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The Post-COVID Consumer: What’s Changed and What Are the Opportunities?

From burnout to boredom, breakdown to even blessings, the COVID-19 pandemic made an indelible impression on consumers across geographies and demographics. While the catalyst was the same – a global public health crisis –  individual experiences have varied widely.

As Gillian Tett with the Financial Times put it, “we’re in the same storm, but not the same boat.”

So, how do companies navigate the post-COVID consumer landscape? Here, we’ll share four strategies that you can take today to ensure your organization positions itself for a successful post-COVID future.

1. Shifting Priorities Highlight New Needs and New Occasions

Whether working on the front lines or working from home, consumers have experienced significant disruption to their daily lives. It takes on average only 66 days for humans to develop new habits. So, this past year gave consumers ample opportunity to re-evaluate their needs, priorities and ultimately behaviors. A recent McKinsey study highlights massive shifts to brand and buying behavior, which many intend to maintain.

Consumer information


Success strategy: Embrace and empathize. Deep qualitative research lets you tap into your consumers’ shifting needs and occasions. You may even discover new segments or occasions among those who have switched to your brand as a result of pandemic disruptions. Remote video platforms like let you engage consumers in the context and comfort of their own environment, often adding candor to their responses.

2. A Release of Pent-Up Demand

As the world starts to open up again, consumers are eager to get back to activities they may have missed before. And we’re not only talking about travel and entertainment. Barrons reports that, “as people grow more confident… they are spending some of the cash they have accumulated,” across categories.

Success strategy: Position for the “next normal.” Establishing a plan for ongoing consumer research, such as with Discuss.Io Consumer Connects, will help you keep pace with the shifting demand landscape in real time, to better understand what your consumers need, and how to capture revenue from pent-up demand.

3. Anxieties about Reintegration

Just as shifting to a remote-first world created stress for many during the pandemic, so too does the prospect of going back to our fast-paced, pre-pandemic lives. Some are understandably eager to get back to life as normal. Others are anxious about reacclimating – or have embraced new behavior they’d like to retain.

Success strategy: Mind and mine the emotions. Meeting consumers with a solution in moments of uncertainty can build powerful connections and loyalty. Platforms like let you search, annotate, and dynamically clip content from consumer interviews to home in on the moments that matter, so you can develop dynamic offers that align with key inflections across your journey. 

4. Hope for the Future

While so much has changed – and is still yet changing – the good news is that we as humans are both dynamic and resilient. The pandemic has prompted a great re-evaluation of not only individual priorities, but also of our collective social systems: communities, governments, workplaces and the environment. With the power of change, comes the responsibility to re-think and improve our relationships to one another and the world around us.

Success strategy: Engage in conversations that count. Consumer research has never been more important to understand your consumers’ values and the issues they hold close to their heart.Leading companies that invest to understand their consumers will stand the best chance of realizing success.

What consumer truths will shape your next normal? Get a demo of today to learn how our smart video platform can help your organization capture key moments, get to insights faster, and stay consumer-centric amidst the changing post-COVID consumer landscape.

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