Filipino consumers look for identity, value, joy — Google

The latest Google report for marketers found that Filipino consumers are still in touch with their roots as they look for brands that also promote local traditions. While there is still a need for global connections, consumers look for brands that connect them with their identities.

“Think With Google: Year in Search 2022” is an annual report for marketers that provides insights and trends drawn from analyses based on billions of Google searches. 

“After analyzing search trends and data this year to help marketers uncover helpful insights, we saw how Filipinos used Google Search to stand their ground amid sustained waves of uncertainty,” said Gabby Roxas, country marketing manager, Google Philippines and South Asia Frontier markets. “With open minds, quick thinking, and digital savvy, they are seeking out authentic, fulfilling ways of living, working, and being that suit them, and not simply going with what life serves up.”

Digitalization could unlock P5 trillion of annual economic impact in PH
Philippine ICT infrastructure and unlocking economic growth

Google gives a rundown of the most relevant consumers trends that will shape 2023:

1. Filipinos are soul-searching

According to the Google report, Filipinos desire to be part of the global culture, but also seek uniquely Filipino traditions. While search interest in “ppop” (Philippine pop) grew by over 20% and queries for “japanese restaurant” by over 40%, Filipinos are also looking for locally relevant trends as search interest in “Filipiniana” grew by over 130%. 

“This dynamic duality points to the increasing complexity of their identities as global citizens and proud denizens,” Google said.

Filipinos are now moving toward specificity because their searches are now more refined as they become aware of their distinctive identities and their evolving sense of self. Searches for “plus size dress” in particular increased by over 40% as did “anti-aging cream” which grew by 20% and “glasses for face shape” increased by over 15%, to name a few.

The report found Filipinos are also taking better care of themselves as various searches for self-care are on the rise, along with embracing diverse lifestyles. Search interests that grew include mental health (over 20%), “anxiety meaning” (over 50%), “what is stress” (over 30%), “genderqueer” (over 40%), “solo parent”(over 80%), and “social equality” (over 50%).

2. Filipinos are looking for value and balance

During the times of early pandemic recovery and high inflation rates, Filipinos have learned a lot about value and balance. This is reflected through their searches about upskilling and striking out on their own search terms such as “hybrid learning” which grew by over 210%, “freelance” by over 40%, and “business idea” by 20%.

They are also now seeking greater economic literacy and are looking for information to increase their financial and economic knowledge, from learning about the causes of rising prices to emerging investment trends to making decisions that count. “Cryptocurrency” searches grew by over 350%, while “when to sell” and “when to buy” both grew by over 40%. Search terms around “Philippines inflation” increased by 110%, while “inflation” rose by over 90%.

Their concern about rising prices also translates into looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives as searches for “sustainable energy” increased by 80%.

Consumers want value. People are being more pragmatic and are focusing on the essentials, with 40% of consumers making fewer impulse purchases and prioritizing needs over wants. Search interest in ”which one” jumped by more than 160%, and “which is better” rose by over 20%. Search interest in “best deal“ grew by more than 40%.

Trust in a brand also plays a significant part in people’s calculations and perception of value. Search interest in terms containing “most recommended” grew by over 40% and “original product” leaped by more than 55%. Search for “customer reviews” also rose by over 35%.

3. Filipinos are seeking out joy

The year 2022 is the time when Filipinos became cautiously optimistic and explore the world once again after being cooped up in their homes because of the pandemic.

Search interest in “best buffets” climbed by over 130% and travel-related searches such as “staycation” jumped by over 25%, “cheapest flights” by over 320%, “affordable beach resort” by over 100%, and “passport requirements” by over 40%.

Filipinos are also leaning on digital services in bigger ways than ever before to make their lives easier, and using the time they save to enjoy the offline experiences that matter to them.

People searching for “doctor anywhere” jumped by over 35%, “online multiplayer games with friends” grew by over 40%, “e-wallet” grew by over 55%, “dress up” rose by over 210%, “cinema philippines” grew by over 280%, and “concert tickets” grew by more than 165%.

These three consumer trends show what’s top of mind for Filipino consumers and how brands can address their needs as they search for value, trust, and ways to live life to its fullest in this new reality.