06 Apr RETURN TO NORMALITY? A Pulse on USA Consumer Normality Week 3
Americans’ expectations of when life will return to normal has blown out in the past week, up from 21% last week to 26%, which is a 24% increase in the number of people now expecting the current crisis challenged lifestyle to continue for at least 6 months.
Equally the number of optimists who expected life to return to normal in 3 months has dramatically decreased by 25% from 20% last week to only 15% this week.
Americans’ sense of normality appears stable. Is this where Americans’ sense of normality bottoms? Americans appear optimisic about normality, with the Index currently at 49%, which is unlike other markets such as Australia which is significantly lower at 36%.
Is this a positive indication that the normality rebound will be faster for the US market? Or is this optimism a failure of the US population to recognize the magnitude of the crisis and response required?
Since 23 March 2020, we have seen an 8% increase in the number of Americans who know someone who have contracted CV-19. This is now almost 15% of the population.
An important change this week is the shift in expectation of how long it will take to return to normal. The time taken to return to normal has extended from three months (15%, down from 20%), to six months (26%, up from 21%).
Whether we have now stabilized and can prepare for a rebound or not, a journey lies ahead.
IMPLICATIONS FOR POST COVID-19
With the realization that the return to normality is no ‘quick-fix’, brands must pivot from waiting for normal to re-emerge, and instead focus on what a ‘new’ normal means for their category, and brand. We need to consider how consumption decisions are shifting to ensure our brands are empathetic, and relevant to changing consumer sentiment.
American consumers will not feel normal until:
1. They feel confident in the economy
2. They feel comfortable to be out in public
3. They are able to attend school/college/work as usual
4. They are able to socialize with friends and family
The higher the number the more ‘normal’ (Index benchmark is 100% = normal).
There was an improvement in Americans’ perception of being able to attend school, college or work as usual (42% up from 38% last week), though this remained the least like normal of all behaviors.
There was a significant extension in Americans’ perception of time required to return to normal from three months (15%, down from 20%), to six months (26%, up from 21%). That’s a 25% contraction in those who believe returning to normal will only take three months.
Week 4 results available week commencing Monday April 13, 2020
US National Representative sample, n=800