This is not a repair.

It’s an act for the environment (among other things) !
and maybe a certain openness to deconsumption, as the French promote it!
Ecological and ethical action while being thrifty, too.

In a context of inflation and rising interest rates, consumer prudence and thriftiness are the order of the day. As we explored in one of our previous posts, consumer confidence is eroding and no one expects the situation to improve anytime soon.

As the following graph illustrates, in such an economic environment, repairing makes good sense:



Two out of three Canadian consumers (68%) are choosing to repair their broken appliances and devices rather than replace them with the lastest models. (There is little difference between Quebec and the Rest of Canada, with 65% for the former and 69% for the latter.) These results are not surprising at all, especially since these financially prudent consumers are more likely to be found among those 55 years of age and older.

On the other hand, what is of particular interest in these results are the profiles we obtain when we cross-reference them with the values of consumers based on their response.

The repairers are not only very financially prudent but are also very committed to the environment and acting ethically. Their consumption (or non-consumption) choices are guided by this socio-ecological ethic.

They avoid buying stuff in order to protect the environment, while also being thrifty. In their view, consumption leaves a carbon footprint that compounds what humanity already produces in excess. They want to do their part.


This is in stark contrast to the third of Canadian consumers (32%) who are avid shoppers, who seek every opportunity to buy. (Quebecers display this reflex slighly more than consumers in English Canada, with 35% for the former and 31% for the latter).

Driving these consumers is their deeply hedonistic lifestyle. They display their hedonism through consumption (which explains the slightly higher prevalence of this the phenomenon in Quebec, the land of joie de vivre).

This is also associated with a need to feel proud, to be able to show off to others that you own all the lastst innovations on the market.

It should be noted that these enthusiastic consumers are younger (under 35 years of age) and have higher-than-average incomes.


An opportunity to promote the circular economy, ... and maby a certain deconsumption!

With such a strong inclination of consumers to repair and extend the life of their devices, and especially to reduce the ecological footprint of their consumption, there is certainly an opportunity for brands to promote initiatives favoring the circular economy to their users, as well as throughout the market.

Politics also has its role to play. We are talking about going much further than simply ensuring that there is no planned obsolescence in the manufacturing of products, as stipulated by the new Law 29 adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec at the beginning of October (although this legislative measure is a very good start on the part of Quebec, a first in America).

One might wish that brands, companies, and institutions encourage consumers to recycle, to "pay it forward," and to ensure that products will have a new life when they dispose of them.

Even encouraging them to only make purchases when truly necessary (we can never emphasize enough the example of Patagonia, which has become a "Love brand" with such a brand promise).

In this regard, the French have launched a very timely advertising initiative to encourage consumers to reduce their purchases. This initiative came from a government agency rather than a company or brand, but the message remains perfectly relevant.

In the short term, some brands might lose a few sales by adopting such a movement, but in the long term, they would certainly gain loyalty and commitment.


* The indices on this table compare regular Tim Hortons customers to the rest of the population and quantify the extent of their variance. At 100, these consumers would be similar to the general population.


What about your products and brands? Do they appeal to unsuspected needs? Is there an opportunity to make them more relevant to your target audiences?