The German market is a key target for businesses worldwide, it has the biggest population in Western Europe and is the world’s fifth-largest economy by gross domestic product (GDP). However, success in Germany means navigating the country’s unique consumer landscape, renowned for characteristics that include a preference for saving over spending and being cautious with purchases. Also, German consumers have a high degree of environmental awareness, a preference for security and safety, a tendency towards long term planning over quick rewards and a high degree of sensitivity regarding privacy and data sharing.
Company strategies operating in Germany are broadly framed by these traits. They have been consistent for decades, even amidst global generational shifts from baby boomers to Gen Z, and economic challenges like the global financial crisis of 2008 and the Euro debt crisis that followed. More recently, market conditions are being reshaped by technological development and an increasingly diverse population, leading to the emergence of New Gen German consumer types. To succeed, businesses need to be more agile, adapting new approaches that are even more specific to Germany as a market and to German consumers.
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