Some of these changes will be imposed on the consumer. Many people will have to adapt to the long-term impact of this global crisis: there will be a deep recession; persistent concerns about poor health and further outbreaks; greater regulation; and a loss of privacy, for example.
Others will be voluntary. The consumer was evolving fast before the crisis, and the Index suggests that process will now accelerate. For example, many people who had been slow to adopt online grocery shopping have tried it, and found they liked it.
Likewise, many consumers were already favoring products that aligned with their sense of purpose, such as protecting the environment; now they are even more committed to consuming in a purposeful way, and others are adopting such values for the first time.
As a result of these two forces of change — the imposed and the voluntary — consumers say they will adopt new habits, preferences and attitudes in the future. What they will expect from the products, brands and companies that want to win their custom will change fast. This will have a pivotal impact on consumption patterns and consumer identities over the next few years.
The challenge for leaders is to anticipate which changes will stick and try to shape how the consumer will evolve.