What trends will influence how people connect with brands as we move on from the pandemic? Many brands face a multitude of uncertainties and need to adapt their strategies.
Following extensive research and speaking with cultural experts and clients, we have compiled a list of predictions that will help companies meet future consumer demands.
The Wellness-First Workplace
The workplace’s health and wellbeing will become a norm rather than a “nice-to-have”. We have adopted many habits during the pandemic that were driven by wearable technology, apps, and home-based exercise equipment. Mintel reports that nearly half of adults feel more in control over their health because they are more at home.
Organizations will need to adjust to this fundamental shift as employees return to their physical offices. This will mean that they must expand in-office perks and wellness perks. Many businesses are looking at four-day workweeks and additional parental support through companies like Cleo.
Are you looking for brand stands or purpose-washing?
Nearly every brand is now purpose-driven. Brands must go beyond marketing strategies and find ways to show values and demonstrate that they are living their purpose. Examples include the Self-Esteem Project by Dove, REI’s #OptOutside campaign, Ben & Jerry’s stand on social injustices, Frida Mama addressing postpartum stigmas head-on.
According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, 80% of Americans desire brands to address social problems as well as their own personal problems. 86% believe authenticity is crucial when choosing brands to support and like. This raises the crucial question: When is it appropriate for a brand take a societal position?
There are many factors to take into consideration, but authenticity, relevance, and action are the most important. If the stand is true to the company’s values, it’s a good idea. A stand that is relevant to the industry/category where the brand competes is often more successful. The stand must also be supported by marketing beyond just marketing. It should demonstrate how the company is helping to solve a social problem.
Brand bonding experience
Flexible pricing, refund and change policies can lead to strong brand performance. Recent research found that even during the pandemic, 87% said they were loyal to one brand.
Online shopping is the norm and brands need to find new ways of demonstrating their value and optimizing customer interactions. There are huge opportunities to improve customer service and remove friction.
Upskilling vs. hoarding
People are more likely to be able to upskill themselves if they are supported by brands. During the pandemic, 87% took up new hobbies. People will measure their value more by what they can do than the stuff they have.
Talkspace, Peloton and Noom are all built around providing advice on traditional products such as fashion, exercise and dieting. This is a great opportunity for established brands, as it allows them to find new ways to connect with customers.
This trend can be applied in a number of ways. How can your brand offer consumers credible advice? Are you able to make your customers better investors, cooks, drivers, readers, and artists? Allow consumers to improve themselves and learn new skills.
Hygienic and Hyper-Local Future
The combination of remote working and shifting consumer interests has led to a rise in “localism” all over the globe. Shopify research shows that 61% consumers stated they plan to purchase from independent and local retailers within six months.
Companies will be faced with a greater demand for hygiene. People used to focus on the price of food, service, and cuisine before the pandemic. Covid-19 has caused a shift in priorities. Now, sanitation is a key element when choosing restaurants.
Isolation yields togetherness
Social gatherings were the most neglected activities in-person during the pandemic. Only 40% of Americans intended to gather during the holidays 2020, just before the vaccine rollout.
Brands can build deeper relationships with customers by emphasizing the importance of offline interactions. Virtual interactions can erode our memories. Our most valuable resource is physical togetherness, and brands have an opportunity to facilitate shared experiences.
Zero Waste is the New Necessary
We already questioned the wasteful and inefficient practices of goods and became more aware of them during the pandemic. Mintel GNPD reported that 69% of global food/drink launches in 2020 contained an on-pack statement about eco-friendly packaging. Consumers will pay more attention to the durability of goods and their ability to be reused. To remain relevant, brands will have to place more emphasis on recycled and upcycled products.
Different degrees of uncertainty have seen consumers adapt their behavior to the pandemic. The pandemic has caused lifestyles to change, with most of their lives revolving around our homes and communities. Many people have given priority to wellness and balanced over ambition. People are now reassessing how they spend their time and money. Brands have the opportunity to innovate and improve their offerings, letting customers know that they are important.