The Herman Trend Alert
February 10, 2021
The 6 most important consumer trends in 2021
Many years ago I started my consulting practice as a marketing consultant. When I learned something about the study of values and lifestyles from what was then the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), I was enthusiastic about a field call “Psychography”. I see the field as “the study of why people act as they do, including values, attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria”.
Clicksuasion is a consumer behavior company to help its customers anticipate changes that are likely to affect the way people make decisions. Their recently published Consumer Marketing Trends discusses consumer behavior that marketers can expect in 2021. Their webinar last month examined the most likely consumer priorities and expectations for brands in times of global pandemic, vulnerability, insecurity and cultural conflict. This Herman Trend Alert shows the 6 most important consumer trends to watch.
With the pandemic forcing us to stay home, our residences have become our places to work, play, entertain, and more. Consumers are not only spending a lot more on home improvement, they are also buying office furniture, upgrading bathrooms and finishing previously untapped spaces in their properties. While there is an expectation that once this novel coronavirus is under control that home orientation may wear off, for now it is the number one postponement to benefit from. Additionally, 47 percent of those polled believed the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way they think about their homes. Tip from Clicksuasion: Innovative product offers and sales channels for the home-first lifestyle of consumers.
2. Hybrid lifestyle
Marketers who understand that we live a hybrid lifestyle that blends digital convenience with our analog (tangible) lives. Mobile apps that help us get things done, face-to-face and online meetings, and the use of online platforms to share previous solo experiences like watching a movie or a TV show are examples of our hybrid existence. One suggestion is to move on to video customer service – that could certainly be a USP. Tip from Clicksuasion: Check out the digital experiences you are currently delivering to customers, as well as your virtual event plans. Think about how you can switch to real-time and location events when possible.
3. Employee activism
Although this driver was not expected until 2023 or 2024, the emergence of the pandemic hastened his arrival. By 2022, a third of the advertising budget will be used for crisis communications to respond to employees who speak out against the organization. Tip from Clicksuasion: Create a partnership between staff and communication to respond to negative comments from employees. Prepare a response to consumer concerns about comments from these employees. You may even be able to prevent a crisis from occurring by being proactive. Share the Voice of the Customer (VoC) to foster internal dialogue and change that conversation when brand messages and actions from employees (or the company) are misaligned. Another way to be preventative is to nurture positive employee experiences by giving young employees a sense of purpose.
4. Make the main street bigger
Sometimes the past informs the future. For the period between March and December 2019, in addition to the availability of products in stores, the decline of neighborhood businesses was the main concern of consumers. During this challenging time, consumers watched the local devastation during the pandemic. Interestingly, consumers trust that small businesses have better experiences, better internal policies, better care of the community, and are safer than large businesses. Tip from Clicksuasion: Support local businesses with charities and advertising. These real partnerships make a difference for local consumers.
5. Alternative sources of income
Across North America, the respondents to their study worked an average of 13 hours a week on 13 days of “secondary employment.” The median annual income from these side businesses was approximately $ 5,000; Almost half (49 percent) of the participants also had more than one part-time job. Some forward-thinking companies actually help their employees make money doing sideline jobs. Clicksuasion Tip: Work with HR to create contract and other side projects that contribute to key performance indicators. Understand that these sideline projects can also add to self-worth.
6. Conservative open consumerism
Consumers with wealth and influence are the ones most likely to reduce their social media posts related to their purchases. These happy consumers are concerned about what other people will think when so many others suffer financially and physically. Tip from Clicksuasion: Find ways to build deeper relationships with your existing customers and spark the excitement of the brand. Make sure you align your messaging and brand values with the evolving demands, wants, and needs of your target market. Look for alternative social media channels to connect with consumers and deliver content.
What these 6 trends mean for you
Wise marketers will understand that the pandemic has affected consumers in big and small ways. To quote my bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith friend, “What got you here doesn’t get you there.”
A very special thank you goes to Mike Barbera, founder of Clicksuasion, a leading company in the US that has focused on delivering positive experiences to all of a company’s stakeholders. Access their website here. And for a special treat, tune in to the podcast I’m putting together with Ira Wolfe, Geeks, Geezers and Googlization on March 14th when Mike will be our special guest.
Next Week’s Herman Trend Alert: Testing Cures for COVID-19
From Israel comes a story about two promising drugs that are currently being tested in phase II. Although the Phase 1 sample size was very small and recovered 100 percent, you might want to know about these breakthrough drugs.