By Junior Planner, Amy Slesinger
January is usually the month of reflection and new year resolutions (then realistically dropping said new year resolutions…). After the bleep that was 2020, those new year moments of introspection don’t seem as necessary this year. As marketers, months of disruption to our routines have likely triggered self-reflection and re-evaluation of our lifestyles, priorities and mindsets – which means our target consumer’s have too.
We recognised these accelerating changes, and with research in our agency DNA, set out to better understand the emerging consumer behaviours and cultural landscape. So we talked to millennial super-consumers – the leading voices who are influential in shaping culture in music, food, art, drinks – to get their take on changes so far and what they think life post-pandemic could look like. Unfortunately, the individuals need to remain nameless, but the top five themes that emerged do not…
- Freedom to do ‘my thing’ again
Ipsos Mori found that only 45% of Britons expect life will return to ‘normal’ this year but it’s still unclear what this normal would look like in reality. Our super-consumers reckon the post-COVID normal is less about returning to the same routines we had before the virus, and instead having the freedom to do their thing again – the things that make you your authentic self.
- Hesitance for hedonism
It’s easy to think that people want to celebrate the end of lockdown with a big party, but that would be a rash assumption, since:
- Wild parties are no longer seen as cool for this group; instead, it’s about a quality drink with quality friends
- It’s expected consumers will find caution still hangs in the air, with over half of the UK feeling very anxious about resuming normal activities after the pandemic.
- Quality making a comeback
Consumers are now looking for those touches of luxury in areas like fashion, food and drinks. They will pay more money for higher quality. People aren’t as afraid to spend money on something that’s good. We’ve also seen this historically where in times of financial uncertainty, people look to buy less but better.
- Survive together, thrive together
Consumers are looking to support small and support local, which in concrete terms means shop small and shop local. Businesses are also banding together to ensure no-one gets left behind, at an industry, supply chain and individual level. By creating collaborations which help participating companies survive, trialing new ways to keep staff on and supporting individual’s new endeavors to thrive.
- Tribes are becoming more fragmented
While consumers are banding together, they’re not carbon copies of each other just because they’re in the same ‘tribe’. People are no longer wanting to fit a certain mould – you can be rock & roll without wearing the uniform. This is a sentiment that has been gradually growing alongside awareness and rejection of toxic masculinity. Consumers can be in a tribe or identify with a certain group and still be their authentic selves. All it means is tribe identities are becoming more fragmented rather than being a one-size-fits-all.
Can we help you better understand your brand’s consumers?