The pandemic has inspired new habits in consumer behavior, and it looks like several of those habits are here to stay. A new report by Eurovision International outlines a few news global consumer trends for 2021. Today we’re sharing 5 of those trends and explaining how they will directly impact your public relations strategy.
Consumer Behavior #1: Desire for Spontaneity
The pandemic lockdown has many people missing the spontaneous aspect of their lives, like grabbing a quick coffee or going to restaurants, so they are looking for new ways to meet that need. In building your own PR campaigns, such as your static and pre-scheduled social media posts, be sure to include the occasional surprise for your followers and customers. Make sure that any event or promotion you have allows customers to interact - and that the way that they’re interacting has few barriers to entry. Can they easily involve themselves, or does it require them follow several steps or do a bunch of sign-ups? Make it easy to access, fun, and surprising.
Consumer Behavior #2: Increase in Self-Awareness
All the time we’re spending in the house has made us more reflective than normal, and we’re trying to make the most of this time. A lot of people are involved in self-improvement activities and trying to maximize this opportunity, such as reading more books or working on projects they previously put on the back burner. People are looking to upgrade their lives when it comes to specific skill sets and habits, and we’re seeing an increase in global sales on educational toys, hobby related games, musical instruments, and sports equipment. In terms of PR strategy, make sure that your messaging acknowledges people’s new need for self-awareness. Speak to how them buying your product or service would be an overall upgrade to their character, intelligence, or wellbeing.
Consumer Behavior #3: Accommodation of the Physical and Digital Worlds
People are looking for a seamless way to bounce between the technological and in-person, human aspects of their lives. At this point, if you haven’t found a way to digitize some elements of your business, focus there. If you’re totally online, think of ways to offer a tangible component to the experience. Accommodate consumer expectations that any event will be a hybrid experience. If you’re having a virtual event or promoting a summit, can you send the participants a little token in the mail to welcome new registrants? Or if you normally do things in person, can you make some aspects virtual, like a personal shopper? Having a hybrid business is going to be very important because people are now going to expect that.
Consumer Behavior #4: Increased Focus on Brands’ Activism
Consumers are actively looking to see how brands are verbalizing their causes. Before there was a point where we wanted to be safe. A lot of brands didn’t want to include too many opinions or hard positions in their messaging. But things have totally changed due in part to the pandemic and the values of millennials and Gen Z. These consumers want you to lead with your cause because they like supporting brands that are champions of the causes they care about most. Find a way to openly state your position on causes such as sustainable fashion, climate change, or racial equality. While you may fear losing some customers, ironically, you may gain tons.
Consumer Behavior #5: New Schedules
We’re losing our commutes, and our daily routines look totally different, so now there’s an expectation that customer service will be 24 hours. From a PR perspective, we finally have to recognize customer service as a critical aspect of our overall public relations strategy. It’s not just trying to get press, have a video go viral, or doing some feel-good donation, it’s also how you interact with people every day. And if you’re not responding to their messages, complaints, and messages in a “relatively timely manner”, that affects your reputation - and PR is all about creating a favorable reputation. So find ways in your business to be responsive to your community. That will be a part of how the public perceives you.
To build a PR strategy that is timely and relevant, you must remain open and flexible to respond to the new ways people are changing their values, spending their time, and using their money.
To build a public relations campaign that truly increases your visibility (and enhances your reputation), contact us today.