2020 – 2021 (to date) have been strange years. There’s hope. There’s fear. There’s also plenty of escapism, and sometimes, a dash of gallows humor that some folks can’t seem to resist even though global pandemics aren’t really funny. Consumer trends reflect this, with an interesting mix of happy and sad, making the best of tough reality, and just a little bit of fun to leaven the mix. We take a look at the spectrum of consumer trends brought about by the mixed emotions we’re all experiencing right now. Buckle up! It’s time for a rollercoaster ride!
1. Making Provision For the End
Although it’s something everyone should think about anyway, the pandemic has thrown the necessity for end-of-life planning into sharp relief. Those of us who have lost loved ones will be particularly aware of the need to review wills, and to call the shots when it comes to the disposal of our mortal remains. An interesting development that couples this with rising concerns about the possible “end of the world” as a result of global warming has been planning to lower your carbon footprint in the next life. And yes. It really is possible to remain green, even after departing this mortal coil.
2. Everything Tech
From entertainment to the way we talk to other people, the pandemic has impacted heavily on our work and social lives. Working, entertaining oneself, or socializing remotely were always options. Now, it’s a necessity. That’s why tech giants like Amazon (shopping), Netflix (entertainment) are doing so well and why there’s a predictable rise in the amount of reliance on social media platforms for information sharing and communication. And, where the people are, the businesses are sure to be, leading to an increased intensity in social media marketing efforts.
3. Online Games are Huge
Whether you’re a young person struggling with the curtailment of your social life or an older person seeking an escape from the daily grind, online games, especially those with a social element, are providing an outlet. People are seeking fun, social contact and a sense of community, and with “real life” offering few outlets, online games are stepping up on usership and activity. Can’t hug people in real life? Your social game might allow your avatar to do just that!
4. Pandemic Style: How the Fashion World Embraces the Mask
With the exception of a few naysayers, most of us are complying with mask wearing – either because of legislative requirements or out of a desire to protect ourselves and our families. And if people are wearing it, someone’s bound to make it prettier, trendier, or a means of wearing their brand on your face. From color coordinated outfits – with mask – to beaded and embellished masks that turn your face covering into something akin to jewelry, and big brand names competing for the accolades on comfort, breathability and looks, there’s no shortage of famous brand masks out there. It’s a grudging trend: a case of making the best of a bad reality, and we’re doing it well!
5. Coronavirus Novelties
There’s no stopping capitalism – and when people are willing to buy, there will be those who are willing to sell. Yes! Coronavirus merch is here and it’s taking a variety of forms and angles. From T Shirts featuring bad jokes or social distancing slogans to keychains with little rubber corona-virus-shaped charms, this trend ranges from the too-soon to the OK-so-maybe. Some developments seem quite practical, for example, phone sanitizing kits and the previously mentioned designer masks, but others are bad enough to elicit a groan from some, and outright anger from those who’ve lost loved ones and don’t think it’s a laughing matter. Nevertheless, there are buyers. And where there are buyers, there will be sellers.
From the Sublime to the Awful
Like it or not, the biggest news for 2020 to 2021 is the pandemic, and consumer trends reflect that. Some of the trends help us to stay safer, others help us to cope with isolation, and some of them are plain and simply poor taste. All the same, they’re out there, and even the worst ones are receiving their share of support.