New research: Human needs in the ‘new normal’

How do these changes impact expectations on brands?

New research shows how the pandemic impacts core human needs – and what this means for brands.

The study has been conducted by Firefish, an insight agency I know from my time at Tate in the past. The research gives some relevant and interesting insights into what people across different generations are looking for in this time and how brands can help meet some of those needs. While done in the US, I think a lot of this is relevant here and applicable to cultural organisations.

Unsurprisingly the research reflects how dramatically life has changed across most aspects and for all generations. The basic human need of safety dominates currently, followed by Wellbeing.

The re-priorisation of needs leads to expectations people have from brands and these might influence a company’s reputation in the longterm. People see through marketing and how organisations act in a crisis can reveal how much they actually live up to their values.

People have expectations of brands, the research shows that in the main, people expect brands to:

  • step up and do something – this can be either helping directly or, if that’s not possible, providing a platform for help
  • show compassion, starting with staff
  • contribute to lightening the conversation
Source: Firefish report

The report finishes with a more detailed and practical summary of ‘where brands can help to meet evolving needs’. It seems to me that most of these findings can easily be interpreted for arts organisations (and many organisations have already provided activities in some of these areas).

What do you think? Does your experience in recent weeks correspond with these findings?

Read the report here: Firefish Human Needs in the New Normal

Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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