It’s no secret that the past 12 months have been challenging for many Australians. As 2021 rolls on and glimpses of a post-Covid world emerge, there are many questions about how people will bounce back.
The latest installment of Edentify’s Voice of Australia research series has focused on those hit perhaps hardest by the broader impacts of the pandemic in Australia: the youth.
In March 2021 we surveyed 1000 members of our Caféstudy research community aged under 35 to find out how they fared and, more importantly, how they see their futures now.
The effect of lockdowns and an economic downturn affected young people more than most.
The mental health of young Australians has suffered accordingly, with our research showing that over 1 in 5 of the people surveyed are likely to be suffering from mental illness.
This in itself is a stark reminder of the need to provide ongoing assistance and support as life begins to return to normal.
However, there are signs of emerging optimism amongst this group as they look to move on and get their lives back on track.
Nearly 2/3 (65 per cent) are optimistic about how 2021 is panning out.
One of the key findings from Edentify’s research is that Australia’s youth are much more resilient than they are often given credit for, and many are already looking to take charge of their health, relationships, and, in particular, their finances: 2/3 are setting financial goals for the future.
It seems that as many of the structures and supports that young people have depended on failed over the past 12 months: jobs, education, and social interaction all disappeared or changed dramatically.
Now young Australians are looking to take control of their lives, determined to make it better, starting in 2021.
They are proactively finding innovative ways to improve their health, their social life, finances, and every other important aspect of their lives.
The research suggests there are ways that brands can provide genuine support for young Australians.
- Guide them into control: Providing “baby step” guidance can help fill the gaps in young people’s knowledge and experience and help them to take back control of their lives. This is an obvious winner in the financial sector, but brands in many other categories will win with this approach.
- Enable immediate fulfilment: So many of the issues facing young Australians are “big” issues: the economy and the environment for example. Brands can provide the means to make a contribution that makes them feel good about what they are doing by helping and encouraging people to act in a way that is beneficial to society.
- Inspire their individuality: As they turn away from traditional structures and strive for self-development, now more than ever young people want to be authentic rather than simply fit in. Brands that support them emotionally or practically to be themselves will appeal.
- Be “good”: Who you are is as important as what you do. Making the world a better place is part of the youth culture, even more now than pre-Covid. Brands that have an authentic brand purpose will be attractive because young people will see their attitudes reflected.
- Fuel their optimism: Keep messaging positive to reinforce their sense of optimism. There is enough bad news and pessimism in the world and looking forward and looking up is what they need.
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