October 1, 2020

Brand, Media & Advertising

COVID has changed consumer behavior and society at large

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May be for the first time in history, mankind, globally, is facing the same enemy – Covid-19. Terms like “Lockdown” or “Social Distancing” aren’t throwaway terms anymore. The world has seen, understood, and is living it globally. The pandemic has made us to resort to a life, which most of us wouldn’t have opted for willingly. But after having lived it for so many days/ months, this lifestyle perhaps will have an irreversible impact on most of us.

While the change has made us feel insecure, it has made us more adaptable, and will bring some behavioral shifts as well, which could be worth taking note of. I have made my efforts to pen down a few behavioral changes that I feel marketers should take heed.

Health & Wellness: India was already witnessing a shift towards wellness, but since Covid-19, everyone has understood that vaccines/ medicines can’t be the answer all the time, hence it’s important to build a strong immune system. This learning is going to stay and grow in times to come. The quench for wellness related content and solutions are going to see a rapid upward trend. Smart marketers will soon start churning out content related to this to win people for life. A lot of start-ups may also foray into this space and succeed too.

Socializing Virtually: India is not only a densely populated country but also a highly social country. However, we have understood the importance of social distancing in these unprecedented times and people may continue following this for some time to avoid any peril of getting exposed to an invisible enemy. However, social gatherings won’t die but could shift virtually to a big extent. YouTube, WhatsApp, TikTok, videos calls, social media platforms will completely take over in terms of places for creativity, chit chat/ gossips, jokes or in a nutshell “all social gathering and sharing”. A brand that connects/ provides contents that are quirky/ interesting enough to appeal to users will see a growth in virality and brand love.

Online Streaming: Online streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Saavn, Gaana etc., are already witnessing a huge growth. In fact, before Covid-19, audio streaming apps like Saavn used to see spikes in usage during certain time of the day (mostly while commuting to work/ college during mornings and back home during evenings). Since Covid-19, the usage of the app is equally spread throughout the day, which means people are streaming music, which eases out their anxieties more often everyday now. Also, while going to theaters for movies or visiting malls during weekends could still be low on priority even when things start returning to normalcy, the desire for entertainment and fresh content will continue to grow and so will online streaming. A smart brand will find a way to be present on the streaming platforms in the most effective ways.

GIG Economy: Changing business scenario may lead to a situation, wherein GIG economy may become a new norm. Hence instead of getting people on role, organization may start looking at expert individuals or agencies on project basis to bring in efficiencies and newer skills.

Consumerism will likely go down in terms of priority due to the uncertainty everywhere. People will be forced to opt a minimalist lifestyle by circumstances. Hence, people will shy away from trying new things instead will go with brands they trust. Hence, the probability of your brand/ products being picked from the shelf would depend on how much mind space you occupy as a brand.

Finally…The above are some of the broad shifts but there will be others that will manifest because of the  pandemic. Most of all, there is one thing that has already become a lifeline for everyone ever since we have been confined to our homes while “working from home”, i.e., the INTERNET. There was one phenomenon a few years ago called “Jio” that led to a tremendous growth of internet. We might see a similar wave again post Covid-19, when instead of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), FOBO (Fear Of Being Offline) might be the new norm.

Whatever the way things turn, I strongly believe that the human race will conquer this pandemic sooner and emerge stronger than ever before.

Until then Stay Safe!

Pradeep is a digital marketing expert with more than a decade experience and working with motivator (one of the group m agencies) as a South head planning. He comes with a vast experience in handling clients from E-com, FMCG, Jewelry, and auto categories. After successfully shouldering the different roles, he now aspires to be a thought leader in digital domain.