Like many of you, we have read reports of people shopping more online and spending the same amount they spent last year, or maybe spending less. Perhaps they’re shopping earlier or waiting. But we hadn’t read studies of how people feel. There is plenty on what people may buy (Backyard heaters) and not a lot on what’s going through their heads as they envision the holidays in 2020.
At Empower, part of being an Un-Holding company is having permission to follow that intuition. That little “what if” or “why” question that nags in the back of our minds. It’s unlocking the why that helps make our work resonate, stick and support our audiences when they need it most. We want to intercept, not interrupt. So, we fielded a study earlier in October and were quickly inspired by what consumers told us.
What did we learn? Consumers are holding a lot right now. The desire for the holidays to be normal is real with visions of cozy dinners, twinkling lights and a few presents abound. But, so do the worries, the fears and the dread of being alone or missing someone who isn’t at the table this year.
We’re calling this observation the X-Factor. Merriam-Webster defines the X-Factor as a circumstance, quality or person that has a strong but unpredictable influence.
This year, the contradictory nature of the emotions consumers are feeling will have an unpredictable influence on how they approach the holidays.
You may have this data in hand already. You may have plans set. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s important to be flexible and open to new thinking. Small nudges of insight in the right direction may just help your brand or product meet the needs of consumers today.
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