The Changing Landscape of Consumer Behavior: Exploring the Shift towards "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 27, 2023

3 min read


The Changing Landscape of Consumer Behavior: Exploring the Shift towards "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi"

In recent years, we have witnessed a significant shift in consumer behavior, driven by the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media. This has given rise to new trends such as "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi," which have redefined the way we consume and perceive value in products and services.

"Koto Shohi," or experiential consumption, is a phenomenon that has emerged as a result of the ability to share experiences with a larger audience through platforms like social media. With the advent of SNS, individuals can now document and share their experiences, making others feel as if they were a part of those moments. This has led to a decreased appeal for experiences that lack novelty or can be repeated multiple times. Instead, consumers now seek one-time, awe-inspiring experiences that can be captured and shared on social media, allowing them to relive and validate their participation in these events.

On the other hand, "Imi Shohi," or meaningful consumption, involves the selection of products or services that align with one's cultural and social values. For example, individuals may choose to dine at a restaurant that exclusively uses organically-grown ingredients or supports local farmers. This form of consumption is driven by a desire to contribute to causes such as environmental preservation, community development, or cultural heritage. The added cultural and social value associated with these products or services makes them more appealing to consumers.

Interestingly, both "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi" share a common thread - the emphasis on experiences and values. While "Koto Shohi" focuses on unique and shareable experiences, "Imi Shohi" revolves around the meaningfulness and cultural significance of the products or services consumed. These trends reflect a shift away from traditional forms of consumption, where the primary focus was on the product itself. Instead, consumers now seek experiences that resonate with their personal values and allow them to create lasting memories.

In light of these changing consumer behaviors, businesses and startups must adapt their strategies to remain relevant. Here are three actionable pieces of advice for entrepreneurs:

  • 1. Embrace the power of storytelling: In the era of "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi," stories play a crucial role in capturing consumers' attention and creating meaningful connections. Businesses should focus on crafting compelling narratives around their products or services, highlighting the unique experiences or cultural values they offer. By tapping into the emotional aspect of consumer decision-making, businesses can create a sense of authenticity and build stronger relationships with their target audience.
  • 2. Foster community ownership: The concept of Exit to Community (E2C) provides an alternative option for startups looking to exit or liquidate their investments. By transitioning from investor ownership to community ownership, startups can ensure that the people who rely on their products or services have a stake in their success. This not only fosters trust and ongoing investment but also allows for greater accountability and transparency. However, community ownership may not be suitable for all startups, especially those in their early stages. It is essential to carefully consider the risks and challenges associated with distributing ownership among a large community.
  • 3. Prioritize ethical and sustainable practices: With the rise of "Imi Shohi," consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their consumption choices. Businesses should prioritize ethical and sustainable practices to attract and retain customers. This may involve sourcing environmentally-friendly materials, supporting local communities, or implementing fair labor practices. By aligning their values with those of their target audience, businesses can build a loyal customer base and differentiate themselves in the market.

In conclusion, the shift towards "Koto Shohi" and "Imi Shohi" reflects a changing consumer landscape, driven by the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media. Businesses and startups must adapt their strategies to cater to these evolving consumer behaviors. By embracing the power of storytelling, fostering community ownership, and prioritizing ethical practices, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success in this new era of consumer behavior.

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