economy and their own financial position is generating increasing willingness to spend, both on replacing big-ticket items and on little indulgences that people now feel they can treat themselves to. It also signals a slight shift away from a focus on price. Optimism means buyers can afford to look beyond the price tag and think more about how well a product or service meets their needs, and pay more attention to a brand’s purpose beyond the product, when making a decision. They can also splash out a little; 36 percent of people now say they plan to treat themselves in the year ahead, up 20 percent in the past 12 months.

Online shopping is still on the rise

The prevalence of online shopping makes it feel like everyone who sees the advantages of e-commerce is already doing it, but there remains considerable scope for expansion of the online shopping market. Less than half of consumers do any shopping online – lower than the global average – so brands and retailers can still convert people if they have the right offer. There are also categories that remain little-explored by online shoppers. Online fashion, for instance, accounts for only 5.4 percent of all spending on fashion in Spain, but the rate of growth is slower than that for e-commerce overall. Making things easier for online shoppers, from site navigation to delivery and returns, will help get more people clicking.

Consumers choose brands that stand for something

Having a purpose beyond making the product you make, and beyond making money for shareholders, is increasingly important. Consumers simply expect the product or service they buy to do what is promised, and now they’re looking for something extra – a brand that also shares their values and is prepared to stand up for what’s really important. Almost half of Spaniards now say they like brands that have a point of view, up 10 percent from a year ago. Just make sure that what you say you stand for is borne out in your business, as the public has a finely tuned ear for promises that turn out to be hollow and will punish those brands that let them down. Brands need to keep to both the letter and the spirit of their promises to consumers, and be open about ingredients, policies and workplace practices.