Meet The “Brand New Australia”

| July 20, 2020

A new report from research agencies The Lab and Nature – “Brand New Australia” – reveals a divided nation in the wake of COVID-19, with dramatic differences in the way Australians think and behave.

The Lab and Nature found that Australians are divided in their outlook of the future and identified five distinct consumer segments emerging because of COVID-19.

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.

A third feel different about what they want out of life since COVID-19 and 58% say they want a simpler life when the pandemic is over.

On the other hand, 46% of people say they will not let COVID-19 change the way they live, while 27% of people are not concerned about COVID-19 and just want to get back to normal life.

Nature Partner and Managing Director, Sydney, James Jayesuria, said: “It’s clear from our research that many Australians feel like this is an opportunity for change, while others strongly believe that the world needs to return to ‘normal’.

“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.

“Just over half of the people we talked to are really worried about the future and 62% say things will never be the same. Conversely, more than a third of Australians are excited about the opportunities that will arise from the crisis,” James said.

The 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.

“We have spent years understanding the Australian national psyche and we are seeing our belief systems being tested and new cohorts forming. It’s an important time for brands to communicate with these different groups in order to remain relevant. 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.”

The five segments revealed through the research highlight the divisions that have emerged among consumers:

·       The Safety Seekers, who represent 26% of Australians.

·       The Simplifiers (20%).

·       The Opportunists (20%).

·       The Strugglers (18%).

·       The Returners (16%).

The Safety Seekers are very worried about the future and fear they or someone they know will contract COVID-19. Safety Seekers say they will not be able to fully relax until a vaccine has been discovered and are extremely careful about where they go and who they see. As a result, keeping up with friends has become increasingly important to this group.

The Strugglers are also worried about the future, however, their concerns are more about their finances. Strugglers are likely to be from lower income households that have been hit financially by the crisis. They believe the next few years will be very difficult financially and saving money is a top priority for them.

The Simplifiers have also experienced a negative financial impact but they have a slightly more optimistic view of the world than the Strugglers. The Simplifiers are looking to lead less complicated lives and have changed their views about what they want out of life. They have re-evaluated their spending habits and are more focused on saving money.

The Opportunists see the pandemic as a chance to rethink and reset how they are living. They are excited about future opportunities and ready to get back to “normal life”.

The Returners are a sharp contrast to the Safety Seekers and the Strugglers. They are the group that is least worried about the future. They want life to return to exactly how it was before the pandemic and will not let COVID-19 change the way they live.

Over 40% of the Returners believe life will return to normal within six months, compared to just 16% of the Strugglers and 20% of the Simplifiers. Almost a quarter of the Strugglers believe life will not return to normal for at least two years.

The Lab and Nature will unveil more findings from their research during a two-part webinar series, at 2.00pm (AEST) on Thursday 23 July and at midday (AEST) on Wednesday 29 July.

To register for the 23 July webinar please click here.

The 29 July webinar will include a discussion with acclaimed documentary maker Damon Gameau about how the possibility of an entirely different Australia could shape how we do business. To register for the 29 July webinar please click here.