Wellness Trends in Consumerism Post Lockdown
By Caroline Hamar, Contributor
At Lone Design Club we’re not just retailers, we’re the retail disrupters, and with that we’re always tracking consumer patterns to better represent our community. We want to be the alternative, fill in the gaps and create a new shopping experience. More importantly we want to ensure that our products provide more than just face value. We care about our customer’s wellness and as such we want our products to help you to feel good, not just look good. Today we’re going to explore the studies and professional insights into what the post-lockdown retail landscape might look like. In particular we will focus on wellness and what customers are now looking for as we recover from these unprecedented times.
Erica Carranza, Ph.D. and vice president of consumer psychology Chadwick Martin Bailey research firm, explained to Forbes that “consumption is driven by very strong motivations, like emotion, identity, and social connection. Those motivations aren’t going anywhere… But the values, habits, and norms that shape what we consume and how we consume could shift dramatically.”
This means that what happens to us personally effects our choices in purchasing, the two are deeply connected. Our choices can be, and usually are, effected by social change, financial situations and environmental issues bigger than ourselves. For example, sustainability - it’s not a style trend but rather a choice based on people’s understanding and feelings about the environment. During the Covid-19 pandemic, consumerism has drastically shifted from discretionary to necessity and the aftermath of such will change people’s habits.
So, what does this mean post-lockdown? Forbes released an article entitled ‘Luxury Brands, Get Ready: Wellbeing Will Emerge as A Huge Trend After Coronavirus’ - from this title, it’s quite self-explanatory. They think it could mean a trend of ‘wellness’ shopping within the dimensions of physical, emotional, financial and mental wellness. These factors might seem abstract when talking about purchasing fashion or beauty products however, the fulfilment of these factors goes deeper than we might expect. Carranza explains the psychology further; “because of this virus, people have heightened mortality salience, which refers to reminding people of their own mortality…And that creates a sense of existential anxiety. While the effects are harder to predict, it does tend to make people more likely to spend in ways that support their core values and support their self-esteem or to spend in ways that they feel says something important about who they are.”
At LDC we are champions of slow fashion. We appreciate brands with deep, meaningful beginnings. We want our customers to feel inspired by the stories behind our brands. One of favourites at the moment is SABINNA who aims to produce ethical fashion without compromising their aesthetic. Above all, they put the environment at the forefront of everything they do. Currently they have adapted to the climate by producing sustainable and durable face masks – this way you can feel good with every purchase.
These understandings tie in to the foundations of advertising which are based on the top tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; self-actualisation, which means a desire to be the best one can be. This is, in some examples, advertised to us through convincing us that we need certain products to be ‘the best’. But, for this method of advertising to work all our other needs have to be met and with Covid-19 people have not been feeling fulfilled on their other fundamental levels of need. It seems people are now looking to feel ‘something more’ within their purchasing than the usual superficial reasoning.
A McKinsey Study gave some details which tells us what that ‘something more’ could entail, they conclude, “one trend that is likely to intensify post crisis is the trend toward sustainability and the desire for more-responsible consumption” and that “consumer preferences could shift, at least for a time, toward “silent luxury”—paying more attention to classic elements, such as craftsmanship and heritage, and less to conspicuousness and bling.” Consumers don’t want products to just be products, they want to feel like their purchases fit with their new-found sense of responsibility. For example, Neon Kactus is a brand that aims to promote sustainability in a cool way. They offer reusable water bottles and coffee cups which are simple changes to make to your daily routine but with long-term positive outcomes.
Consumers also want to feel secure in their purchases in the sense that they are of quality and will last a long time. Professor Barraza, a professor of consumer psychology at the University of Southern California, takes this one step further. He believes this break in the consumerist norm can be an “opportunity to shift our focus on sustainability and that it is not only good for the environment but good for us specifically. So, for example, the time is ripe for clear messaging around the notion of buying and sourcing products locally.” Barraza stats this could be the time for educating people about sustainable choices as they are already searching for new meaning in their shopping habits. The ‘wellness’ that was predicted in the Forbes article is not about health products, although that might be a small part of it, it’s actually about our existential feeling of wellness within our communities, environments and morals.
Covid-19 has given us time to reflect on our consumerist routine but it’s also required our resilience, patience and strength. With all that’s happened this year we know there will be some changes, we just can’t know for sure yet what those changes will be. But, at Lone Design Club our first thought about shopping has always been ‘wellness’ and how to give the customer that ‘something more’ from their shopping experience. We are here to connect people with the stories behind the products and fulfil their consumer reasonability with sustainability, transparency and creative inspiration.