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Coronavirus (COVID-19) From permanent shifts to temporary change, we identify the themes transforming consumer markets as behaviour, values and priorities shift in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Restless and Rebellious: Consumers Want the Facts and Expect Brands to Act

1/21/2021
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This article discusses one of the trends from the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021 white paper. 

Consumers are fed up. Distrust in government has become the norm. Only 17% of Americans say they can trust the government, and in Chile it is a meagre 5%. Meanwhile, attacks on science and journalism from populist leaders mean that trust in information sources is extraordinarily low. While the world faces perhaps its greatest challenge in a century, bias and misinformation are muddling what should be clear, resulting in a crisis of confidence

Nearly a years worth of quarantines and stay-at-home orders mean that consumers, having suffered and gone without, are rebelling, putting their own needs and wants first. The proliferation of illegal parties is the most vivid example of this trend, showing how consumers expect to continue to live their lives as they see fit, pandemic be damned.  

Actions taken to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have increased debt to households, to governments and to businesses, and although no industry is fully resilient to the pandemic, many remain adaptable and resilient. Massive crowds present at the openings of stores such as Hermès in Shenzhen (USD2.7 million in a day) literally coined the term “revenge shopping”.  

Nothing like a captive audience 

Disillusioned consumers have plugged in more during 2020 more than any point in history, and we can expect that to continue well into the future. Video game sales have skyrocketed, and the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will surely fly off the virtual store shelves. More precise marketing via gaming will be key for a company navigating the choppy waters of 2021, where they can connect with restless consumers. The PepsiCo brand Mountain Dew, for example, has increased its sponsorships with e-sports leagues and advertises on Twitch and Facebook. The company spent 40% of its marketing dollars in 2019 on reaching gamers.  

The pervasive distrust in media and online content means companies have an opportunity (and an obligation) to ensure that their brands do not appear on conspiracy sites and that their marketing dispels misinformation. Companies can cater to the Restless and Rebellious by pressuring social giants to take on misinformation, while brands can help consumers spot what is questionable by having an outspoken voice on social media and by actively interacting by shining their spotlight on the facts. 

To learn about the Restless and Rebellious consumer and more key trends, please download the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021. 

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