Monthly Archives: February 2021

Trends After COVID-19

We are all waiting to get back to it! 

I have never been so anxious to get out of the house, see a movie, have lunch with friends, go on a vacation, hug my grandchildren, and just plain have some out-of-home fun!!!  Many of our clients are wondering how this will all happen when we’re free to mingle again, and what will be some of the lasting trends.  As such, we did an overview of six trends or values in the leisure and entertainment industries that we believe are here to stay in our behavior as a result of the COVID confinement. 

1. Value for the Money

According to a 2020 Kinsey report of 75,000 consumers surveyed around the world, “value for money” was the highest rated purchase driver, being rated number one by 63% of people surveyed.  The post-pandemic customer wants to feel they have made a smart purchase decision, regardless of the sector, be it retail, entertainment, or health care.  This value is positively associated with digital information and purchasing ease. 

2.  Localization and Ease of Buying

Since consumers are being forced to “stay at home” or close to home, and as distant and foreign travel has dropped precipitously, consumers value easy access and purchase experiences for all types of goods and services close to home.  Again, this points to the need for a seamless online experience for potential guests in the form of social media and information technology associated with purchasing, advertising and promotion.

3. Staycations

Hand-in-hand with localization of goods and services, Staycations are valued in this down economy.  This trend always emerges in recessions and/or depressions.  New attractions that present an outstanding experience will likely be highly valued after the economy rebounds.  Prices must be carefully set to allow resource-strapped consumers to enjoy themselves without breaking their bank!

4. Digitalization

Digitalization has accelerated as a consequence of the pandemic, opening opportunities for the attraction industry.  Operational strategies for delivering an experience for the customer to learn about and purchase admission, other amenities (such as merchandise and concert tickets) as well as other events must be developed and exploited.  Adopting digitalization as a marketing platform with personalized experiences based on the guest’s past behavior and purchase history will be of paramount importance to attractions and retail.

5. Need for Safety and Trust in Brands

In the McKinsey global survey, personal safety was ranked as important by 40% of respondents.  This is coupled with trust in the brand.  Brands must deliver on their promise with a sense of purpose and meeting the safety needs of both customers and employees.  Also on the rise in consumer expectations is the commitment to environmental and social policies.  The technology and backstory/concept of the brand should be front and center in the digital and collateral materials developed, highlighting the creation of a safe and attractive place.  Retail, leisure and entertainment brands should advertise commitment to the environment and public health policies.

6. Surge in Some Activities

Initially, there will be a huge surge in doing the things we’ve missed most.  Then demand will stabilize, but we must be ready for the onslaught of business when the world normalizes.

According to Datassentials, 2021 January report, here are the rank-ordered activities we can’t wait to get back to post COVID life:

Source: Dataessentials

In summary, we believe our post-COVID world will be a different place than the one we knew before 2020.  Addressing the obvious and subtle shifts in consumer wants and needs will determine future success in the leisure and entertainment industries.