A blog by Teresa Santos, research and social strategist
We’ve come a long way this past year, pushing through a pandemic that has made us all question the deeper and more primary aspects of our human existence: our emotions, behavior and most basic needs.
From worldwide racial and social justice protests sparked by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to a global climate change emergency call -now with a deadline (2030) asking for everyone’s collaboration, to diverse human-to-human factors like listening and caring for each other again, the diverse issues we’ve been confronted with have made us realize what we’ve been truly missing: humanity.
This has brought us to a tipping point, making us rethink our ways of being and existing with ourselves, others, and the environment we live within. It has pushed us out of our comfort zones and into finding new, valuable and tangible ways of doing — ones that are healthier, more social and, overall, more human.
2021 has arrived and, besides all we’ve gone through, overall we are willing to improve, innovate and be better. In order to see what trends, insights, and other curiosities we may expect to arise in this new year, we created an ‘Insights Report’ divided into what we found were the most relevant topics;
- Humanize your brand
- Understand the (online) generation gap
- Our home as the centerpiece of our lives
- The growth of Health & Wellbeing
- Activism at its core, both in organizations and society at large
- Tech Giants, where they’re at and how to deal with them
From our research, we’ve been able to confirm something we’ve been developing, and already started to apply, at Boomerang –from our people to our clients, with tools like EEG Research and the Social Scan- how a human approach is not only needed, but from now on a must in order to differentiate yourself from others, whilst doing true, long-term good in the world.
We’ve also dived deeper into the generation gap, finding how there are multiple differences both between and within generations, and how this too reflects differently in their online usage. Also, especially this year, our home has become our centerpiece, and health & well-being a more prioritized aspect of our lives. These two big categories seem to have come to stay for the long-run, and thus inspiring innovation and creativity for companies to offer new products and services for people who are now spending more time indoors, to feel as happy and healthy as possible.
Furthermore, we expect this year to be key for activism, with every company being put under the spotlight. People are more aware than ever of the amount of influence, power, and therefore, responsibility, communication can have and, to quote David Attenborough, “Saving our planet is now a communications challenge.” And of course when speaking about it, you must take real action— that is why companies are starting the change with themselves!
Lastly, with the pandemic forcing us to isolate ourselves from any physical interaction, for many it has felt more like fighting an’ infodemic’ instead. Therefore, tech giants have implied new privacy policies, and content is now being carefully examined in order to avoid misinformation that could add (even more) tension and confusion to the current atmosphere. This has made us ask ourselves what alternative communication channels there are -if any-, and how brands can better identify the most effective and human ways to reach people in order to gain a deep understanding of their wants and needs in such distant and uncertain times.
Anyhow, we remain positive as we believe that going back to our core -to being human again- is something we can only look forward to with hope, excitement and joy. Not to forget: vaccines will be implemented soon, and that means we will be able to be together and enjoy face to face interaction– hopefully sooner than what we can imagine. In the meantime, we shall keep up with a passionate spirit, creative soul, and, of course, being truly SOCIAL – even if, for now, we’re together_apart!