New Report: Rethinking Value During a Cost of Living Crisis

Special Reports

Today we’re launching a new report from our Cultural Insights department: Rethinking Value During a Cost of Living Crisis. It explores the new ways people are expressing value in the current economic climate, and identifies how this is playing out on social and in culture.

Here, the report’s author, our Head of Research & Insight Paul Greenwood, gives an overview of the new behaviours we’ve identified and how marketers can understand and use them.

We’re currently living in a permacrisis, with multiple overlapping crises and major cultural shifts impacting our day to day lives. From wealth inequality, to distrust in institutions, and of course, climate change. 

This is the backdrop to our most recent report – Rethinking Value During a Cost of Living Crisis. In a time when our behaviours in culture and on social media are changing significantly, Rethinking Value examines people’s attitudes to value – how it’s expressed and what has changed in the current climate.

For example, we’ve found that digital life hacks have entered a new era. Shopping at budget stores has become a badge of honour, showcased via TikTok challenges. Collector culture has suddenly become more accessible, with inexpensive spoils shared on social platforms. 

Creator behaviour is also changing. Influencers are flexing what they know rather than what they have. From the ‘deinfluencing’ trend to the re-emergence of ‘how to’ videos, creators are trying to help consumers with the small things that will improve their day-to-day lives.

The report features exclusive data from our partners, Statista Q, with a survey of 2,000 UK and US social media users discovering that 45% of all adults and 62% of Gen Z actively look for more money-saving content on social media since the cost of living crisis hit. Moreover, more than a quarter of people are now more likely to click on or purchase budget products that are advertised or shared on social media, and 59% say that influencers have helped them find cheaper options.

Rethinking Value identifies four cultural shifts around value and highlights what they mean for marketers.

The Knowledge Flex: Value is expressed by flexing what you know, rather than what you have.

New Materialism: People are rejecting and rebuilding old ideals of what ‘value’ looks like.

Performative Denial: People are constructing and editing ‘the good life’ into being. 

Deliberate Living: Value is derived from consumption that brings outsized impact and joy.

See the full report here

To hear more insights from our team, sign up for our Rethinking Value webinar on 16th May at 10am BST, hosted by Head of Research and Insight, Paul Greenwood, and Global Chief Strategy Officer, Mobbie Nazir.