COVID-19 Profiles of Finns

COVID-19 learnings: The Next New

How to differently meet and communicate with your different kinds of customers?

This is a focal question for many companies wanting to serve their customers in the most relevant ways. 

COVID-19 revealed something new about us Finns. It sharpened our reactions and brought different kinds of behaviours to the surface. Based on our The Next New -research, we have identified 5 typical profiles of Finns depending on how we have changed our habits during the pandemic.* The characteristics of these profile types will stay even if the pandemic situation settles. 

Read brief descriptions of each profile below. Which profile sounds most like you? What about your customers? Which ones are your target groups? How could you serve the different profiles better in the future?

1. Appreciators of origins

Appreciators of origins favour companies and brands with whom they share the same set of values. For them, it’s important to know the origins of products and services and that they are local. They feel we should do much more than we are currently doing to look after the environment. Their behaviour is strongly guided by values, especially communal values (universalism, benevolence), stability (traditions, conformity) and self-direction. They want to lend a hand to neighbours and friends as well as support small businesses. 

2. Experimentalists 

The experimental group is eager to try out and use various digital tools and services. During the pandemic, they have worked from home, they've stayed in touch with friends online and are more likely to handle their groceries and other shopping online, compared to other profiles. Achievement is emphasised in their set of values. They want to actively study and develop themselves. They are also interested in saving money and investing. The experimental group has also played a large role in increasing the popularity of take away meals during the pandemic, for example. They are more likely to make travel plans, compared to the other profiles. 

3. The ethical & broad-minded

The ethical & broad-minded are responsible on many levels: matters related to health, social wellbeing and the environment are close to their hearts. They are concerned about the focus turning inwards to Finland and globalisation slowing down due to COVID-19. They are worried about inequality. The group is focused on communal values (universalism, benevolence) and stability (traditions, conformity, security). The ethical & broad-minded have decreased their consumption and shopping more than the other profiles. In this group, value issues affect the decrease in consumption in addition to low income. They find joy in the small pleasures of life. 

4. The home-focused

The life and consumption of the home-focused group revolves strongly around their home. In their consumption, food and hobbies are strongly represented. Those in the group prefer going to the shop physically and during the pandemic they decreased this significantly less than others. On the other hand, the group shops online less than others.  The home-focused group’s set of values follows the national average, but they are less broad-minded and self-directed. They want to invest in things other than work. Renovations, for instance, were an appealing way to pass the pandemic time. They are more likely to use social media and entertainment services, compared to the other profiles. 

5. Those moving outside the home

Those moving outside the home clearly differ from other segments with their behaviour. They have rarely worn a face mask and are not worried about their health or the health of their friends or family members. Of this group, 43% say they have basically lived normal life outside their home during the pandemic (compared to the time before COVID). In their values, individualism (power, achievement, hedonism) and stimulation are emphasised. While the other profiles have cut back on visiting shops in person, those moving outside the home have remained active customers of physical stores.

Appreciators of origins and Experimental are the profiles that account for the largest number of people. Those in the Moving outside the home-group are the smallest group. 

What is interesting, of course, is what these profiles and the values and behaviours separating them mean for your business. I believe that future success is reserved for those companies that base their strategy around people; companies whose strategic choices and development projects are based on insight concerning customer behaviour and changes in it.

*Source: The Next New -report by hasan & co. The report has analysed changes in consumer behaviour and people’s valuations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Would you like to discuss the COVID profiles of Finns or customer behaviour and the changes introduced by COVID in more detail? Please contact: Katja Gunnelius, COO, 050 376 1125, [email protected]

Katja Gunnelius