Many of the world’s leading thinkers have speculated on how the pandemic may change human behaviour. Even the Dalai Lama has recently wondered if “humanity can pull together in these times?” The Tibetan spiritual leader will no doubt be pleased to hear that – at least as far the world’s consumers are concerned – recent Accenture Interactive Research says the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’
Accenture’s recent survey of more than 25,000 consumers across 22 countries, revealed that pandemic consumers seem to have shifted their “expectations more rapidly and completely than we’ve seen at any other time in history. People looked inward, elevating concepts of relationships and responsibility and re-evaluating their priorities.”
To an unexpected degree, then, the Me-Me-Me! consumer has become more You-You-You!
As Accenture point out, “through their purchase choices, they are purposefully seeking to influence their communities and the environment, and to confirm how they see themselves in the world.”
This insight is backed up by other studies. In the UK , pandemic research by The Food Standards Agency revealed that 50% of their respondents factored “the ethical treatment of producers and farmers” into their purchasing decisions.
And this change in focus is already changing buying choices.
Accenture’s research revealed forty-two percent of consumers thought, “the pandemic made them realize they need to focus on others more than themselves.” These consumers, they conclude, “are changing their buying habits accordingly.”
But how can brands and businesses address this emerging trend?
Accenture believe the answer is to meet the expectations of this new consumer mindset head on. With 66% of the consumer group – the information technology services, and consulting giant has branded the ‘Reimagined’ – saying “they now expect brands to take more responsibility in motivating them to live by their values and to make them feel more relevant in the world.”
So, just like the Dalai Lama, the pandemic consumer has, it seems, decided to tread a more enlightened path.