What Brands Need to Know About the New Holiday Paradigm

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What Brands Need to Know About the New Holiday Paradigm

We just wrapped up our third, and final, wave of research on consumer fear and anxiety, with a few extra questions about holiday plans and sentiment mixed in. The findings have implications for brands this holiday season, and Alter Agents Marketing Communications Manager Clayton Southerly discusses these and more in his latest column for AdvertisingWeek360, titled “Tis the (new) Season: A Different Holiday Paradigm.”


Shopping Behaviors Have Changed

He starts out by covering the impact that current events are having on Americans, and how they are forcing us to change our behaviors, including our “holiday habits” and seasonal shopping plans. We asked questions in our study Facing Fear study specifically about how traditions will be celebrated, if people will gather and how spending and gift giving may be impacted.

A whopping 80% of our respondents said that they would be scaling back gatherings and celebrations in light of the pandemic, with older individuals being more likely to say they would be spending the holidays alone. Clayton writes that, in light of this data, “forging connections virtually will be more important than ever as we learned in our recent work with Snapchat” on The Friendship Report 2020.


Lower Anticipated Spending Can Be an Opportunity

From a shopping standpoint, only one-third of respondents said they would spend the same amount as past holiday seasons, with 54% indicating they would spend less or nothing at all. Not surprisingly, more than half also said that they would be shopping online more this year and foregoing trips to brick and mortar locations.

He concludes the article with advice for brands based on these new insights: “the path to reaching your audience may be narrower and their dollars stretched more thinly. But we know that shoppers, as people, appreciate brands and organizations that speak with and operate in solidarity. Being authentic right now means acknowledging the tough reality that most are facing and seeking to lift them up. Show your understanding of their issues and demonstrate your commitment to them. Embrace the spirit of the season and speak to your audience with empathy, warmth, and hope.”


Our Facing Fear Research Series

Drawing on world-class analysis from researchers at Alter Agents and commentary by thought leaders in economics, political science, and psychology, this reporting series is a must-read to understand the consumer mindset entering the second year of the pandemic.

Facing Fear: Understanding Anxious Consumers
Facing Fear: Consumer Anxiety in 2020
Facing Fear: Overcoming Consumer Anxiety

Interested in having thoughtful research like this conducted to answer your business challenges?

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