Isolating Consumer Wants During Self-Isolation

May 4, 2020

As Covid19 continues to repress life as we know it, consumers continue to display a unique shift in spending patterns since the involuntary retreat first began. A theme that’s been of particular interest to marketers is the impact that length of time spent housebound is having on purchase intent. From basic supplies to apparel, the way in which consumers assign necessity to items has undergone significant changes since the pandemic’s inception.

It’s suggested that our purchase intent is motivated by the subconscious mind as we look to buy things that we think are necessary or will bring about some form of instant gratification.  However, as self-isolation persists, there’s been a noticeable spike in allotting for more indulgent purchases. From alcohol to apparel, brands are working to understand these shifting patterns and stay ahead of the subconscious to predict the next essential trend.

Coronavirus Facebook Advertising Examples
Brands like Winc and Noli Yoga have shifted their advertising to be tailored to a work (or workout) from home message.

As studies indicate a steady increase in panic surrounding levels of uncertainty, consumer response continues to manifest through their shopping patterns. Posing a unique dynamic, it’s become clear that rather than brand messaging influencing consumer desires, it’s the consumer’s current behavior determining the message.  Stripped of our norms, brands have no choice but to take a new approach and measure impact of an unanticipated variable, and maneuver marketing efforts around it.

To grapple with rapid fluctuations in customer behavior, marketers are turning to science to uncover how exactly the duration of seclusion impacts purchase priority.  In response to the unanimous wave of uncertainty plaguing brands as they look to develop messaging, Neuro-Insight conducted a study amongst a data set of 600 individuals. Implementing a unique approach, they redirected focus from how ads are impacting the consumer…and instead to the effects brought upon by isolation, and what people are doing to cope. 

According to Neuro-Insight, people saw alcohol as more of an essential product than they did before isolation.

At one point during the study, a component was introduced to assess the subconscious associations between essential items and ones that were indulgent. Each subject was given a list of categories such as food and clothing and were asked to indicate whether or not they considered these categories necessities. What made this so interesting was that the study evaluated the speed of the subjects’ responses rather than just the response itself. With little to no conscious thought attributed to these replies, it was indicative of the consumer’s connection with the particular category and illuminated what could potentially be what people will shift to buying next.

That being said, brands must be prepared to make necessary adjustments to marketing initiatives in order to align with the rapid shifts in consumer wants. Rather than an excuse for cause marketing, this is a one-of-kind opportunity to transform how consumers view your brand, adding value to their lives through unique approaches that have the potential to reach an audience that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. 

eCommerce brands, like xSuit, have resorted to selling protective face masks and donating thousands to healthcare workers, too.

Operating within a virtual landscape more so than ever before, these unprecedented times offer opportunity for marketers to develop solutions that will boost brand awareness, increase revenue and drive exponential growth. While the world may be in isolation, it couldn’t be a more opportune time to isolate your brand from your competitors and stand out while your audience sits home.

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