AUS NORMALITY INDEX – Week 6

AUS NORMALITY INDEX – Week 6

After 7 weeks of patient compliance with significant limitations to our daily movements, we have seen the first states start to ease restrictions and it’s given us a real boost towards normality.  These first states might offer us some clues as to how we might rebound.


THIS WEEKS OBSERVATIONS
Over the past 7 weeks, your consumers have been forced to live differently.  Their values and behaviours will be altered by this experience. Some changes will stick, some will slip. But this will alter the competitive environment for brands.
Brands that consider themselves immune to those changes risk missing the opportunity to re-orient (offer, comms and experience) in readiness for the economic rebound.
One step closer to freedom…
In our model of what makes life normal, the most important driver of normality for Australians was ‘feeling comfortable to be out in public’.  After 7 weeks of patient compliance with significant limitations to our daily movements, we have seen the first states start to ease restrictions and it’s given us a real boost (16% up compared to last week, 36% improvement since lock down on 23 March 2020).
As a nation, we toed the line.  We stymied the infection rate.  Now, we’re keen to get out.
VIC and NSW, who remain on tight restrictions, remain more anxious.
Western and South Australia might offer lessons in how we rebound.  As their sense of normality improves with their sense of freedom, their level of anxiety dropped.
How quickly will the mental state improvement be followed by the tap of the credit card against the pay-wave machine?  What will be spending on?  We watch with interest.
Will the COVID-19 lockdown change us? Will those changes stick or slip by?
Whilst we observe our improving sense of normality, we are also mindful that during the restrictions, Australians have been forced to trial new ways of doing things – new services and new brands.
These trials will inform how we make decisions in the future – our behaviours and values will change.  Some of those changes will stick, and some will slip by.
Anthropology suggests that people will resist change until it is impossible to avoid.  We can see this in the forced adoption of digital services.  Hand up if your mother’s book group now meets online (even the over 80s Baby Zoomers).  This is a change that will likely stick.
The Normality Index is monitoring for signals of those changes.  One example, if there is a strong preference for home cooking, and no rush to get back to dining out – is this a change that will stick or slip by?
Many indicators are significantly up, with grocery and healthcare accessibility nearly back to normal

Ability to buy groceries and access healthcare are the drivers rebounding at the fastest rate, as continued government and category effort is invested to preserve these services.
Note: Significance testing was conducted between Week 5 and Week 6 at the 5% level of significance. Blue indicates the Week 6 result was significantly higher than the Week 5 result. Significance testing was also conducted between Week 1 and other weeks at the 5% level of significance. A blue box  indicates the other week result was significantly higher than the Week 1 result.
As we get back to business, the charge to normality is being driven by SA and WA

And as one of the early states to ease pandemic restrictions, emotionally, SA is the least anxious state in the nation

Note: Significance testing was conducted between weeks at the 5% level of significance. No significant differences were found.
SA is feeling the highest levels of Happiness, Love and Pride – and are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels on these emotions

Note: Significance testing was conducted between weeks at the 5% level of significance. A broken line indicates a significant difference

Sentiment towards content streaming and online banking continue to strengthen

Having freedom of movement restored means positive things for SA supermarkets, but not for restaurants and takeaway

Note: Significance testing was conducted between weeks at the 5% level of significance. A broken line indicates a significant difference.
Financial anxiety has eased, but don’t confuse that with financial engagement as intention to engage with professional advice slowly grows

Note: Significance testing was conducted between weeks at the 5% level of significance. A broken line indicates a significant difference.
Access the Normality Index data below