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2021 Consumer Trends: Walk the Talk

Global Web Index (GWI) is one of the leading audience targeting companies for the global marketing industry. In their report of consumer trends for 2021, GWI has interviewed over 700,000 internet users, aged 16-64, in 46 countries. Among the key findings are a growing focus on brand purpose and brand accountability of advertisers.

"Businesses looking to grow their brand amid the pandemic will need to align with their customers’ values in ways that are genuine and sustainable. And what’s more – consumers and prospective employees will hold them accountable like never before.

Branding in the Time of (and after) Covid19

In a world where interactions with a brand’s products are increasingly online, companies need to get more creative in how they distinguish themselves from the competition.

"When competitors are just a click away and customers are relying on a website to judge a product, what a brand stands for could become a hygiene factor in market competition moving forward."

Consumers’ attention has naturally shifted as the internet swept in to help manage our lives more effectively, and consumers behaviors have shifted too, according to the GWI report.

In an era defined by universal change, we look to the safety & comfort of our home and our local surroundings. This is why "Local" is a dominant trend, meaning that businesses should think even more locally when communicating with their audiences.

GWI calls it "The new urban mindset":

"Behaviors that were mostly associated with suburban or rural culture have now sprawled across cities’ young populations, slowly but surely becoming ingrained into actual consumer interests."

The new normal of branding

According to GWI, branding in 2021 should ideally combine two initiatives:

  • Promoting big-ticket social causes on the one hand

  • Demonstrating empathy in everyday interactions with customers on the other

Highlights from the GWI 2021 consumer trends analysis:

  • Consumers’ shifting interests, combined with remote working opportunities, signal a sustained change in the amount of time we spend in our local areas.

  • Marketing to various city clusters will be a challenge, and the need for locally-tailored messaging will grow in importance.

  • More companies (Twitter for one) has allowed its employees to work from home "forever", if they so wishes. It’s inevitable that remote working will be widespread once the post-COVID dust settles.

  • Mental health will be a big topic in 2021, so positioning offerings and messaging to be in line with the mental health-conscious segment will be key.

  • Having grown into a hot social media and fashion trend, the #cottagecore craze has come to represent what consumers have longed for during these times: simplicity, tranquility, and nostalgic comfort.

  • In July 2020, 72% of consumers across 20 countries said companies behaving sustainably was more important to them because of COVID-19.

  • For brands, advertisers, and publishers the opportunity lies in nurturing the new relationship the right way, so that consumers' data are used for the good of relevant exchanges - not just "your data in return for our (free) services"

Who can help?

It's no surprise that we at GDR offer to help reach your new or known target customers in 2021 - it's what we do better than most audience data providers. With our privacy safe targeting tool: IDFree, you have the advantage of creating new insight from building - validating - activating your audience on multiple media platforms.

Have a look at what some of our key clients among advertisers and agencies says about IDFree.

You are very welcome to get in touch with us for an informal talk about how to understand and reach your audience in 2021.


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