BlogSanna Marttinen 15.04.2024

2024 in consumer trends: let’s hold on to our hats marketers, let’s go again!

Customer experience development International business Marketing communications AI Customer insight Trends

This content is orginally published in Sanoma blog (in Finnish).

Dagmar’s Account Director Sanna Marttinen opens up through the eyes of a marketer the five trends of 2024 that Publicis Groupe’s Media Data Intelligence listed together with artificial intelligence.

The year changed and the turmoil in the world continues. Trends affecting consumer behaviour are perhaps more global than ever, as surviving the pandemic, economic changes and phenomena fuelled by social media are uniting people’s everyday lives globally. The challenges and opportunities for Finnish marketers in 2024 stem from the following trends, which Publicis Groupe’s Media Data Intelligence listed extensively using artificial intelligence.

1. AI: friend or troll?

Generative AI suddenly filled the headlines in 2023. ChatGPT is the fastest app ever deployed: the number of users exceeded one hundred million active users in just two months. The previous record holder was TikTok in 2017, which crossed the same mark in nine months.

Despite the explosive start, there is still a long way to go from novelty to necessity. The most curious frontline group is already excitedly using AI to make their lives easier, but most are worried about speed and are still hesitating. They reflect on the loss of humanity and the unintended consequences of the pace of development. This is very human, because major changes that develop the whole of humanity may seem frightening from an individual’s point of view in their unknownness. Just imagine what kind of thoughts were going through the mind of prehistoric man when a fire was first made in a neighboring cave.

Courage is now required from marketers: they must dare to learn together by experimenting with how technology and human expertise can be combined in producing customer experience.

2. Climate fatigue

2023 was the hottest year in world history. Two-thirds of people are trying to protect the climate through their everyday choices, but the scale of the challenge of protecting our entire planet is beginning to feel overwhelming. Environmental awareness is already experiencing apathy: “It’s already too late” thinking is becoming more common. This increases pressure on decision-makers, institutions and brands in society. In 2024, tough decisions will be required to bring about real change.

Responsibility is already starting to be part of the strategy of every Finnish business, but communication alone is no longer enough. Brands need to be able to move from words to actions, from developing reporting to verifying measurable progress, and guiding customer choices in a hopeful and honest way.

3. Softening life

We live in a time that may in future be described in history lessons as “a few crazy years.” 70% of people think 2023 will be a bad year for their country and only 35% believe their quality of life will improve in the next five years.*

The era of overlapping world crises is tiring for those living through it, which is why protecting one’s own energy has become a trend. Passivity is manifested by, among others: “Bed ratting”, “Quiet quitting” and “Soft life” phenomena. Fashion magazine Vogue even highlighted the Finnish squid as a great euphemism for weekend evenings that flow without doing anything.

With the need to soften life, consumers become more pragmatic and happiness is sought in simple things that can be obtained with little effort. The role of brands in making choices and life easier is now more important than ever. As the world’s time of multiple crises leads to occasional pessimism, marketers should think about how to stir up well-being and a sense of hope.

4. Longing for sensing

As the entertainment world strives for faster and faster phenomenal and viralization on social media, people have also begun to yearn for a respite from dopamine culture. In the post-pandemic world, there is a need for truly meaningful connection with other people and immersive experiences with all senses.

In the wave of this trend, sports textile retailer Lululemon has increased the number of store visits by more than 10% by also offering yoga classes in its stores. Here in the Nordic countries, the trend of bodily sensing can be seen, for example, in the popularity of ice swimming.

5. Quality awareness of the exact euro will become the norm

The shock of rising costs and the rapid downturn in the economy is changing to adapt – and frugal consumption is becoming a habit. In social media, the trend can already be seen, for example, as savings challenges. Alongside influencers, counter-influencers have appeared, sharing tips on non-consumerism and giving reviews of products that are not worth buying.

Companies are under pressure to maintain the price-quality ratio as consumer behaviour changes, even if the economic outlook improves. Therefore, it is also worth offering affordable quality, even if inflation starts to ease.

Dagmar is a Publicis Media partner in Finland and uses data and tools from the Publicis network. The five trends of 2024 have been compiled AI-assisted from hundreds of trend data sources using Publicis Groupe’s own Insights Accelerator, SandBoxGPT, ChatGPT and Google Bard AI, among others.

Written by

Sanna Marttinen

Business Director


Sanna leads customer teams and Dagmar’s customer tribe together with other tribe council members. She is also involved in a skill development strategy project and serves as a supervisor.

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