Brands will need to adopt a more localised and age-segmented approach to marketing rather than relying on homogenous, macro trends in order to account for the unevenly distributed cognitive and behavioural effects of the pandemic.

Writing exclusively for WARC, Win Ee Chun a behavioural change scientist at Split Second Research, Singapore, and Professor of Marketing at Nanyang Business School, Gemma Calvert, explain the impact of a worldwide state of cognitive overload – “when the brain’s working memory system receives more information that it can comfortably handle.”

Add to this the deep uncertainty involved in the process of reopening that many countries are currently undergoing point to some relatively predictable effects. For instance: “in the short term, mainstream consumers will be more predisposed to impulse purchasing while still exhibiting a strong adherence to familiar and trusted brands.

“Products that induce feelings of safety and security either through functionality or symbolism are likely to gain in desirability during the transition period.”

Similarly, the period of adaptation as the world transitions out of lockdown presents a moment at which people will likely try to reduce the uncertainty (and therefore the cognitive effort) in their lives.

“Brands that leverage the situation by making it easy to create new routines and embed themselves into consumers' lives during this ‘setting-in’ period where habits and rituals are malleable, are likely to acquire competitive advantage, particularly in the digital environment.”

While stress will be a major theme and will continue to affect areas that have been severely impacted, regions that were able to navigate COVID-19 relatively effectively will likely have experienced a sense of growth as a result of having endured lockdown but toward a positive outcome. Here, aspirational products and brands that improve growth and well-being are likely to appeal.

Sourced from WARC