The rise and rise of Unapologetic Activism in Australia

Cricket Australia drops the Big Bash’s association with Australia Day.

Eddie McGuire resigns as Collingwood Football Club President.

Australian news headlines were supposed to be dominated by the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine; however, we find attention is instead on the revelation of an alleged 2019 rape in a minister’s Parliament House office; the young alleged victim is calling out a lack of standards for behaviour in this most privileged of workplaces.

Global Activism is on the rise

‘Unapologetic Activism’ is just one of the 14 consumer trends identified in our new 2021 Culture + Trends Report: Happiness Reset. In the report, we quantify these trends globally in 16 markets (including 1000 quant interviews in Australia) to measure consumers’ attitudes towards the trends as well as how they are acting upon each trend when buying brands.

Unapologetic Activism’ is highlighted by the data as an emerging trend in Australia. These are times when transparency and authenticity are key; therefore, younger Australians (56%) are buying from brands that are calling out injustice and discrimination. Brands should pay attention. Moreover, they should positively impact a cause and call out deep-rooted discrimination in society. Authentically calling out relevant issues specific to local markets is key for success with this trend.

Of equal note is the uniquely expanding trend (in Australia) of ‘Neighbourly Networks. 61% of Australians feel responsible to actively support the people and businesses in their local community, with no generational divide. Categories most strongly associated with this trend are grocery, retail, and fashion; but opportunity exists as 22% of consumers still find no sector strongly associated with the trend.

Community ties

A great example of the trend is in response to last year’s reaction to the bushfire crisis. The online marketplace #buyfromthebush made it easy for small, rural businesses to sell their products by bridging the connection between city consumers and rural sellers. BFTB generated AUD5 million of revenue in the first four months; this resulted in 20% of businesses employing new staff and bringing much needed funds to rural areas affected by drought, fires, and flood.

COVID-19 undoubtedly accelerated this trend; consumers are recognising the value of community ties to their social lifestyles; and new platforms are enabling local networks to tackle growing concerns about education gaps, loneliness, and sustainability. Brands should consider how they can navigate this space with partnerships or upskilling schemes that actively support specific communities and small businesses.

I highlighted just two of the trends that stand out amongst consumers in Australia and should therefore be on the radar for brands in 2021. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.

2021 Culture + Trends report

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