2018 Product Trend: Societal Shifts Have Consumers Craving Less But Better

Posted by Pete, on January 11, 2018

Tighter household budgets, smaller living spaces, environmental concerns, conscious consumerism—there are many varied motivations driving an intrinsic call to live a more minimalist lifestyle. 

What We're Noticing

For those not already hearing about this trend in the news or their social media feeds, they are seeing the trend in shows such as Tiny House Hunters on HGTV, and the documentary Minimalism on Netflix. Friends and media are bringing the benefits of de-cluttering and living with less to the forefront of our minds and spaces, asking us to question how and when we spend our money like never before.

78% of millennials and 59% of baby boomers would prefer to spend money on experiences over stuff, and when purchasing products, are favoring the purchase of a few higher quality items — ethical, sustainable, long-lasting and environmentally-friendly — over the accumulation of more low-quality and disposable items.

To be sure we are getting the best? We are researching—heavily—prior to purchase. According to Saleforce’s 2017 Connected Shoppers Report, 79% of shoppers research merchandise before reaching point of purchase in-store and 85% research merchandise before making an online purchase—all in favor of not just making a purchase, but the best purchase for ourselves and our loved ones. 


Thanks to the internet, modern consumers have infinite product possibilities online, and are looking to purchase less but better products that align with individual core values and personal preferences. According to a recent Facebook survey, only about 37% of the population is “brand loyal.”

This makes integrity, branding, company ethics, and positive online product reviews more important than ever before. 

Tips to Tap Into The Trend

  • In product development, put people and ethics at the forefront of the production line. Place emphasis on quality materials that are sustainably-sourced and that age gracefully.
  • Use consistent and clean brand language to appeal to the minimalist lifestyle across product, packaging, and web design. 
  • Showcase your product and company story with dynamic, honest and transparent storytelling—look for ways to connect with the consumer.
  • Punch up any product facts around ethical and sustainable sourcing, and any other points of differentiation that can help your product stand out from the crowd and connect with consumers’ intrinsic values.

Take a Look at Some of the Other Trends Impacting Product Design in 2018

explore product trends 2018