18th November | Trends and Insights Team back

R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new with consumers?

Are you ready to dive into the latest consumer behaviour trends? With the world around us continuing to evolve at pace, it’s more important than ever to keep up with what consumers are thinking, feeling and doing right now – and take a step back to consider the effect this might have on your comms plan. Okay then. All set? Here we go.

A SPOONFUL OF NOSTALGIA

The Context

Collins Dictionary has named its word of 2022: “permacrisis” (defined as “an extended period of instability & insecurity”) – reflecting how the year has presented “challenge after challenge”. So, it’s no wonder that in the face of what feels like never-ending uncertainty, when it comes to nourishing ourselves, we’re turning to nostalgic favourites to evoke familiarity when the present & future feel anything but. Millennials are most frequently looking to childhood favourites for comfort in stressful times, and there’s been a sizeable increase in searches for retro foods over the last three years, including classics like Neapolitan ice cream (+218%) and Battenburg cake (+93%). And the sentiment extends beyond food. Social media darlings Aperol Spritz & Negronis are enjoying renewed fame online, having first become popular in the UK in the 70s & 80s respectively, showing how old can quickly become new again when introduced to a fresh-eyed digital audience.

The Upshot?

The urge to constantly evolve & chase ‘newness’ is a necessary temptation as we look to keep consumers interested & engaged, but don’t forget to look to the past for inspiration. Revisiting iconic products, slogans or campaigns with an overt nod to the nostalgic appeal can be an effective play at a time when consumers themselves are yearning to connect with & seek comfort in the familiar.

INTERNET OVERLOAD

The Context

After a mammoth, pandemic-induced spike, time spent online has returned to ‘normal’ levels. In fact, growth is slowing to a point where predictions are being made as to whether we’ve hit an ‘internet saturation point’ (which, you know, is a little questionable given the 5 billion of us still using it day in, day out…). Anyway, the way we use – and more importantly feel – about the internet is changing. Over time, it’s moved from functional tool, designed & used to browse for information, to something much more. It impacts our wellbeing, with the number of people saying time spent online causes them anxiety up 11% since 2020 (highest amongst Gen Z & millennials). There’s been a 14% increase in people taking steps to reduce their time online since Q2 2020, in part as individuals look to fight back against the attention recession that’s taken a collective hold on our ability to concentrate.

The Upshot?

So, the internet (obviously) isn’t going anywhere, what’s changing is the volume & frequency of time people are spending on the digital platforms brands use to connect. High impact, wow-factor, ‘blink & you’ll miss it’ experiences online that demand immediate attention at a set time, versus a cumulation of eyeballs over time could be a way for brands to keep things fresh while not further fatiguing audiences. And as people start to push back against the negative effects of mindless time spent online, the currency of more analogue experiences may begin to rise, with people valuing opportunities to reconnect IRL. That said, it pays for brands to challenge the idea that a campaign or launch has to be entirely digitally-led to be successful, when growing numbers of consumers are crying out for the opposite.

I’LL SUBSCRIBE TO THAT!

The Context

Books, coffee, razors, toilet paper, dinner boxes, CBD-infused tampons, household cleaning items, pet food, flowers, cheese & wine… There’s very little in 2022 that one cannot subscribe to. The subscription boom was born out of necessity in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic but, almost three years on, subscriptions remain a mainstay of many of our lives – particularly when it comes to convenience. Cleaning & personal items that previously left us in a stitch when we ran short now turn up on our doorsteps at regular intervals aligned with our personal usage, ensuring we’re never without loo roll, laundry tablets or a fresh razor again. And that’s not to mention those that cater to, well, catering! Be that dinner boxes, fresh pasta, wine, pre-made cocktails & even pet food for our furry friends, as well as those that deliver pleasure, indulgence & self-care straight to our door.

The Upshot?

In a nutshell? Almost anything is subscribable! Consumers are on board & familiar with the format and, as we’ve made clear, willing to give all sorts of things a go. And there’s freedom to think outside the box & tailor an offering that suits your product & customers’ needs – whether that’s to support a big launch, get product to the people in line with brand-relevant calendar moments, or piggyback off an existing subscriber service to maximise that reach. .image.mb-4 {display: none;}div.center-quote div.relative{position: relative;max-width: 300px;margin: 0 auto;}

18th November | Trends and Insights Team
R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new with consumers?

Are you ready to dive into the latest consumer behaviour trends? With the world around us continuing to evolve at pace, it’s more important than ever to keep up with what consumers are thinking, feeling and doing right now – and take a step back to consider the effect this… Read more

18th November | Trends and Insights Team
R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new in PR…

Get set to read up on the latest (and tastiest) goings on in the fast-evolving world of PR and social media. November has been a juicy month, so we recommend you grab yourself a snack and a cuppa (or suitable drink of choice depending on the time you’re reading this,… Read more

5th October | Scarlette Matthews
What’s in a friend?

  How many hours does it really take to make a friend?   Read more

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18th November | Trends and Insights Team back

R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new in PR & Social?

Get set to read up on the latest (and tastiest) goings on in the fast-evolving world of PR and social media. November has been a juicy month, so we recommend you grab yourself a snack and a cuppa (or suitable drink of choice depending on the time you’re reading this, we don’t judge) and let’s dive in…

WHEN THE SOUND’S RIGHT WE BITE

The Context

Did somebody say…

If the words ‘Just Eat’ didn’t pop into your head, you’re one of the lucky few who hasn’t succumbed to the viral earworm from the food delivery service. Made famous by consecutive star-studded collaborations with Snoop Dogg & Katy Perry, the audio bite of the latter recently became a TikTok sensation with thousands of user-generated videos racking up more than 150m views. While catchy jingles aren’t anything new, TikTok’s unique ability to transform audio snippets from traditional marketing material into viral moments has added an extra layer to brand considerations around how to formulate and maximise audio branding.

The Upshot?

Whilst Instagram democratised imagery, giving anyone the ability to present & promote a brand independent of its own visual guidelines, TikTok is making sound accessible & shareable like it’s never been before. Brand sounds now have the potential to cross over from standard marketing tool to creative muse and, in some instances, viral moments. There’s rarely rhyme or reason in predicting what TikTok’s next big trend will be, but considering paid partnerships with creators as part of a product or campaign launch could plant the seed for a viral moment with the compounding potential to push brand awareness far beyond the capabilities of typical advertising or even that of Instagram influencers.

INSTAGRAM… PROCEED TO CHECKOUT

The Context

Shopping direct via social media platforms like Instagram is gaining traction, with almost one in five impulse buyers accrediting social media ‘buy’ buttons as one of the most common reasons they make unplanned purchases (with four in 10 Gen Zers impulse buying online at least once every 2-3 weeks). We’ve long looked to influencers to ‘influence’ our purchase habits. That we can now simply click on the outfit we’re coveting & buy it instantly – forgoing the need to hunt it down online – and have it on our doorstep the next day, makes many transactions almost too simple to refuse. Retail trends reflect this, with the ability to browse items & check out in a few taps driving consumer confidence in social shopping. And with retail technology directly embedded into platforms, like Instagram’s ‘shopping bag’ feature, it’s becoming easier for today’s consumers to shop ‘til they drop.

The Upshot?

Instagram’s expanding retail functionality is an example of how social platforms continue to evolve & blur the lines between social-connection tool & retail channel – streamlining what is already a very efficient customer experience to maximise our impulses in the fashion, lifestyle & beauty spaces. With consumers readily accepting Instagram as a shoppable platform, it’s an additional channel for brands to tap into – so, if & where possible, consider building direct shopping into future influencer campaigns.

INSTAGRAM… BRAND PORTFOLIO

The Context

The OG monetised platform for social creators, Instagram continues to evolve its influencer offering, actively working to boost its appeal to commercial creatives as it looks to retain talent who might be tempted to prioritise TikTok or YouTube instead. Having tried various routes to get creators more exposure in the app – by recommending posts from profiles that users don’t follow, effectively pushing them into new feeds – that ultimately proved unpopular, Instagram has just announced a ‘Creator Portfolio’ option. The new feature (that’s still being tested, launch date TBC) will enable creators to build a media kit type portfolio in-app, readily showcasing their audience reach, as well as previous work to prospective brand partners.

The Upshot?

Having access to integrated reach & engagement figures, direct from a creator’s profile will better enable brands to choose the best individuals to partner with for an upcoming campaign. Third-party platforms do exist through which brands can gauge reach & engagement, but the figures & averages provided don’t always take into account paid versus unpaid content, the latter of which typically performs better than paid-for content & can skew results. The ability to see how previous branded activity has performed in-app however will provide a much more accurate read on anticipated results. .image.mb-4 {display: none;}div.center-quote div.relative{position: relative;max-width: 300px;margin: 0 auto;}

18th November | Trends and Insights Team
R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new with consumers?

Are you ready to dive into the latest consumer behaviour trends? With the world around us continuing to evolve at pace, it’s more important than ever to keep up with what consumers are thinking, feeling and doing right now – and take a step back to consider the effect this… Read more

18th November | Trends and Insights Team
R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new in PR…

Get set to read up on the latest (and tastiest) goings on in the fast-evolving world of PR and social media. November has been a juicy month, so we recommend you grab yourself a snack and a cuppa (or suitable drink of choice depending on the time you’re reading this,… Read more

5th October | Scarlette Matthews
What’s in a friend?

  How many hours does it really take to make a friend?   Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news