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7 Stages of Consumer Grief: How are your consumers behaving differently?

If consumers are grieving for what they have lost during COVID, how does this actually relate to what they are thinking, feeling, doing and wanting?

We’ve mapped how the 7 Stages of Grief can be applied to consumer behaviour via some of the key stats and verbatim from our most recent consumer study:

  1. DENIAL/ SHOCK: This is not that significant. I am not letting this change the way I live – 1 in 5 Americans would happily book a holiday in the next two weeks, including flights and hotels. Nothing will stop them going back to normal. 
  2. PAIN: Perception zooms in. Emotional spectrum zooms out – over half (54%) of UK consumers feel that the world will never go back to normal and their behaviour has changed as a result
  3. ANGER: How dare brands take advantage of us in our vulnerability – I don’t pay attention to any [advertising] of it because they’re all just cashing in – it’s emotional manipulation”
  4. DEPRESSION: Uncertainty and negativity dominate – 81% of U.S. office workers say they have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic
  5. ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Making the most of what is in front of me right now – 61% of UK consumers are spending more of their money on small treats and indulgences to make themselves, or others, feel better.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION: Trying new things and finding ways to improve life – across all markets, 75% of work from homers have made significant changes to their lives (e.g. moving home, moving job, marriage / divorce)
  7. ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE: Hopeful for getting back what I care about but accept this may shift and change over time – “I want to go back to having fun in my life”

The warning here is that across the three markets we researched, consumers within them  are at different stages of grief, not just in comparison to each other but within the markets themselves. 

Which means as we progress with vaccines and look forward, we shouldn’t assume that all consumers are in the hope stage. In fact our research shows anything but. 

Next week we’ll be sharing more insight to show what impact each stage has on brands and how they’ll need to walk carefully through the different stages to meet consumer expectations.

In the meantime, if you’d like us to walk you through the full findings please click here to suggest a time that suits you best

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