Cultural trends changing how Filipinos behave | Inquirer Business

Cultural trends changing how Filipinos behave

It’s the season for planning in the marketing industry once again and it is good to remind stakeholders that contrary to popular belief, when consumers make a choice, they do not decide based on just the product, place, promo and price.

There are other factors that affect buying behavior: Cultural (culture, sub-culture, social class), social (reference groups, roles and status, family), personal (age and lifecycle, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, personality and self-concept) and psychological (motivation, perception, learning, belief and attitudes).

Below is a list of cultural, social, personal and psychological factors observed in the Philippines that may change the course of your marketing plans in 2018. They are included in our forthcoming book “Principles and Practices in Marketing,” which is set for release before the end of 2017.




The absence of parents in a third of homes and the increasing role of schools in instilling values.

The social disorders associated with the increasing absence of parents in the lives of their children (drugs, child sex abuse, teen pregnancy, among others).

The change in the boundaries and sequence of love, marriage, sex and family.

The rise in the number of single parents.

The trend towards late marriages and smaller families.

The upgraded role of music as surrogate companion.


The rise of “adultescents” (a play of the words adult and adolescent). They are also called the Peter Pan generation, or the 30-something adults who are still single and without kids, mortgages and responsibilities.

The rise of stay-at-home “housebands” looking after children and house needs.

More men becoming purchase decision-makers of grocery products (the mansumers).

The increasing ratio of people 40 years old and above wanting to take control of their health.


The desire to migrate and the rise of middle class among overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

The expanding number of call center workers and their odd working hours to conform to working time abroad.

The vanishing breed known as househelps.

The desire of senior citizens to have second careers.


The increasing role of women in the workforce due to better education and social equality.

The increasing number of millennial women who do not know how to cook nor cook as well as their moms.

Women have become more liberal when it comes to their sexual and relationship behaviors (including promiscuity).


The emergence of cheap smartphones.

People relying more and more on free texting via apps such as Line and Messenger.

The reemergence of voice calls, thanks to features from apps like Whatsapp and Viber.

The continuing shift of advertising from traditional to digital.

Owning multiple mobile phones.

We have become more accepting of foreign cultures (American music, Korean pop and television shows, Indian yoga, Chinese feng shui, Japanese anime).

The swelling number of netizens and their reliance on online tools to keep in touch.

Opinions are shaped not just by watchdogs, but also by strangers in social media.

The openness to talk to strangers and fellow customers.

The emerging consciousness of people to self-organize and help others in times of natural disasters.


The increasing reliance on tech-based solutions to manage personal life and work.

The rise of omnichannel.

More online activists are creating noise.

The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality.


The increasing influence of online celebrities like bloggers.

The middle and upper class condemning non-environment friendly products and practices.

“Tingi” (small portions), sachets, “lista” (credit) and “four-gives” installment style of payment will always be popular.

Value brands and private labels are becoming patronized. These include SM Bonus, National Book Store’s Best Buy, HBC’s personal care products.

The openness to try new brands, including generic drugs or alternative health remedies.

The continued growth of microfinancing options.


Relying more on deliveries (for food, medicine, car batteries, LPG, etc).

The increasing preference for smaller store formats.

Convenience stores as go-to for fast food.

The growing popularity of multilevel marketing.


The demanding lifestyle of the working class leading to stress and lack of sleep.

The growing consciousness for planning discretionary time.

The desire to buy new gadgets and spend on travel.

The frequent visit to malls as instant escape.

The increasing dominance of point-of-purchase activities (packaging, display, sampling, etc).

Expansive food knowledge, instead of owning expensive cars, as a sign of sophistication.

The use of visual communication like emojis and memes.

Buying preferences

Shifting priorities—from ownership to access (like car sharing).

Knowing the importance of skin care, not just owning good cosmetics.

For the complete trend list, please visit

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We hope the list above (which will keep growing) can help trigger new insights and allow you to spot and exploit the next big opportunities in the marketplace.—CONTRIBUTED


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