"Unprecedented times" have led to a "New Normal" thanks to the disruption caused by Covid. As we enter the Meaningful Economy what does this mean for brand marketing?
The Rise of the Meaningful Economy was published by Björn Larsson and Mark Drewell in 2017 but thanks to events of 2020, we've accelerated into the Meaningful Economy as people have taken time to reflect on what really matters to them. Pre-Covid we lived in an era of abundance where the “global GDP” had tripled since the 1980s and with increased productivity consumers were able to buy more than ever. However, even before the global pandemic took hold, consumers, especially millennials who are the largest generation in history and in their prime spending years, were evaluating their spending habits.
We have now emerged from the Transformation Economy into the Meaningful Economy where spending habits are more considered either due to forced redundancy or an existential crisis brought about from lockdown.
“It showcases what is about to become the new normal. Those who understand that meaning is a new currency, will have first mover advantage and can authentically build deep trust attracting the best customers, employees and investors for the long term.”
MISA LUKIC, REGIONAL CEO, PUBLICIS ONE
Millennials are the largest generation in history and are in their prime spending years, they've always valued experiences over products and brand purpose over product but as we enter a post-lockdown world all generations are re-evaluating their spending habits due to an existential crisis or redundancy. According to Larsson and Drewell "meaning is an economic force, a new currency." but how can brands embrace this and marketing to their consumers in a more meaningful way?
Brands should think about their purpose and benefits which extend to society rather than individuals. Consumers will look to offset purchase-guilt through charitable causes and want to feel they’re contributing to something bigger.
Consumers will increasingly prioritise time affluence – a lifestyle that eschews overburdened schedules and workaholism in favour of leisure, emotional wellbeing and more sleep. Brands have an opportunity to add value to the new challenges we are all facing thanks to the new normal whether that is physical, digital or "phygital".
Show up in a positive way and re-engage with consumers in an unexpected way. As we come into winter and the reality of recession, redundancy and government debt sets in with continued uncertainty and the possibility of a second lockdown, we are all looking for rewards also known as the Lipstick Effect and brands have an opportunity to surprise and delight consumers.
Ultimately only brands that make our lives even better and more meaningful than before will come out on top.