Sara French, Junior Account Director
As an integrated marketing agency it is interesting to look at how these ‘silver linings’ of life in lockdown may influence the future behaviour of consumers in the weeks and years to come. Here we investigate just what these positive changes may be and how brands and businesses can ensure they meet the ever-evolving priorities of their audiences with a responsive marketing strategy.
1. A whole new meaning to ‘home’
Lockdown has resulted in a renewed appreciation for our homes. The places we call home have become so much more as they play host to every aspect of our lives – they are our workspaces, restaurants, school and playgrounds. But above all of this, they are our sanctuaries.
For those of us lucky enough to say ‘home is where the heart is’, we will leave lockdown with a revitalised sense of what home really stands for and hopefully, more empathy for those less fortunate. Post lockdown we can expect consumers to put some of that love and appreciation back into their homes. Brands that communicate an understanding that a home is so much more than simply an aesthetic will be the ones to catch the eyes and hearts of the nation’s nesters.
2. A more generous society
The true gravity of this pandemic is very difficult to comprehend but it is fair to say it has impacted every single person in a big way. The enormity of the circumstances has completely transformed how society as a whole values volunteering, with an unprecedented number of people offering their time and hard work to support the country’s efforts to save lives.
Hopefully this rise in volunteering will be a normal part of our lives for many years to come. Generosity will clearly be an important consideration for consumers when it comes to deciding what brands they want to support. Many will take the time to look for brands and businesses that give back to the causes that matter to them – and not necessarily just in terms of donations, but actions too.
3. A closer sense of community
Lockdown has realigned our focus onto what is directly around us and while travel and wider socialising are restricted we are rediscovering just what our local communities offer. We want to support our neighbours, we strive to help local businesses survive and we take time to discover every crevice of our local areas (luckily for us, Norfolk is a particular gem).
Thanks to this renewed sense of local community, consumers are changing their shopping habits for the better. We are going to see more and more people choosing to purchase from independent, locally run businesses, rather than large international retailers. It is time for brands to really rally their roots and engage their local community with their story.
4. A fresh approach to healthy living
Lockdown has seen countless people take up running, thousands of children completing living room PE classes and an unsurpassable rise in virtual HIIT workouts. The arrival of a serious illness on our shores has put our health and wellbeing at the forefront of consumer priorities.
However, Coronavirus has of course also had an impact on the nation’s mental health. Stress and anxiety are understandably prevalent at this difficult time, but this in turn has resulted in a rise of awareness for mental health issues and even perhaps helped encourage more readily available resources and support.
Consumers are going to be looking to brands and businesses for continued support when it comes to healthy living outside of lockdown, both mentally and physically. When purchasing, consumers may be won over by brands that are able to offer added value and by those that can make a more long term commitment to their audience. For example, we may see a rise in demand for subscriptions, app support and long-term packages.
5. A passion for the great outdoors
It is wonderful to witness a world that has a revived passion for nature as we make the most of local parks, beaches and countryside. Wildlife and natural environments are also flourishing, as we reduce our use of cars and transport.
Our planet is the healthiest it has been for years and for a huge number of people lockdown has provided a reawakening – we are remembering just how magnificent our natural world is. We can hope that this in turn means sustainable choice will be more of a priority for consumers moving forward.
This presents a chance for brands and businesses to really promote their sustainable values. For consumers, it is empowering to know you are contributing towards positive change, so they are more likely to choose a product that can boast a responsible manufacturer or a sustainable lifecycle over more un-environmentally friendly alternatives.
There may not be any ‘back to reality’ for brands and businesses, as the consumer landscape changes and the needs of target audiences evolve. It is imperative during this challenging time that a well-considered, flexible marketing strategy is in place to respond proactively to change. But remember, we don’t have to see change as a negative thing. Consumerism may have had a shake-up but some of these changes are pretty wonderful things for the world.
If you’re looking for help navigating the changing marketing landscape, here at OneAgency we are always available to assist you. Whether you would like to focus on design, digital marketing or content strategy, our fully integrated team of professionals will be able to provide support. Get in touch today, give us a call or fill in a contact form.