4 Mindset Shifts That Are Here to Stay: Helping Brands Adapt

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends, Brand Strategy

  • Date:

    November 16, 2021

4 Mindset Shifts That Are Here to Stay: Helping Brands Adapt

Industry Trends Brand Strategy

In order to recognize what captivates and motivates their customers, marketers must understand them on a psychological level. This is marketing 101. But the COVID-19 pandemic fueled critical changes in consumers’ preferences, subsequently affecting their mindsets and purchasing behavior. For example, in 2021, a heavy focus on health and safety has resulted in increased consumption of fresh foods and home cleaning services.

A growing emphasis on home-centric living has also changed shopping dynamics and created new buying trends. Several key themes have emerged, including holistic wellness, home as a refuge, sustainable living and an emphasis on recyclable products.

While it is unclear just how much these trends will stick in 2022, the health and environmental concerns of increasingly self-aware consumers will surely shape the new normal for years to come.

1. Holistic wellness

    Wellness amenities can support everything from physical fitness, nutrition and relaxation to mental wellness, including mindfulness, hobby exploration, social interaction and greater community engagement.

    A projected $1.5 trillion valuation at 5% to 10% annual growth for the global wellness market creates opportunity for brands to build affinity by offering solutions that empower self-improvement and encourage higher-order fulfillment.

    From brands that augment personal health goals such as hims and hers to at-home fitness brands like Tonal and Peloton, the aim is to support consumers in their journey to a better quality of life through an investment in self and wellness.

    But it’s not just products that live in this space: The nature of wellness as a priority touches every corner of the marketplace. For example, real estate developer Crescent Communities taps into consumers’ increased focus on holistic wellness by planning properties that put these amenities (and the marketing of them) on center stage. Crescent and other astute companies intentionally include amenities and programming that promote multiple facets of wellness for prospective residents, all while creating spaces to build community.

    2. Home as a refuge

    With a growing emphasis on the home as a refuge, marketers have a fresh opportunity to frame the whole home as a place to retreat from the chaos of the world.

    Considerations such as wellness, air quality, comfort, function and convenience have collectively gained importance following pandemic lockdowns. When competing for market share, companies can succeed by positioning their brand or products as key differentiators in these areas.

    For instance, MrSteam aims to educate consumers about the health benefits of steam and how easy it is to enjoy these benefits via a spa-like experience at home. Especially considering the steam shower’s potential to increase a home’s resale value, consumers can confidently invest in their own personal sanctuary.

    While some brands, like MrSteam, naturally evolved to embrace the idea of home as a refuge, Broan-NuTone is stretching outside of its traditional bathroom and kitchen domain: In 2021, the company piloted its whole-home ventilation monitoring system, Overture.

    Overture’s measurement and responsive ventilation capabilities help reduce the concentration of pollutants in individual rooms. In doing so, it offers homeowners reassurances about their indoor air quality and empowers them to take charge of the comfort and safety of their home.

    Although not a direct response to the pandemic, Overture is a timely answer for heightened concerns and only bolsters the home as a refuge. Furthermore, while this whole-home application is an unusual move for Broan, it works partly because it stays true to the brand’s original purpose.

    3. Sustainable living

    While adapting to sustainability can be challenging, brands need to consider the impact they make on communities and the environments in which they operate. There have been widespread shifts away from waste, with a pervasive migration toward ethical shopping and reusable materials.

    Brands like Seventh Generation have been able to double down on efforts toward sustainable sourcing, zero waste, emissions reduction and water protections while leaning on sustainability as a central part of an eco-friendly business model. In 2020, Seventh Generation’s business growth enabled a $1.2 million donation of its products to communities in need. This bold move effectively reinforced the brand’s mission of transforming the world into a healthy, sustainable and equitable place for the next seven generations.

    4. Recyclable products

    Alternatively, inserting recycled materials into a supply chain and business model can go a long way toward nurturing loyalty with prospects and existing customers. For example, Tangent Technologies recycles 15,000 tons of postconsumer plastic waste to create its alternative hardboard products. As a part of the brand’s identity, Tangent strives to make its products as environmentally friendly as they are durable.

    Consider another example: Direct-to-consumer fashion company Rothy’s makes its shoes and bags from recycled single-use plastic water bottles and marine plastic. Rothy’s stayed profitable throughout 2020 by adapting its product strategy, design and messaging to speak to the evolving needs of its consumer base.

    Meanwhile, Sherwin-Williams is taking its business impact on the environment into consideration: The company has partnered with PaintCare to introduce a pilot program in two North American markets, allowing consumers to recycle paint at specified retail locations to ensure paint is disposed of properly.

    With more consumers stopping to consider the ramifications of individual brands and products on the environment and communities, it is essential that companies address these concerns as an integral part of their corporate identity and strategy.

    Looking Toward the Future

    As consumers continue to change their shopping behavior, with three-quarters making some change and about 40% switching brands, marketers need to consider how to capture and sustain brand loyalty with forward-thinking leadership. While some consumers are making access and availability-driven changes due to supply chain and mobility issues, others are migrating to brands that better align with their personal values and purpose.

    How is your brand transforming to meet the evolving needs of its customers? If you need help navigating the landscape, email me.

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