This scenario corresponds in a broader sense to the trend of minimalism. Driven in part by fear and uncertainty, but also as a conscious commitment, the focus remains on the positive aspects of isolation. Quality is given priority over quantity, and self-reflection comes before new experiences.
Shopping is no longer a pastime and every purchase is carefully thought through, while possession is seen as a burden and status symbols are a thing of the past. A thriving ‘share and repair’ culture emerges, prolonging the lifespan of products. People spend more of their time and money on hobbies and making things, with DIY objects highly prized for their authenticity.
A wider a shift to localisation also means demand depends on supply. For example, food is bought seasonally for sustainability reasons, but also to ensure loyalty to the community. People only shop online when they can support local retailers and small businesses without physical outlets, or when items are not available locally.
Whether society tends towards an extroverted consumer culture, or turns collectively inwards and adopts a more reflective approach, the landscape will be very different from pre-pandemic times. Of course, the real outcome may lie somewhere between the two. In order to to plan, adapt and act dynamically, it’s important to remain open to all possibilities and encourage candid discussion. However companies decide to respond, it’s imperative that they act now to stay ahead of the curve.
Dr. Marc Schumacher is managing partner at Liganova. For more, read its Consumer Post-Corona white paper.
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