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A week may be a long time in politics, but a fortnight can feel like a lifetime in lockdown. Based on our fortnightly COVID-19 reports, which cover both broad societal and category specific topics, it seems that two weeks is the cycle time for change. In this, our third fortnightly webinar, the overriding observation is how consumers are changing from thinking about life after the virus, to finding ways to adapt and live through it. Resolving the Confidence Crisis We know that context is a key driver for behaviour, not just for consumers, but for businesses too; in the context of the world not returning to normal any time soon and the looming economic crisis, lack of confidence is a key issue. It strikes me that one of the key differences between now and the financial crisis in 2008 is the degree of digitisation of our lives. The experience of lockdown would have been entirely different in 2008: at that time Facebook counted its users in the millions, not the billions and only 17% of people owned a smartphone. Shrewd brands are using digital methods to drive innovation and create new opportunities out of the current situation – and at Black Swan Data, we are supporting these brands, using digital methods to listen to what consumers are saying, and to analyse what that means. “This is where the rubber hits the road. Many of us have worked for many years crafting our brand purposes. Now this is the time to put them into action. It’s time for brands to step up.” Cherie Leonard, Associate Director of Foresight and Sustainability Insights, Colgate Palmolive The key challenges and questions we’re hearing from clients right now are ‘how can we be confident about capital expenditure, about which innovation projects to back and which research investment to prioritise?’ Businesses need confidence to drive the economy forward and that’s something we, as insight professionals, have the ability to deliver through robust consumer research. Diverging Behaviours in Personal Care Mike Grogan, Client Strategy Director at Black Swan drew on data from our most recent Personal Care Beacon reports, where we’re seeing discussion moving on from hygiene as the main topic of interest, towards unavailable out-of-home services like spa treatments, hairdressing and dentistry. As we come to accept that these services will be unavailable for longer than first thought, we’re starting to experiment and find solutions. This offers rich opportunities for CPG brands in this space. However, we’re seeing diverging behaviours dependant on the sub-category. Spa treatments: a huge rise in conversations around Manicures […]


The Personal Care category has arguably undergone some of the most significant changes throughout the pandemic, with consumer needs and behaviors diverging, having implications on the trends that are likely to disrupt the category, at least in the short to medium term. Discover the impact in this blog.


In our latest webinar, we set out to debunk the ‘new normal’. Five weeks into lockdown, we wanted to explore what has really changed? How much have we moved on, not from pre-Covid-19, which seems like another world (remember how we used to meet in person back then?) but from lockdown week two? And what will be the changes that stick? It’s hard to make predictions in times of rapid change, but our speakers gave us some great steers as to how to cut through the noise and start to understand the trends that may have traction in the future.