To understand the world COVID has left behind for advertisers, iProspect has looked at five key trends that will affect consumers in Australia in 2021. These five defining shifts impact consumer decision making and spending. So: what do brands need to do in response; to change, to evolve and respond?
We are relying less on habitual decisions and shortcuts and re-evaluating every decision, purchase and what we do or spend our money on. Is this a good choice for us, our family and the environment? Will this product keep me safe? Is it clean enough to come into my home and how many people touched this product before it got to me?
What does this mean?
Brands can no longer rely on a strong brand name or image, or the best price. Never underestimate the power of free, rewards or cashback in building the value equation. Channels that make you feel connected to a brand through emotion or story-telling are important to make you feel like your choice is the best one, that this is a brand that reflects your values.
COVID-19 accelerated a homebased life and reshaped the footprint of how we live our daily lives forever. This opens up possibilities for brands to have new and diverse usage, shaping the design of our homes and affecting our hobbies and the media we consume.
What does this mean?
This lifestyle has implications for how we reach consumers and in what mindset. If their OOH footprint changes to their locality that means the tone and messaging should too. There has been a resurgence of ‘long form’ consumption but also in format, especially amongst finance, government and other service brands. How can you exploit these changes for your brand?
Australians are re-assessing where they live, with more space and being close to nature a key drawcard. The government has recognised this shift, offering grants of up to $9,000 to people relocating for work, encouraging migration to regional areas and decreasing unemployment numbers. Low migration slows population growth and decreases the number of younger people in Australia.
What does this mean?
How we connect with people through physical and digital advertising will evolve. Understanding the role of ‘where’ and the context of ‘what’ will be as equally important. As the footprint spreads, regional areas grow, and the population ages, broadening our targeting and redefining how we talk to different audience groups with different motivations, will be key.
Not only will we live and work closer to home but we will invest in small and buy local. We’re shunning international influence and focusing on rebuilding right here at home. The accelerated WFH trend affects everything from what we eat, buy, and do. Sitting relatively COVID free with little opportunity to travel overseas, the focus remains internal. Some of the urban perks that we enjoyed may be less relevant as we strive towards a more conscious and slower paced future.
What does this mean?
Brands that promote themselves as Australian or homegrown will build trust. Those that can’t may want to rely on more value or other strong brand cues they may have. Dynamic messaging curated for nuance by each area is important as people will become more parochial about where they live, and a one size fits all approach won’t work.
2020 has created a perfect storm for a nation just holding on to what normal looks like. Once you add in solitude for many, extensive job losses and high unemployment and a bleak economic future, all the ingredients are there to set the scene for a concerning 2021. Social media has also been responsible for magnifying panic and anxiety, fuelling social contagion.
What does it mean?
Brands have a role to play in behaving responsibly, using social media and owned channels in the right way, managing news without sensationalism. Humans crave nature – is there a way your brand can bring the outside in? Music and other streaming services or mental health and meditation brands are also excellent partners to work with in this space – benefiting not only your customers, but your employees too.
Sam Cousins [feature image], Head of Strategy & Planning at iProspect Australia, and author of the report said: “It may sound simple, but linking all of your data intelligence to better plan communications based on these 5 trends, will provide better results. 2021 is an opportunity to capitalise on what we have learnt and prepare for a post pandemic life through to 2022. Those consumers that we can instil trust into now, will be loyal as the world evolves.”
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