Report: COVID-19 creates a brand new Australia

New research finds Australia a divided nation in the wake of COVID-19, with new consumer groups presenting a changing landscape for brands

Australians are divided in their outlook of the future, according to a new report, Brand New Australia, from research agencies, The Lab and Nature.

The fresh research found two-thirds of Australians believe the pandemic, its resultant restrictions and the changes to daily life were the reset we needed to re-evaluate how we are living. And one-third feel differently about what they want out of life since COVID-19.       

Nature partner and managing director, Sydney, James Jayesuria, said the research shows many Australians feel this is an opportunity for change, while others strongly believe the world needs to return to ‘normal’.

“Just over half of the people we talked to are really worried about the future. Conversely, more than a third are excited about the opportunities that will arise from the crisis,” Jayesuria said.

“For many, the pandemic has led to their first taste of unemployment, a looming recession and a potential housing market crash. For some, it has led to a rise in the sense of community and connection to local neighbourhoods. For others, it has led to a reinterpretation of what matters – where we spend our time and money, what we missed and what we didn’t miss."        

The report, based on qualitative and quantitative national research among more than 6000 Australians aged 18 and older, has also identified five new, distinct consumer groups emerging out of COVID-19. These are: Safety Seekers, who represent 26 per cent of Australians, Simplifiers (20 per cent), Opportunists (20 per cent), Strugglers (18 per cent) and Returners (16 per cent).

Safety Seekers are worried about the future and fear they or someone they know will contract COVID-19. Strugglers are also worried about the future, however, their concerns are more about their finances. Simplifiers are looking to lead less complicated lives and have changed their views about what they want out of life.

Opportunists see the pandemic as a chance to rethink and reset how they are living. Returners are least worried about the future and want life to return to how it was before the pandemic. 

Lab co-founder and CEO, Neale Cotton, said the pandemic changed the lives of all Australians, but how we have reacted and how we see the future is not uniform.

Read more: Buy Aussie Now marketplace launches

“We are seeing our belief systems being tested and new cohorts forming. We are expecting to see these groups change in size and shape over the next few years, leading to some potentially radical new versions of modern Australia,” said Cotton.

“It’s an important time for brands to communicate with these different groups in order to remain relevant.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.   

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