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Emerging Mindsets and Their Impact on Consumer Trends

People across the world are questioning established norms, challenging authority and side-stepping lessons learned so far across many areas of life, from well-being to identity to shopping. People want to take control of a volatile and uncertain world and rewrite the narrative on new terms.  

New feelings will drive consumer decision-making going forward across the following emerging mindsets:

Take back control – People are under constant pressure to be vigilant when it comes to saving for the future, protecting their health and avoiding climate catastrophe. While restraint and risk aversion will remain behavioural drivers going forward, a powerful counterforce is growing in response to a culture of risk aversion and people are taking back control by living life on their own terms (the great resignation or the growing gig economy are just few examples). Instead of doing what they are supposed to do, they are doing what they want, no matter the consequences. Disobedience dominates in a world of persistent pessimism and constant instability.

Live now – We are all confronted by an unpredictable future. Crises have come fast over the past few years, most recently inflation and the rising cost of living. While we are aware that the sensible thing is to reduce spending, there is a feeling of malaise in a world where it seems as though the tough times will not ever let up. A new growing mindset is around trying to have as much fun as possible now and letting the future take care of itself. If the world is already on fire, why not make the most of the here and now? The offerings across retail and travel, for instance, are enabling the new mindset to “live now, pay later”. The stresses of modern life mean that people are less happy than they used to be. The “live now” attitude is about reclaiming that happiness before it is too late.

No guilty feelings – People are looking for a new balance in their life, leisure, diets and so on. Many activities once considered unserious or unhealthy are nowadays viewed as worthwhile and even beneficial for relaxation, stress reduction and overall well-being. Guilty pleasures are no longer enjoyed in secret, rather their consumption will become an award as consumers find the balance they are seeking.

Enjoy every moment – People are more and more looking for joy in simple, day-to-day moments. Since the world is facing difficult financial times, as a consequence there is a strong desire to make the most of every moment, no matter how ordinary. That could mean regularly setting aside time to connect with nature or sharing an unremarkable moment from your day with friends in person or via social media.

People, and therefore consumers, are looking for regular and spontaneous moments of distraction and celebration inside everyday routines, making pleasure permissible and positioning such moments as beneficial to overall wellbeing as well as a welcome source of fun and diverting to uncertain times.

Brands and retailers have the opportunity to leverage the new emerging mindsets supporting pleasure-seeking by innovating offerings that allow for more sustainable, cost-effective and responsible forms of pleasure. While satisfying a need for spontaneous, present-day pleasures, brands and retailers can counterbalance the sense of pessimism with positive messaging that highlights their purpose of building a better future for all strengthening the brand values towards consumers.


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