CONSUMERS ARE REDEFINING LOVE — HAS YOUR BRAND CAUGHT UP?
CONSUMERS ARE REDEFINING LOVE — HAS YOUR BRAND CAUGHT UP?
Ah February – the month of love – filled with overpriced chocolates, bouquets and a whole lot of commercialized ways to say ILY. But in our eyes, this month goes a little deeper than your stash of Valentine’s Day treats. At XDA, we have our minds (and hearts) fixated on how consumers are redefining love and reclaiming power — a power that challenges how we interact with ourselves, other brands and the world around us.
44% of US Gen Z’s agree that finding ways to celebrate themselves has become more important to them now than before the COVID-19 pandemic (Source: Mintel).
Everyone is putting themselves first before anyone and anything. Over the past few years, individuals have been constantly reevaluating and rediscovering who they really are and what they want to become leading to a huge societal refocus on the importance of self-worth, self-care and self-expression.
HELLO AFFIRMATIONAL BEAUTY
Beauty is merging with identity exploration and play, elevating makeup into a personal showcase and act of self-affirmation. It is becoming an avenue for people to communicate their beliefs, feelings, personal points of view and even a reflection of their shifting emotional states. For example, the ritual-based psychodermatology brand, SELFMADE, instills their mission around being a self worth brand – one that promotes products that not only nurture the physical self but also inspire confidence and worthiness.
XDA INSIGHT: Create room for people to reflect, explore and express how they feel in your experiences – this will give them the space to discover how they identify not only with themselves but with your brand.
ROMANTICIZE AND MAXIMALIZE
From chasing “main character energy” to dressing in one’s truest fashion – people are upgrading their everyday moments and styles to show off how multifaceted, eclectic and fun they really are. Take TikTok DIY queen Tay Beep Boop’s maximalist condo that she calls her “Squiggle” home – it’s a totally one-of-a-kind whimsical oasis that puts all elements that make Tay Beep Boop, Tay Beep Boop on full display.
XDA INSIGHT: Integrate maximalism into experiential and brand communications by bringing more authentic color, design and personas to center stage. People want to see and experience things that are real and relatable, not pristine and fake.
75% of consumers tried new shopping behaviors, with many of them citing convenience and value during the pandemic. 39% of them, mainly Gen Z and millennials, deserted trusted brands for new ones (Source: McKinsey).
People are currently in the mindset of redefining their relationship with brands and feel more empowered than ever before to either make their own rules and products or require brands to adapt to their ever-changing demands and request they build more customer-centric ecosystems.
Consumers are gravitating towards localized and customized goods and services. In-home based businesses are popping off, personalized products on sites like Etsy continue to be highly marketable and independent shop owners and micro-entrepreneurs are finding success in hand-made products and niche offerings. Check out Atticus – a writer who gained a million-plus following through his love for poetry and is now branching into other creative lines including clothing, coffee, and tattoos.
XDA INSIGHT: Meet consumers where they are – plain and simple. Get to know your audiences both on a broad and niche level and deliver experiences that have that unique personal touch. Plus find ways to incorporate attendees’ side passions into your events.
AMPLIFY DIVERSE CREATORS
Companies are upping their collaborations with creators, artists and influencers from marginalized backgrounds in a bid to deliver more inclusive and authentic brand activations and communications. Diversity in Design, an association aiming to help young Black creatives enter the design industry, is doing just this.
XDA INSIGHT: Be intentional about not only bringing a diverse set of voices and initiatives to your events, but also engaging with marginalized communities – represent, empower and give opportunities for everyone to be seen and heard.
93% of global consumers expect more of the brands they use to support local social and environmental issues (Source: RILA).
From building youth culture to enhancing sustainability efforts, people are seeking experiences that resonate on a deeper socio-emotional level. Individuals are paying close attention to the way in which brands take care of the communities and world around them and demand to see real action as to how they show off their efforts to create a better and greener future.
The younger generation is looking to brands and organizations to take a decentralized approach to create engaging and trusting community-driven networks. Under 25 is making waves in the educational world with a mission to become the largest existing student network, community and brand through culture, leadership and commercial-value initiatives – they’re using the power of global connection to ultimately transform the student digital economy.
XDA INSIGHT: Infuse educational, cultural and value-driven activities into your experiences. People are intrigued about what is out there in the world and they want to uncover new ways to connect and gain insights from various perspectives while also learning from a like-minded set of individuals.
Sustainability is progressively becoming a broad communal effort and consumers are increasingly interested in brands that don’t just act in a sustainable manner but have sustainability as an intrinsic part of their brand essence. Check out SUAY SEW SHOP – an awesome Los Angeles based 100% vertical sewing and production shop that is creating a culture of community and upcycling.
XDA INSIGHT: Tap into consumer communities through meaningful and brand authentic sustainability efforts. Sustainability should be followed by a purpose statement, not a check box on your event plan if you want it to pay off. The love you show the world will be reciprocated back to your brand by the people who live on it.