But one should not overlook the 149 million human beings who are working, shopping, educating their children, and entertaining themselves, right across this “continent state”.
This first edition of Ipsos Flair Russia is all about its people, their aspirations, their expectations, and their everyday life. This is a market where there are huge opportunities and challenges; our report sheds a spotlight on the dynamics of Russia, and what motivates its people.
1. Russia needs to speed up its development
In 2017 Russia’s GDP grew by 1.5% (compared with a global rate of 3.7%). Inflation was held at a record low of 4%. GDP growth for 2018 is expected in the range of 1.5-2%. Real incomes are returning 2018 will return to a growth rate of 2.3%. The development of cities and regions (outside Moscow and Saint Petersburg) will require the improvement of the transport infrastructure both within and between regional centres.
2. Russia wants to live longer and healthier
The consumption of alcohol per capita, and the frequency of this consumption, is declining. The availability of new forms of leisure and social activities are an alternative to alcohol. Both the ageing of the population and the move towards a fully-fledged active life is reflected in our research, with Russia placing increased emphasis on a healthy lifestyle. Of all life goals, healthy living is in first place.
3. Russia cherishes its leisure time
In addition to the theatres and concerts, large shopping centres are now a significant component of entertainment and began to develop actively under the influence of the economic crisis of 2014. The flow of buyers fell, and after them the number of tenants began to decline. But “a holy place is never empty”, as the Russian proverb says, and these huge spaces began to fill with entertainment formats, such as cinemas, playgrounds, art exhibitions, and VR games.
4. Russia aspires to beauty
The notion of beauty is highly significant. Beauty and taking care of one’s appearance in general, is seen as one of the most important attributes of a Russian woman. Maintaining an attractive appearance is the “responsibility” of any girl, our research found.
5. Russia likes motherhood
Russian mothers fully support the importance of traditional values and assume the role assigned to them. Family values are fundamental; most mothers (81%) believe that families should have children if they can. The most important thing for mothers is the health of the child and the well-being of the family.
6. Russia is a country of passionate engineers
The specificity of education and thinking determines the great (and genuine) interest of many Russian consumers, especially the middle and older generation; when it comes to the technical side of things, for example cars and car electronics; they tend to strive to understand devices, as well as trying to improve them.
7. Russia has banks for every stage of life from birth to retirement
Banking in Russia is one of the fastest growing and changing sectors in the economy: during the lifetime of one generation we have witnessed a completely revamped banking system, with new products, new services, and a revolutionary rethinking of the very principles of banks.
8. Russia challenges international brands
Russian business is actively conquering foreign markets, with many brands, such as Natura Siberica, becoming hugely popular and much-loved beyond Russian borders. In 2017, the export of food products from Russia rose by 21%. Studying the interaction of brands and consumers, it is important to note the positive changes in the development of mass brands born in Russia and now emerging in foreign markets.
9. Russia has its own digital landscape
Local search engine Yandex is fighting to get on an equal footing with global giant, Google, by constantly improving and expanding its ecosystem of services (maps, videos, music, news, taxis, food delivery, car sharing, etc.). And social media outlets Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki (which means «classmates» in Russian) are more popular than any global social media platform, like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, both in terms of audience size, and in the amount of time spent on the resource. Russia is one of the few countries where on average an active Internet user is registered on four social networks, but uses each of them a little differently.
10. Russia is a country of stars
There are many celebrities in Russia, but their value in working with brands isn’t always clear. Many celebrities charge a lot to work as part of a brand’s promotion, but this doesn’t always translate into true value for the brand. Advertisers need to understand the celebrity’s real impact on consumers. A smart brand will always find the right celebrity to partner with.