Introspection has been a faithful, but sometimes painful friend since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. With the omicron variant blazing like a wildfire, we’ve been forced to mask up, shutter back indoors, and return to binge-watching the new season of the Witcher (which we would have done anyway). For the introverts among us, the return to quiet is the pause we were craving. But for those who are powered by social interaction, isolation is a synonym for “anxiously prowling about the house”.
A preponderance of at-home time means a paradigm shift not just in our thought process but in our habits. But, while 2020 was about sweatpants, fridge surfing, and fear, we’ve settled into our new world as we crest into 2022. According to a study by Lycored, many people were troubled by routine disruption early on in the pandemic, but by 2021 have more or less undergone a “positive change in perception”.
A major part of the shift comes from the increase in people’s desire to take care of themselves. Over 57% of US consumers say they have thought more about their emotional well-being since the start of the pandemic, with 35% claiming their self-care practices have improved. What’s more, 31% of consumers claim they love themselves more than they did pre-pandemic. With this emerging mentality, companies in every industry are racing to tailor their brands.
The massive reboot in mindset has caught some brands unaware, while others are energized and ready to tackle the challenge. A legion of new brands have staked their claim with a foundation built upon putting mentality on par with results. It’s created a confluence of efficacy, nurturing and ethos.
In the beauty industry, specifically, this is reflected in a pivot towards focusing on how products can affect health and well-being. Over half of US consumers (53%) claim they’ve focused on how their nutrition affects their overall appearance and health since the pandemic. This determination extends into topical products. And consumers view brands that provide both complete transparency and multi-layered information as allies in their quest for wellness.
Brands taking an increasingly supportive and compassionate role resonate deeply with today’s consumers, while also building brand trust on a deeper level. Beauty, skincare, and wellness consumers demand a brand that understands their facets and develops products wholly suited to them. And it’s not just a specific demographic. As a global community, we are experiencing the same extended moment, and we are collectively making our voices heard.
The question remains – will this demand for a heterogeneity of benefits remain critical to the consumer or will it fade away once the latest spike in the pandemic wanes? From the current modeling, this is less a reaction and more a change in where our perceptions live, a redefinition of our worldview. In an environment where uncertainty has become the only certainty, it’s not surprising that we have arrived at a place where the spotlight is on what we can control – how we treat ourselves.