Young Generations and Embracing the Digital World Will Dictate the Changes in Post-Covid Consumerism

Conclusions of the webinar DIRECT TALKS From Home: Insights vs. Myths: What really awaits us after Covid19?

Whether they were created before or after the coronavirus pandemic, brands will settle their problems in a new communication with younger generations. Virtual events have become a must in strategies. Not all influencers have the same prospects for survival. The gaming industry is big-time mainstream. The users for large screens are finally discovering their functionalities – these are the conclusions of the 7th edition of DIRECT TALKS From Home webinar, with the participation of: Sanja Dimitrijević, Group Account Director, We Are Social, Germany, Katarina Todorović, Product Owner, United Cloud, Jelena Stošić, Strategy Director Kids Industries, The Family Agency, London, UK, Miloš Skokić, Managing Partner, Žiška. Discussions moderated by: Ljubica Vukčević, Head of Research & Insight, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions

The desire of youth to belong

From the very first day of the lockdown in the UK, the Family Agency from London has followed the changes in the habits of families, which changes indicate that we are on the verge of more lasting changes of behaviour with that target group of consumers. According to Jelena Stošić, mental health has gained in importance.   “The communication aspect must be carefully managed and as for product development, this generation will be marked by a desire to belong and seek out for their respective communities. All this has to be identified and properly used by the brands,” Jelena indicates.

The virtual world as a must

According to Sanja Dimitrijević, the German-based agency We are Social stepped deeply into the world of virtual events during the pandemic, believing that such events will become an integral part of 360 strategies. “We had an experience with our clients from Audi when the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled 36 hours before the launch of the new A3 model. We did a live stream for the first time and it all went brilliantly. The outcome is that even much more conservative clients have now realized that it’s not such a big deal anymore, but perhaps the only way to organize events in 2020 in a completely legitimate way,” Sanja says.

New habits for larger screens

The number of subscribers on streaming platforms skyrocketed during the pandemic, but it was already up nonetheless. According to Katarina Todorović from United Cloud, the coronavirus situation has proven to be a golden age for streaming platforms that gained in popularity. “The ratings of streaming platforms at weekly level increased by 400 years and by the end of 2020, these platforms are expected to gain an additional 45 million users. “While the ratings have fallen after the state of emergency was lifted, the good news is that the consumers have become aware of all the functionalities of the platforms and are expected to retain certain of these newly acquired habits going forward,” Katarina says.

Influencers will survive

When it comes to influencers, according to Miloš Skokić from the Žiška agency, there will be no full return to the old situation and the recession will most definitely result in a decrease of consumption for this channel. “As for the influence and role of influencers during the pandemic, it was observed that content creators survived, as opposed to influencers in the narrow sense, who were focused on self-promotion.

“The value of content means a great deal. What we see as a trend with children is that the main influencers, which are from three main areas – gaming, toys unboxing and challenges – are relatively resilient categories. They switched to TikTok and that is super fun for children. Generally speaking, influencers here are more resilient to such changes, since it is officially a well-organized industry and they have become the standard for campaign planning”, says Jelena Stošić.

Gaming is big-time mainstream

According to Miloš Skokić, in terms of gaming, we will see a short-term growth, followed by a mild decline mid-term and renewed growth on the long run. This is a precedent in terms of sponsoring, because you also have Gillette, as well as brands from the sector of banking, insurance and savings that sponsor various segments in the live transmissions and create relevant content for the users on this platform,” Miloš says.

New values

According to the participants of the webinar, values will be the most affected by the changes and accordingly the perception of certain products, services and brands.

“When we talk to 10 or 11-year olds, we can see that things are changing dramatically. Young people have different values, starting from the respect for life resources and changed the perception about the actual possession of products”, Jelena Stošić says.

According to Sanja Dimitrijević, premium brands in the car industry will survive only because they have recognized on time the problems that emerged before the coronavirus pandemic – namely that the younger generations prefer car sharing to owning a car, which used to be the Holy Grail. “Turning to sustainability is the path many brands will take”, Sanja says.

“The narrative is changing. Games are becoming an important social mechanism, as evidenced by the popular virtual concerts and cooperative games. We can expect more games in the most general sense, in the virtual space, where we can socialize, hang out and discover aspects of our personality that we don’t see in the online world”, Miloš Skokić concludes.

Watch the entire webinar here

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