28th July 2022
In 2022 consumers feel that they are born again, rising from the ashes of the pandemic and finding new freedoms. We call this The Phoenix Effect and it is our lens for understanding human behaviour this year.
People’s mindsets and behaviours fundamentally changed after emerging from the pandemic and they are re-evaluating their lives, with 70% of people saying life is too short and they need to ‘seize the day’ and 67% saying the pandemic has made them think they need to live life to the fullest.
In this ‘born again’ world, there is an opportunity to connect with people’s newfound freedoms and hopes in more meaningful and positive ways, with 70% of people believing that being free is living in an inclusive society, accepting of everybody and 52% saying that climate change stops us from being truly free.
By understanding and addressing people’s needs to call for change and for authentic progressive actions for the planet and society, brands and media can make a positive impact and create meaningful consumer and media experiences for all.
The pandemic has changed the shape of global happiness. The Happiness Menu report explores how the meaning and pursuit of happiness is impacting consumer behaviours, culture and consumption. It looks at the “small” vs the “big” things in consumers’ lives and what their sources of happiness are. It also looks at how media and brands are engaging and connecting with consumers to bring happiness to them.
There is a newfound appreciation not only of the little everyday things in a largely post pandemic world, but also of the significant issues facing us as we emerge.
In a world of ongoing uncertainty and challenges (i.e., the Ukraine war, cost-of-living crises etc), focusing on issues affecting people and at the same time striving to create moments of joy, has become a key priority for brands looking to engage with consumers in more positive ways.
Globally, the feeling of worry has been decreasing and simultaneously there has been an increase in happiness due to the roll out of vaccines. Worry dropped from 32% (March 2021) to 24% (April 2022) and happiness increased from 2% (March 2020) to 38% (March 2022).
Consumer thinking has been reset with more reflection on what is important for consumers as individuals and for society. The way we think has changed,
48% of consumers say that “my mind has been reset during the pandemic and I no longer think the same way I used to”.
Mindshare’s research identified 4 key shifts that are redefining the key source of people’s happiness:
After a long period of restrictions on who we could see, where we could meet and how we could interact, being able to embrace friends and family again was a major source of happiness as we moved out of lockdowns. Globally, 70% of people stated that their happiness comes from the little things they do every day, and 82% from having a nice meal at home with my family.
Not only is this newfound love for human connection important, but so is a love for the natural world and getting outdoors again with the recognition of how important it is to our mental and physical health. More than two-thirds of people said that their happiness now comes from being able to go on holiday again and 59% said that their happiness comes from getting in their car and having the freedom to drive anywhere.
Solitude was a positive experience for many. Time spent alone during the pandemic led to positive effects on well-being across all ages. 61% are more comfortable spending time and doing things on their own and 76% are enjoying a moment where they can spend time on their own with their favourite activity/hobby.
Many people found ways to be connected, with more than half (52%) of global consumers now claiming to be part of an online community and 43% spending time online interacting with other people they have never met personally. Some of the lockdown behaviours where we had to shift a large portion of our social lives online to connect with people have stuck.
During lockdowns consumers have found comfort from all different types of digital content, from immersive virtual experiences to the streaming binge. 61% have said my happiness comes from binge-watching my favourite series on a streaming platform / TV and 47% enjoy interacting with content that is attached to a brand.
The rapid digitisation of lockdowns also led to moments of digital happiness driven by almost instant gratification. Consumers purchased products not only as pick-me-ups to make them feel better, but also because they could receive these products almost the same day. 58% of people have said that their happiness comes from shopping for little treats from online retailers and 40% from shopping online for luxury items.
The pandemic forced people to take a deeper look at their health, both physical and mental. 57% have said their happiness comes from spending time on their wellbeing. When people found their lives on pause, they began to re-evaluate their work and personal lives and are now actively fighting to protect their free time for a better work-life balance. 1 in 4 (25%) expect more flexibility when it comes to work. People are also re-evaluated their life purpose, searching for enlightenment and making changes in their lives, with 63% saying they are spending more time reflecting on what is important in their life.
People are not only reassessing their values and pursuing happiness at a personal level but are also striving for a fairer and better world. Powered by digital tools, voices worldwide are joining forces to normalise activism, pushing for inclusion in all areas of society and aligning their purchasing power with their values. Over half of people said their happiness comes from seeing progress towards minority groups, 57% saying that media platforms/content should be more inclusive of underrepresented communities in our society.
The pandemic was also a moment for consumers to step back and witness the unsustainable way in which humans live on planet earth. 60% have said that their happiness comes from the global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Consumers are making gradual changes, but they don’t think all brands are acting authentically, demanding they do better, 51% have said they will not buy from companies that do not act ethically.
Source: Mindshare New Normal Tracker Wave 1, 2022 (11 Markets)