Elevating consumer experiences in the age of COVID-19 and beyond

As people embrace living with less to do more, brands have an opportunity to forge deeper connections by supporting the experiences consumers crave.

The author(s)

  • Lisa Yu Vice President, NA, Ipsos SMX-Communities
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New experiences may seem harder to come by these days, but this hasn’t stopped Americans from readily seeking them out.

According to Ipsos’ Fresh Lab syndicated U.S. online community, people are not only creating new experiences at home but are doing so while actively rethinking spending on material goods. How do brands continue to resonate in this rapidly shifting environment? Here are a few things to consider:

Provide long-term value: Consumers in the study — especially younger ones — are seeking products that last. One in two say they plan to reduce spending on material goods in the future, while three in five (60%) say they are trying to buy more multipurpose or cross-functional items. This skews even higher for younger consumers ages 18 to 24. While financial considerations are a significant driver, people also point to a desire for quality, usefulness, sustainability and decluttering (for, among other reasons, better focus and mindfulness) as key reasons to cut back on material things.

Embrace technology: People are turning more to technology to pass the time. One in three say their free-time activities involve TV, games, streaming services, social media and online shopping. More than simply supplying entertainment, technology is seen as a way to stay connected to others, especially amid social distancing.

“[My] most memorable experience of 2020 was playing D&D with my friends via video chat. This was very different from 2019 because it involved us using [a] technology we weren’t familiar with and having to use workarounds, but then [we] were surprised with how well it worked out.” – Ipsos Community Member

Appeal to a sense of adventure: People are craving unique and memorable experiences, both outside and inside the home. When asked to envision a “future experience” they would spend time or money on, more than half (55%) mentioned travel and the outdoors. Even when homebound, people seek to add some flair into everyday activities such as cooking, baking and gardening.

“We’re eating more frozen pizzas these days, especially garden pizzas, and I bought a wood-fired pizza oven to prepare [them].” – Ipsos Community Member

The key for brands is to stay close to consumers in the face of ongoing disruptions and seek out the human insights to help people to continue navigating these times with immediacy and confidence.

 

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The author(s)

  • Lisa Yu Vice President, NA, Ipsos SMX-Communities

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