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As the critical threat of Covid-19 recedes, it’s time for consumers and industries to bounce back and rebalance. Catherine Turner talk to InSites Consulting to learn more.

Many trends in consumer behavior seen over the past two years have been accelerated by the pandemic, forcing brands to devise new thinking to apply to their business challenges. Understanding what culture shifts and emerging trends will shape customers, categories and competitors today and tomorrow is essential.

According to a new report from InSites Consulting, 2021 should be defined as the year of “collective readjustment”. Co-founder and future consumer practitioner Joeri Van den Bergh explained, “For some it meant dramatic changes on a personal or professional level, while for others small adjustments were made along the way. . People have sought to find a balance between the long and the short term, and it is this duality, the balance between purpose and pleasure, that we now seek to achieve in order to achieve happiness.

The report was compiled from proprietary research conducted in November 2021 across 17 markets and 15,000 consumers. Working with the agency’s Illume network of cutting-edge consumers, it identifies and explores 10 trends shaping the consumer of 2022 and their expectations of brands.

Building on the trend of ‘inclusive connectivity’ (the desire for collaborative virtual spaces and initiatives that create a sense of place), InSites Consulting will host the MRS North Awards Showcase in Manchester (and online) on 16 June. The afternoon marks the first time the MRS has hosted a social event in the area since September 2021.

The event is chaired by Paul Child, Senior Commercial Director at InSites Consulting and MRS Awards judge. Commenting on the event, Child comments, “As the ways we connect become more diverse both in the workplace and socially, meeting everyone’s needs comes first. Being physically separated shouldn’t impact anyone’s experience.

“With that in mind. we are delighted to welcome our friends, colleagues and clients from the North of England to join us in person for an exclusive event, featuring five MRS award-winning cases. Of course, being inclusive means accessibility for all, and so we will be streaming the event live to the rest of the UK and Europe.

The event will include presentations of five winning case studies from the MRS Awards 2021 that feature some of the trends identified in the InSites Consulting report, 2022 consumer trends: rebound and rebalancing.

The five award-winning studies to be featured were chosen for their collective desire to understand a myriad of consumers, some of whom are often difficult to reach or even define.

Heriot-Watt University’s research on poverty in the UK is a great example of a brand seeking to solve problems for underserved causes by using innovative research to drive positive social change.

Created in partnership with Kantar Public and the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research, the project is a prime example of a brand harnessing “actions for impact,” a trend that was born out of consumer hyperawareness weaknesses in company systems. and their uncertainty about where to start to fix them. Feeling powerless to have an impact on broader issues such as climate change and inequality, consumers will seek to support solutions that have a direct impact on societal issues that also need attention.

The tendency to “redefine normality” is also linked to social impact. As consumers deepen their understanding of social justice, they question what society has always presented to them as “normal”. Going forward, InSites Consulting suggests that consumers turn to products and services that represent our true reality.

Essity’s long-running #Painstories project builds on this trend and the brand’s latest research on Closing the gender pain gap — examining what “pain” means to women and presenting a more accurate representation of the complexities of living with a womb — is, he says, a great example of optimizing research for this purpose. The study was conducted by AMV BBDO and The Outsiders.

Also on the agenda Behind Closed Doors: Initiating a Fundamental Change in the Design of Family Banking submitted by Nationwide Building Society and Lens. It explores how Nationwide transformed its thinking about undertaking financial behavior research and challenged assumptions and stereotypes about the reality of day-to-day money management and the extent to which families are stretched. According to the building society, money is much more than a transaction, intertwined as it is with belief systems, culture, societal influences and emotions.

Feed the imagination from Folk Research and Lurpak explores how tectonic shifts in nutritional understanding have sparked a range of new food trends and a realization that Lurpak needed to update its understanding of its primary consumer, foodies. This information will feed into Lurpak’s advertising strategy for the next five years.

The fifth case study, Communicate about responsible gaming, comes from Irrational Agency and the Gamesys group. During the lockdown, online gambling has skyrocketed across the UK: with people at home, some with difficult financial and family circumstances, many responsible gamblers could easily become problem gamblers. He concluded that the gambling industry did not need new tools, but to look at problem gambling from a different angle and reach those at risk earlier through a change in communications.

Headlining the event is Van den Bergh of InSites Consulting, who will share the agency’s latest consumer research on generational information. Eager to regain the freedoms lost during the global pandemic, Gen Z is ready to change the world, set new trends and shape future consumer behavior. The question is: are the brands ready and able to help them?

InSites Consulting has been supporting MRS events in Manchester and surrounding areas for over a decade (under the previous brand, Join the Dots), including with the Best of Impact series which features highlights from the annual conference presented to audiences across the north, an event also chaired by Child.

He says, “It is great to be able to join research and insight professionals in the North again and reunite with colleagues and friends in real life after the challenges of the pandemic.

“We look forward to welcoming these incredible speakers, as well as a diverse audience, in person and online.”

The MRS North Awards presentation and party will take place in Manchester on June 16. To be notified when the event opens for bookings or for more information, please email [email protected]