2021. By now, things were supposed to go back to some semblance of “normal.” However, our reality is that American consumers have been mired in a cycle of extended disruption, which has affected all aspects of life, from retail to travel to schools to the economy. WE explored three major trends through behavioral, cultural and societal signals that point to how this disruption is manifesting in consumer behavior, commerce and even purpose.

The "Now" Normal

Our Dichotomy Dilemma.

As a result of the pandemic, consumers are being pulled by opposing forces, driving them to make tough choices around shopping, socializing and even expressing empathy. 

The “Rumbling” ‘20s.

We’ve been told to expect a jubilant rebound reminiscent of the 1920s. But with the rise of variants, lagging vaccine uptake and unequal socioeconomic disruption, it’ll likely be more of a rumble than a roar until 2024.

The Togetherness Movement.

Looking ahead, we’re opting for chosen togetherness rather than forced. We’ve reevaluated our relationships and we’re going to be more intentional about the people and brands in our orbit and their role in our lives.

What Brands Can Do

As we emerge into a changed world, consumers (70%) expect brands to invest to make the world a better place (“The Bravery Mandate” Brands in Motion report). Brands can take on this leading role in helping people cope through disruption by:

1) Being an enabler of balance

2) Being there for the marathon, not just the sprint

3) Being on the side of the consumer.

Learn More

Brand purpose is a must-have—for today's bottom line and tomorrow's legacy.

Connect with us and learn more about this research and how brands can navigate this era of extended disruption.