The coronavirus, lockdown and recession have meant that not only is much the world spending less, but people are also re-evaluating what contributes to their wellbeing – brands need to respond accordingly, says a senior strategist.

Writing for WARC, Anna Shin, senior strategist at R/GA Singapore, observes that many people stuck at home are confronting some existential questions.

“People find that certain aspects of their life that they thought were necessary are now kind of excessive – like their twice-a-week yoga class, the perfectly fine but not amazing hipster coffees, or having dinners at the latest dining hotspot which is so loud that it prohibits conversations.”

The pandemic, she says “is sparking a collective introspective moment” which is likely to lead to “generative, lasting changes that are not only economic, but deeply personal”.

The OECD’s Better Life Index, begun in 2011, has consistently shown “life satisfaction” to be among the top wellbeing priorities across nations, regardless of material conditions, while also highlighting a sense of disconnection, which must now be exacerbated by lockdowns.

“This virus has reminded the world about a universal human truth: that we are interconnected in ways that we are only beginning to comprehend,” Shin observes.

As well as people setting aside time to reconnect with themselves – witness the increased amount of time spent on hobbies and in meditation – they are also spending more time connecting with loved ones (Facebook video calls have doubled).

“Young people in APAC (45%) are turning to social media (rest of world: 37%) to stay grounded too,” Shin notes – looking for a partner to study with or play online games.

“Being forced to stay at home has put further spotlight on what we need, what we buy and who we buy from, which may change how we weigh up necessities and indulgences,” says Chin.

“Consumers will continue to put their money to those who are serving wellbeing needs rather than products and services that fuel superficial wants.”

For more on how brands can respond to changed consumer priorities, read Anna Shin’s article in full: Spending less, living well: How consumers are redefining a good life.

Sourced from WARC