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Dig In Episode 41 | Marcie Connan @ Dig Insights on How Inflation Impacts Your Consumers

Marcie Connan, Executive Vice President at Dig Insights, discusses a study on consumers' emotional and behavioral responses to inflation.

With inflation hitting a 30-40 year high, consumers, brands, and everyone in between wonder how it impacts our daily lives. Marcie Connan, Executive Vice President at Dig Insights, fueled by an insatiable curiosity, led a study to find out the ins and outs of how inflation is actually impacting consumers.

Ian sat down with Marcie to go over some of the top highlights we discovered as a result of this inflation study. Tune in to learn:

  • A high-level overview of the study

  • Consumers’ emotional and behavioral responses to inflation

  • The three primary segments we discovered from the study

  • Some of the most impacted and resilient product categories

  • The silver lining some consumers have taken from this inflationary period

A big thanks to Marcie and her team for putting this study together. If you want to learn more about it or dive into how inflation has affected more than 40 different product categories, you can find the full report at

A Few Highlights From the Episode:

Ian: You actually did a segmentation in your study where you found there were three distinct groups of people who were reacting to inflation in different ways. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Marice: Yeah, certainly. And it was interesting because we didn't really set out to do a segmentation. But as we started looking at all the factors that seemed to influence the experience for Canadians and Americans, we realized that there were significant swings in people's experience based on where they are from a lifestage standpoint. Where they fit from a socioeconomic standpoint, and even things like gender and household composition really kind of shaped people's experience.

So, we did do a segmentation looking at many of the attitudes and behaviors tied to their reaction. And we found three groups; a group that's struggling, one that's adapting through inflation, and a group that we've called still thriving. And based on those names alone, it may kind of paint a picture of what those groups are all about.

But interestingly, the group that's struggling is the largest of the segments - 42% of consumers fall into this group. And this is a group who is who is truly feeling the pinch. They are making significant changes to their behaviors in terms of how they shop, what they buy, and what they spend to help them attempt to kind of keep pace with the increased cost of living. But unfortunately, this is the group that really feels that they've been unsuccessful so far in keeping pace. They feel that they're making compromises. It's not just about giving up some luxuries for this group. They're truly making compromises and their financial security is is quite at risk.

The adapting segment is a really interesting group because they are a segment that actually has quite a high debt load and is most concerned about losing a job in the next six months. But they're actually not particularly concerned about financial security from a lifestyle standpoint. This is more of the kind of millennial and Gen Z segments. They're a little bit earlier in their life stage, but they admit that they're not particularly impacted and they tend to be a group that is taking things in stride. They're not showing the same emotional stress that the struggling segment is feeling. And I think that's partly because this is segment that feels that they can control their situation.

We also have a third segment which is called Still Thriving. And as the name suggests, this is a group that's not particularly impacted by inflation at this time. This segment tends to skew a little bit older. This is a more mature segment. Think about your boomers and kind of Gen X segments. And this group kind of has the sense that they've been here and seen this before. They're a little bit less rattled if you will, about the inflation experienced today. And that's partly because they're quite established in life already. You know, unlike the adapting group, that's a little bit younger they aren't going through things like their first home purchase at this time, and they're quite established in their careers. And as a result, their behaviors are the least likely to have changed because of inflation. They're feeling quite calm, prepared, and even optimistic about their future.