The New (Not Quite) Normal:

The "With-Pandemic"
Consumer Mindset

Here are some top-line research insights into what’s been termed the “with-pandemic” mindset
(rather than a post-pandemic one) and how what your targets think, feel and value have changed.

Here are some top-line research insights into what’s been termed the “with-pandemic” mindset (rather than a post-pandemic one) and how what your targets think, feel and value have changed.

Let’s get back to normal.

The number of Americans who believe life will return to “normal” within one month nearly doubled between late February and early May, according to Resonate, and the data shows them venturing out to restaurants, trains, planes—and stores: Nearly half are eager to shop in-person for clothes again (bye-bye work-from-home sweats?).

Source: Resonate Recent Events Connected Flash Study, May 2021
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Let’s get back to normal.

The number of Americans who believe life will return to “normal” within one month nearly doubled between late February and early May, according to Resonate, and the data shows them venturing out to restaurants, trains, planes—and stores: Nearly half are eager to shop in-person for clothes again (bye-bye work-from-home sweats?).

Source: Resonate Recent Events Connected Flash Study, May 2021
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Normal now includes COVID.

For most, the focus has moved from anticipating a life without COVID to adjusting to one with it. Brands need to respond to the cautious optimism of this “with-pandemic” mindset carefully: Despite being more hopeful, most Americans aren’t treating the situation lightly. It’s about striking the right balance in your messaging so that you can share consumers’ enthusiasm and make them feel comfortable sharing it with you.

Source: GWI Zeitgeist April 2021

Normal now includes COVID.

For most, the focus has moved from anticipating a life without COVID to adjusting to one with it. Brands need to respond to the cautious optimism of this “with-pandemic” mindset carefully: Despite being more hopeful, most Americans aren’t treating the situation lightly. It’s about striking the right balance in your messaging so that you can share consumers’ enthusiasm and make them feel comfortable sharing it with you.

Source: GWI Zeitgeist April 2021

For most, life goes on.

While gen Z and millennials put major life events on hold due to the pandemic, nearly 50 percent of generation X and baby boomers say they haven’t delayed any major events. Also, more than 80 percent of all consumers report that their normal daily spending has remained the same, and more than 85 percent report no delay in decisions to move, change jobs or pursue medical treatment—a positive sign for financial services and healthcare marketers alike.

Source: GWI Zeitgeist April 2021
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For most, life goes on.

While gen Z and millennials put major life events on hold due to the pandemic, nearly 50 percent of generation X and baby boomers say they haven’t delayed any major events. Also, more than 80 percent of all consumers report that their normal daily spending has remained the same, and more than 85 percent report no delay in decisions to move, change jobs or pursue medical treatment—a positive sign for financial services and healthcare marketers alike.

Source: GWI Zeitgeist April 2021

Life also gets healthier (and happier?) at home.

The pressures of quarantine have motivated Americans to pay greater attention to their mental and physical well-being, emphasizing self-care—indoors and out. While in a May survey 28 percent of respondents said they renovated their home or set up a home gym or workspace; in another, brands and consumers alike reported an increased emphasis on the exercise and self-care benefits of being outdoors.

Source: McKinsey & Company COVID-19 Consumer Pulse Survey, May 13, 2021; Mintel Global Consumer Trends 2021

Life also gets healthier (and happier?) at home.

The pressures of quarantine have motivated Americans to pay greater attention to their mental and physical well-being, emphasizing self-care—indoors and out. While in a May survey 28 percent of respondents said they renovated their home or set up a home gym or workspace; in another, brands and consumers alike reported an increased emphasis on the exercise and self-care benefits of being outdoors.

Source: McKinsey & Company COVID-19 Consumer Pulse Survey, May 13, 2021; Mintel Global Consumer Trends 2021

Want to get together? (Uh, yes!)

Isolation has been one of the most consistent pandemic concerns. Ending that isolation has been a recurring theme in advertising from brands like Extra gum, Guinness and Pepsi, and public sentiment agrees: 30 percent of consumers say they’re now going to crowded activities (movie theaters, concerts, etc.) once a quarter or more. Also, the number avoiding such venues until COVID is under control dropped 40 percent from March to May.

Source: Resonate Recent Events Connected Flash Study, May 2021

Want to get together? (Uh, yes!)

Isolation has been one of the most consistent pandemic concerns. Ending that isolation has been a recurring theme in advertising from brands like Extra gum, Guinness and Pepsi, and public sentiment agrees: 30 percent of consumers say they’re now going to crowded activities (movie theaters, concerts, etc.) once a quarter or more. Also, the number avoiding such venues until COVID is under control dropped 40 percent from March to May.

Source: Resonate Recent Events Connected Flash Study, May 2021

The activist consumer lives on.

During the pandemic, people joined together—digitally and in person—to stand up for causes they believed in. That emphasis on activism has affected consumers’ expectations of brands, as they’re increasingly inclined to support causes and brands they believe in. And how a brand responds impacts public perception: 88 percent of consumers perceive a higher quality of product from brands they feel listen to their needs.

Source: Mintel Global Consumer Trends 2021; Merkle 2021 Consumer Experience Sentiment Report

The activist consumer lives on.

During the pandemic, people joined together—digitally and in person—to stand up for causes they believed in. That emphasis on activism has affected consumers’ expectations of brands, as they’re increasingly inclined to support causes and brands they believe in. And how a brand responds impacts public perception: 88 percent of consumers perceive a higher quality of product from brands they feel listen to their needs.

Source: Mintel Global Consumer Trends 2021; Merkle 2021 Consumer Experience Sentiment Report

Authenticity remains key.

Now more than ever, consumers want to feel connected to brands they use, so a brand feeling human—not corporate or robotic—drives deep loyalty and connection. Nearly 40 percent of consumers are more likely to feel personally or emotionally connected to brands they feel are authentic and genuine in their interactions. Naturally, you value your consumers, so it pays to make sure that they feel valued when they interact with you.

Source: Khoros 2021 Consumer Trust Guide

Authenticity remains key.

Now more than ever, consumers want to feel connected to brands they use, so a brand feeling human—not corporate or robotic—drives deep loyalty and connection. Nearly 40 percent of consumers are more likely to feel personally or emotionally connected to brands they feel are authentic and genuine in their interactions. Naturally, you value your consumers, so it pays to make sure that they feel valued when they interact with you.

Source: Khoros 2021 Consumer Trust Guide

Artificial yet intelligent.

It may seem counterintuitive to improve human connections using digital technology, but it’s certainly possible—and preferable to consumers who became more accustomed to online interaction during the pandemic. Now, more than two-thirds of consumers want either “mostly human” interactions (with some artificial intelligence) or “a mix of human and AI.” Brands that use AI to provide quick resolution to an issue—and make sure the option to speak with a human representative is available—can make the most of both.

Source: Khoros 2021 Consumer Trust Guide

Artificial yet intelligent.

It may seem counterintuitive to improve human connections using digital technology, but it’s certainly possible—and preferable to consumers who became more accustomed to online interaction during the pandemic. Now, more than two-thirds of consumers want either “mostly human” interactions (with some artificial intelligence) or “a mix of human and AI.” Brands that use AI to provide quick resolution to an issue—and make sure the option to speak with a human representative is available—can make the most of both.

Source: Khoros 2021 Consumer Trust Guide

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