Thailand Cultural Trends


To provide current cultural trends in Thailand. For each trend explain what caused the trend and the impact on consumer attitudes or behaviors.

Early Findings

Results of Initial Research

  • During this initial research, multiple trends were located, but the majority of information located was from 2017 to 2018. During the research it was noted that what was called a trend, was in fact, a cultural staple, such as living in the moment. After this initial hour, it is recommended that research pivot to focus on cultural norms of Thailand that are current and that have an effect on their lifestyles and spending patterns.

Background Information

  • Thailand is known as the "Land of Smiles". They are known for their “Mai Pen Rai” (It doesn’t matter) mentality.

2018 Trends

Live In The Moment Mentality

  • Thailand is experiencing a growing middle-income segment.This has given "rise to higher demand for small indulgences once basic needs are being fulfilled, followed by spending on luxury and experiences for self-actualization. Thailand’s higher propensity to spend, as evident through the higher debt ratio in the region, could be traced back to their belief of living in the present." Economists are noting an increase in spending on experiences and instant gratification.

Increased Demand for Healthier Lifestyle with Little Commitment/Effort

  • In a survey conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2012, 50,000 Thais ranked “Health” as the most important measure of life satisfaction and happiness among other factors like family, housing livelihood, job, education and societal relationship. That explains why Thais typically pray for health, fortune and wealth during their temple visits. Health is wealth.
  • The Thais believe that with good health, they are avoiding financial complications and burden which could otherwise hinder them from enjoying the present. This is a strong belief even though very few actually exercise. This could be because health to the Thais does not only mean physical health but also includes mental and spiritual well-being and a positive mindset. For brands that are not in the health-related categories, you could still leverage the importance placed on health as a measure of happiness for communication of emotional benefits.

Vibrant Market of Micro-Influencers: Work-Life Balance Belief

  • Living in the moment, coupled with the “Sabai Sabai” (relaxed, being comfortable) attitude, the Thais lead a carefree way of living.
  • The high usage of social media and increasing trust in “friends” over traditional advertising have given rise to a vibrant industry of micro-influencers. Thailand has no lack of micro-influencers across different topics like food, lifestyle, travel, fashion, and parenting, all which a main element is a work-life balance.

Consumer Trends from 2017 Survey

  • This survey was conducted with 4,000 participants across all income levels. Their analysis revealed the following about their spending:
  • Growth is strong in categories that offer indulgences and experiences.
  • Brands matter, and consumers are very brand loyal.
  • Women have substantial buying power, even in traditionally non female categories.
  • A new social media model is driving e-commerce. E-commerce is growing fast, especially informal commerce - such as social media accounts that are makeshift shops. Revenue in the eCommerce market was projected to reach $7.288 billion in 2020.
  • Convenience stores are shaping shopper behavior.

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