The selfie quarantined: Unveiling new consumer truths


By Devendra Chawla

Over the past decade, the rise of social media has fuelled the Selfie Culture, a projection of one’s state-of-being to the world. From influencers to the common person, selfies have the power to transform one and veil the truth. They have ushered in an era of social compliance. Then the pandemic hit, we covered our faces and the selfie was quarantined, in a manner of speaking. But as a result, we get to see the real face of the person behind the Selfie and unveil new consumer truths.

Rise of the Clean Era:
Clean food, clean labels, clean beauty and so on, and the decluttering of everything.

The lens with which we view ‘cleanliness’ has, in a way, changed to include more than just hygiene. The pandemic triggered the declutter mode, many “unnecessary” things and attachments were cleared. It has made us feel lighter in many ways. Purpose and authenticity are valued more than ‘face value’.

Today younger consumers are voting with their purchases, asking brands to show their ‘clean self’. Consumers are unclicking the glamour quotient and super claims.

Face value of brands is giving way to heart value.

Sustainability and traceability roots go deeper:
When nature forced humankind to slowdown in the blind rush of gratification, mental modes shifted from many shallow gratifications to deeper connections and reflections.

In food, now more than ever the saying “you are what you eat” is leading us to explore and understand what and how we eat. In beauty, we want more organic, natural, toxin-free. The role of food traceability will be critical for brands to continue to stay relevant to consumers.

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Sustainability will occupy the mental modes of consumers and brands don’t have the luxury to ignore the theme of sustainability in products, ways of working and brand promise.

From FOMO to JOMO:
The boom in remote working culture and its many paradoxes.

The rise of WFH and work-from-anywhere has made the organized workforce more inclusive. As people previously left out join the workforce and gain financial independence, they will play an increasingly important role in the decision making process for any purchase.

Meanwhile, in the always-on and information overload age, fear of missing out (FOMO) has been replaced with joy of missing out (JOMO), as time for oneself becomes the new luxury.

The Selfie un-masked:
From experiencing the world and everything in a multisensorial way to a flat screen and 2D world.

While fear, anxiety and helplessness brought to the fore acute safety and hygiene concerns, it also brought in a radical shift towards deeper introspection. We were forced to question the fundamentals of real-existence, rather than the projected-existence.

As with businesses, inflated valuations of oneself don’t seem to matter as much anymore. Real growth and improvement of oneself has become more important than projected symbols of success. Welcome to the era of the ‘Un-Selfie’, an emerging expression denoting a return to our roots and the basics.





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