Defining the post-2020 consumer – a trend report

We’re excited to announce the launch of our 2021 Culture + Trends Report: Happiness Reset. In it, we identify 14 consumer trends that define the post-2020 consumer based on a three-part proprietary study conducted in December 2020.

Entitled Happiness Reset, the report analyses how the events of 2020 have shaped how consumers seek and attain happiness. It also shows how this is driving new behavior and expectations towards brands. Last year has unequivocally resulted in a re-evaluation of our lives and the world we live in. At the centre of this ‘reset’ stands the pandemic, of course. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for behavioral change, accelerating slow-moving macro trends as well as creating entirely new ones.

2021 Culture + Trends report

Following the macro environmental analysis, we used our proprietary Human Drivers model. It encompasses the seven universal drivers of happiness in conjunction with our global Illume Network of leading-edge consumers. This qualitative exploration phase captures how consumer behavior is manifesting around the globe. This led to the identification of 14 ‘trends’, i.e. new and visible types of consumer behavior.

A final stage of quantification (in partnership with Dynata) validated the 14 trends with 15,000+ consumers in 16 markets (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the UK and the US). This allowed us to ‘score’ each trend according to the consumer attitudes and behavior in each market.

As researchers, we not only want to understand which trends are shaping and manifesting around the world, but also how this happens. We add a quantitative layer through measuring consumers’ attitudes towards the trends, and how they are acting upon the trend when buying brands; that is how we’re able to report trend scores and a global trend mapping.”

Katia Pallini, Content Marketing Director at InSites Consulting

With a 72% global trend score, ‘Unapologetic Activism’ (feeling a responsibility to call out injustice and discrimination) is an emerging trend for 2021 in most markets studied. This means that consumers identify with the trend, but are not acting upon it yet. There is an opportunity here for brands that can positively impact a cause and call out deep-rooted discrimination in society.

The report also breaks down attitude and behavior of NextGen consumers compared to the general population. For ‘Reimagined Interactions’ (the need for new ways to interact with people), the NextGen score is 75% compared to a general population score of 66%. Gen Z has never craved face-to-face interactions as much as they do today. The lockdowns have taught them the importance of living in the moment and the value of in-person interactions. Because the simple things in life can be wiped out overnight.

With over 2,000 subscriptions for today’s digital launch event, the report clearly resonates with the market. We thus intend to replicate the research and report every year, providing brands around the world with continuous insights into what’s next!

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