The Next New survey puts a finger on tomorrow’s pulse

The Next New, Foresight, Insight

Nature wins round 1. The pandemic came, surprised and changed everything. It took a hold of our sense of security, our routines, relationships, work and even our right to travel and meet people. It shook us hard, really hard. It was like we were living in a movie, yet it was all true – our life as it is right now. Still, in this reality as much as the previous one, we want to be happy, succeed, do things, belong to something, live a full life.

We are in a completely new situation. No one knows how or when this is going to end or how long it will take to recover. At some point this will be over, though. That’s the only certain thing about the future. When the crisis is over, we can start discussing things as the new normal. But before then the situation will keep changing. Just when we get used to a certain setting, another shift is right around the corner. We, the businesses and brands we represent can’t sit back and wait for the new normal, if we want to come out of this crisis with strength and poise. We have to be bold and build the next new ourselves.

The only way to understand ourselves and the change happening around us is to observe people fixedly and with great curiosity. The change in our values, motives, life, free-time and consumption habits.

The world is full of excellent reports and views about people in the grasp of Corona. We wanted to compile these into a sharp image of how people’s lives have changed and are changing. To better understand the effects of the crisis in the lives of Finns we also conducted a survey of our own. All of these elements built The Next New report that we intend to use to help brands find an efficient way out of the crisis.

The Next New – Five theses for brands

1. Be active, not opportunistic. Help and be a companion in this journey.

Routines have been broken and life now completely revolves around the home. This has revolutionized everyone’s everyday lives in a way that wasn’t supposed to be possible. People look for compassion, inspiration as well as help and tips on how to navigate chores and celebrations successfully. Opportunities for dialogue have opened. Media consumption has increased significantly. Consumption of news, shows on current affairs and entertainment has clearly grown. 41% now follow social media more than before Corona.

2. Accelerate innovation of products and services, keep the human in the core.

In a crisis the values, appreciations, routines and behavior of people change with unprecedented magnitude. Many of the old and familiar habits disappear and are replaced with new ones. The digital leap is now a reality not only on a personal level, but in workplaces and industries as well.

Completely new needs are born that need to be met with new products and services – not to forget reinvented bundles of existing products and services.

3. Storytelling more important than ever, positivity wins the game

Concern for health, economy and livelihoods and our everyday lives turning into identical days following one another depict this moment. People yearn for moments of joy and a break from all the hassle around us.

4. Concentrate on your customer’s journey – in all channels

Customer experience is expected to surpass price and product as the differentiating factor of brands in 2020. Corona accelerates and emphasizes this change even more. 42% of Finns have now used mobile or digital services in matters they’ve previously handled through customer service or other physical channels. Digital customer experience will be even more important to your business. The time to act is now, at the latest.   

5. Be agile in reshaping your brand: Put your finger on the pulse and adjust to the new set of values with your entire brand

Meaningfulness is on the rise as crisis increase people’s need for a deeper purpose. Community, locality and responsibility strengthen their stand, whereas, in this moment, the importance of power and stimulation has decreased.

The meaning of frugality is now emphasized. 50% of Finns report spending less than before. For some this is dictated by their declining financial situation, but for many it’s also a value choice. Insights on “how little people can make do with” are born. Understand, create true value, help make good choices.

Because only change is interesting, we track the situation with The Next New reports as we move from the acute crisis and shock phase into a period of acclimation and conformity – and eventually to a time after Corona.

Interested? Ask for more info!

Anna-Riikka Hovi-Taunila, Group COO

[email protected]

The first round of the Next New survey was conducted in a Norstat panel 27 March – 2 April 2020. The target group was 18-74-year-old Finns (N=1020). The second round took place 6 – 12 May (N=1028).

Anna-Riikka Hovi-Taunila
Executive Strategy Director, hasan & co.