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The shifting mindsets and behaviours of Australians in isolation

Social & Digital Technology & Data

The shifting mindsets and behaviours of Australians in isolation


During this unique time, the mindsets and behaviours of Australian people are changing and, inevitably, so is how they spend. Fran Deighton shares emerging consumer trends from part one the Urban List’s new three part series ‘isoNATION’, in collaboration with Nature and The Lab.

There’s huge opportunity for brands at the moment. What’s happened has caused people to wake up from their routines and sleep shopping, to consider new purchases and lifestyle choices.

We found in our recent survey that 39 percent of respondents said that they have started using a new brand because of the way they have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Whereas 18 percent have already stopped using a brand that they think hasn’t acted appropriately.

I can empathise with the challenge brands are facing at the moment. Consumers are not only asking questions about a company’s advertising, but also about their ethics, such as how they’re treating employees or how they’re contributing or limiting the spread of the virus.

How brands should be responding with their content 

Back in March people were looking for content that gave them information and helped them settle into new rituals and feel stable and safe. It was all about helping people figure out how they should be isolating and to navigate the basics of what was happening – how to work from home, how to work out from home and support those around you.

Most of us are now five weeks into quarantine and we’re starting to feel that lockdown fatigue. So the communication with audiences has had to shift to reflect this, it’s no longer about information and how to’s. The content trends that we’re seeing happening now are having a little bit more fun to help people stay engaged, creative and connected to the things they love. This is where brands can step in and offer some real value.

Brands need to think ahead to how will things flip again in a month’s time. Ask themselves what conversations and content trends will be emerging next that they can prepare for now.

  • We’re predicting will be the emergence of more silver lining stories that talk about the upside of what’s happened; the environmental benefits, the entrepreneurs and the re-connection with our local communities.
  • We’ll soon see the welcome resurface of wanderlust, with people sharing throwback travel memories and post-isolation plans, and across Urban List our travel content continues to perform strongly, particularly across domestic destinations.
  • Finally, further afield, we’ll all be getting ready for our re-entry into the real world — and we are not ready. As the distancing dialogue starts to shift and we see a future where we will need to return to real life, a whole wave of new emotions will emerge that we’re terming ‘Iso-anxiety’. 

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s no longer business as usual and you can’t afford to stay silent — by staying silent you’re missing rich opportunities to connect with your current audience in a more meaningful way or to reach new audiences.
  • It’s all about your customer. It always has been and it’s even more so at this time, so make sure that whatever your brand is doing, that it adds value to your audience’s life. Whether that’s entertaining them, keeping them informed, or doing practical things to put their health and safety first.
  • As we enter into our second and third months of isolation, brands can also play a hero role in giving people some hope and escapism through the stories and content that they share.

Fran Deighton is the director of strategy and solutions at the Urban List.

Photo by Mark Claus on Unsplash.


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