Press Release

Four Key Trends Shape Modern Consumer Behavior, According to UM’s Global Wave X Remix Culture Study

NEW YORK, July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — UM, the marketing and media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, today announced the global launch of Remix Culture, the first culturally-focused iteration of its annual Wave X study that tracks social and digital media usage and motivations across 81 countries and 44 languages. The results reveal four key trends that are shaping modern consumer behavior: Resist; Retrograde; Reglocalize; and Recreate.


Remix Culture reveals 61 percent of online consumers agree that brands play a significant role in social good. When brands do not live up to these expectations, consumers hold them accountable by leveraging social media to voice their concerns, launching and cultivating a “Resist” movement.

“Retrograde” behavior is reflected in how consumers are gravitating towards content and culture from previous decades and brands that embrace nostalgia. Generational trends from the past are now in the foreground, shaping personal style, language and beliefs:

  • 68 percent like listening to music or watch movies from other decades
  • 57 percent say their family practices the culture/traditions of their ancestors
  • 55 percent enjoy watching TV shows that are no longer on air

According to the research, the modern global consumer’s desire for local inspiration to adopt and appeal to their sense of individuality is more prevalent than ever, a trend identified as “Reglocalizing.” When it comes to enjoying consumer content/products from other countries, 57 percent agree that local brands and products are more authentic.

The study also finds that consumers increasingly want to broaden and “Recreate” their identities. When asked to select factors that define their identity, top choices include health/fitness level; friends; school/knowledge/education; family traditions; passions; belief in importance of science/evidence/understanding; and country of birth. As personal identities become more complex, consumers are taking notice of brands that appeal to multifaceted identity factors, with 65 percent saying they are interested in engaging with companies that reflect a new way of doing things.

  • 61 percent of consumers indicate their personal style includes elements from different eras, cultures and traditions
  • 65 percent are interested in trying companies that reflect a new way of doing things

“Remix Culture reveals the path forward on cultural connectivity by going deeper into the types of content that informs cultural identity and influences consumer behavior,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, Global Chief Cross-Cultural Officer, UM. “These insights help our clients better understand and navigate cultural trends at a time when trust continues to drop and it’s more important than ever to make their brands culturally relevant.”

This edition of UM’s Wave X, focused on Remix Culture, included a quantitative study of 56,397 active internet users—those who use the Internet every day or every other day. Conducted in 44 languages across 81 countries, the study represents a universe of 1.73 billion active Internet users worldwide. To learn more about the study visit

UM is a strategic media agency committed to proving that media is a topline growth driver as much as an efficiency play. We believe that better science and better art deliver better outcomes for our clients. We deliver science through the transformational power of business analytics and real-time data intelligence. We deliver art through creating moments that matter in media to deliver momentum for brands. As the leading global media network in IPG Mediabrands, UM operates in over 100 countries, with more than 5,000 people innovating on a roster of global clients including Accenture, American Express, BMW, Coach, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Fitbit, GoPro, Johnson & Johnson, Quicken Loans, Sony, Spotify and The Hershey Company.

Wave X Remix Culture Study by UM

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