In The Brains Of Your Customers: 5 Key Consumer Trends for 2021.

If there was ever a year we wished we could truly predict the future, it’s 2021.

But while we can’t tell you when a certain pandemic will be over, whether rain will ruin your weekend plans in three weeks time, or what tonight’s lottery numbers will be, what we do know are some key consumer trends you should pay attention to in 2021. No crystal ball required.

Top 2021 Trends

So let’s look at them. The stuff inside your customer’s brains that’s shaping how they behave, what they look for – and who they buy from in 2021. The future is now, baby.


 1. Making New Rituals.

Birthdays. Eid. Weddings. Funerals. Last year disrupted or cancelled many of the rituals, occasions, and events that bookmark our years. So we started making new ones. Thursday night virtual cook offs. Cocktail Mondays. Trackies…Everyday.

Big or small, they’re the moments of routine that can bring joy, calm and comfort. Like twilight beauty, a new beauty ‘moment’ identified by WGSN. The ritual signals the shift between day and night, work and rest; shutting the laptop and switching off. Emerging rituals like these are opportunities for you to help your customers find meaning in the small moments, or even help authentically shape the new rituals they should take up for improved wellbeing or distanced celebration.


2. Going Hyper Local.

After bushfires, a pandemic and multiple lockdowns, we’ve all heard the pleas to support local business. And consumers are taking up their duty faster than an office worker to free biscuits. (Offices! Remember those?). Connect with your local community, make it feel personal, and look for opportunities to partner with or simply highlight other local businesses or brands complementary to yours too. People are looking for local brands to spend their dollars with. Why shouldn’t it be you? While strong in Australia, it’s a movement we’re seeing internationally, too. Dubbed ‘patriotic spending’, Jing Daily reports more and more Chinese consumers see buying domestic products as a way to boost one’s identity as well as feeling responsible for their country’s growth. Spend for your country? That we can do.


3. Health Is Wealth.

Cliche? Yes. Correct? Si si. After an unmissable reminder about what a privilege good health is, consumers want all the products and services they can rely on to boost their own, both mentally and physically. Hygiene will be a key consideration in our behaviour and purchases. The hand sanny ain’t going anywhere yet. How can your brand or business go above and beyond to meet this desire? Think innovative packaging, improved contactless service, and targeted product benefits. We’re not going full woo-woo on the health-side, though. We’ll also see a renewed reliance on the advice and endorsements of genuine experts after looking to and relying on their voice of knowledge and reason during the pandemic. Less sketchy, more science.


4. Active What You Preach.

If there was one topic or movement to rival the pandemic in the last 12 months, it was social justice. According to the 2020 Gartner Consumer Values and Lifestyle Survey, equality has knocked off 10-year veteran ‘loyalty’ as the most important consumer value. Inclusion and diversity has also climbed the ladder. It’s no longer enough to say something – consumers, particularly Gen Z, can see through pandering. The doing must also follow. And that means internally too, with an increasing laser focus on how your brand treats its people (and the planet) too.


5. Close To Home.

While many are sick of the sofa and itching for IRL experiences, there’ll be a large number of consumers who’ll return to ‘normal life’ more slowly and likely retain their home habits post-pandemic. Spending more time in their home – whether for rest or as we see an increase in WFH flexibility – means consumers will be looking for ways to improve their home to make it the best environment it can possibly be. Calming, sensorial and joy-giving will be the leading desires. How can you help make it happen?

Want more or to discover the key trends that relate specifically to your business? We do that. It’s called brand strategy. Hire us here.