This is no ordinary time. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still being felt across the world, and with global action calling for radical reform, there’s change happening that no individual – or brand – can afford to ignore. 

America has seen change before. But facing this political and economic revolution, we’re moving through a very significant time in history – and for many, it feels as though a new America is being born.

So what will this new America look like?

How will consumer behaviors and lifestyles evolve? What will matter more to them? And how should brands be addressing their changing customer needs? 

We’re launching GWI USA to offer businesses the answers they can’t find elsewhere. Here’s why it’s needed.

Keeping up with your consumers is more challenging than ever.

Lockdown restrictions are lifting across the U.S., but despite this hint of normality, our latest research shows consumers are still changing.

In fact, across all four waves of our dedicated research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, we’ve seen behaviors and attitudes fluctuate hugely. 

What we know now is while 85% of consumers in the U.S. want businesses to get back to normal, just 1 in 4 intend to return to large indoor venues immediately, and less than half say they’ll return to shops quickly. This points to some uncertainty around what moves to make next.

And health concerns are still paramount, but this isn’t the only thing on their minds. Sustainability is taking on new importance in the lives of many, for example, and that’s just scratching the surface.

Like society at large, consumers are unsure where to look or what to do, which means they’re changing faster.

This is a crucial time to stay as close to your consumers as possible to know what that change looks like, why it’s happening, and how to address it.

Brands need to know how to respond to the issues that matter.

Of course, the pandemic isn’t the only issue of major importance taking hold of America. The national uprising that’s ensued following the tragic death of George Floyd has sent a clear message: we all have a duty to listen, to learn (or unlearn), and to take action. 

Businesses need to know how to respond to important political matters that impact peoples’ lives. They can no longer shy away from the conversation about race.

Do you continue advertising as normal? Do you change your strategy? How do you pledge your support? 

In these times of crisis and radical change, understanding what your consumers want from you is everything. That means finding out what your consumers actually care about now – and meeting them where they are.

It’s time to ask new questions.

Now is the time to redefine your targeting by placing a much deeper focus on understanding the whole consumer; what defines them, what drives them, what makes them tick.

Most U.S. data sets have so far fallen short in painting this complete picture because they can’t move fast enough, they’re not representative enough, or they’re not asking the right questions.

GWI USA was built specifically to meet that need; asking the questions not typically asked around new and emerging trends – from new forms of entertainment and green living to the gig economy.

This study also explores the hopes and fears that govern us,  and digs much deeper into the role that race and ethnicity plays in peoples’ lives.

We’re launching GWI USA now because it’s a time for more relevant answers for these extremely important times.

And with a sample representing over 240 million diverse Americans, these are answers to help you get everything from product development to marketing to D&I initiatives right.

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Written by

Carrie Seifer is General Manager of the U.S. region at GWI. Focused on leading business strategy, Carrie has a strong background in high-growth business environments, previously holding executive roles at IBM, Publicis, Millennial Media and Conde Nast. With particular expertise in creating go-to-market strategies within advertising, B2B and media sectors, she helps to power companies with the right intelligence.

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