3 Consumer Trends to Follow in 2021
The world has endured great change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Habits that had already begun to form have accelerated, and the way we go about our lives will never be quite the same. In this article, we take a look at three trends that have risen to the forefront in the past year and how they’ll continue to impact our lives going forward.
The Evolving Concept of Wellness
Traditionally, the idea of wellness has centered on our physical fitness and setting tangible goals like weight loss. However, recent years have reshaped the concept of wellness into a holistic understanding of health characterized by care for the mind, body, and soul. Accordingly, brands across various industries have created products and services aimed at those needs.
Since the start of the pandemic last year, the concept of wellness has continued to evolve. Spending the vast majority of time at home has uprooted routines and forced consumers to constantly adapt to the changing news. As a result, mental health has come to the forefront, and brands such as BetterHelp and Talkspace, which offer online counseling and therapy services, have grown in popularity. However, brands don’t have to be directly tied to mental health to join in on the wellness conversation. Instead, they must consider where they authentically fit into the conversation and serve as support for consumers rather than pushing a one-size-fits-all narrative.
Virtual is Here to Stay
The confluence of physical separation during the pandemic, the need to escape from the day-to-day grind, and advancements in technology have opened consumers’ eyes to virtual experiences. At the outset of the pandemic, Airbnb adeptly pivoted its in-person experiences to virtual ones, allowing consumers from all over the world to register for classes or tours over Zoom. From coffee masterclasses to guided meditations with sheep, there was an experience for everyone.
Beyond the example of Airbnb, the growing popularity of esports and gaming has made it a ripe territory for virtual experiences, as well. As recently as last month, Burger King partnered with NBA 2K21 to create a custom court in the game where players could complete various challenges in order to win free menu items from the burger chain. While consumers are surely excited to return to in-person events, these applications of virtual experiences will only grow in number and scope going forward.
Focus on Essentials
The pandemic has caused many consumers to take a step back and evaluate what’s most important to them. Simultaneously, the financial ramifications of the past year have led to a scarcity mindset. Combined, these two forces have caused consumers to cut down spending on non-essential goods and services.
As we move forward, a dampened macroeconomic outlook will reinforce this trend. However, that doesn’t mean affordability is the only attribute that consumers are seeking out. Because consumers have learned to live without many goods during the lockdown, brands must reinforce the tangible benefits of their products and services in addition to their value from a monetary standpoint.
Is your brand looking to connect with consumers in the coming year? Contact us today to learn how our integrated brand experiences can help you build awareness, encourage trial, and earn lifelong loyalists.
Sources: “2021 Global Consumer Trends.” Mintel (2021), “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021.” Euromonitor (2021), “10 Consumer Trends We’re Watching in 2021.” NPD (2021).