AUS NORMALITY INDEX – Week 9

AUS NORMALITY INDEX – Week 9

This week the Normality Index provides a story of steady improvement in the drivers of our normality.  Week 9 saw the Normality Index at 59% up from 52% last week.  Our most important driver of normality, confidence in the economy,  remains low but is up by 13% from last week. And Australians are increasingly feeling comfortable socialising and moving about in public which are both up by 20% this week to 64% and 60%, both important drivers of our sense of normality.

With JobKeeper due to cease at the end of October, are Australians looking far enough into the future with regard to their financial wellbeing?  We are also cautiously watching Australians’ social behaviours and wondering if we can maintain our sense of joint civic responsibility to social distance so that we can keep the lid on the infection rates.  If we conflate the Forethought Normality Index data, with Forethought’s anthropological observations and the known knowns regarding the economic support packages and social movements, we are left with the question….are we in the eye of the storm?

KEY OBSERVATIONS WEEK 9

  • OUR ANXIETY REMAINS HEIGHTENED:  Whilst all other consumption-related emotions are moving back to pre-Covid19 levels, our Anxiety remains heightened.  Whilst this is probably no surprise, its impact on our behaviour needs to be understood.  Anxiety is an inhibitor of decision making.  In a consumer behaviour context making a purchase is a decision, so if we have any level of anxiety those decisions will be delayed.
  • SILVER LINING FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL:  For our travel sector clients, Australians intention to travel domestically has improved by 57% since Week 1.  While intention is still at historically low levels the direction has been consistently trending positive.  One key factor here will be the degree to which we feel safe travelling.
  • TRUST = ACTION + COMMUNICATIONS:  we can’t help but observe the performance of Western Australia on sense of Normality.  Initially the state with the lowest Normality Score, WA is now registering the highest.  Western Australians now have the highest level of Trust in their state government’s performance.  Are there lessons for organisations in the way Premier McGowan has structured the strategy and communications around lock-down and then the easing of local restrictions?Forethought has analysed Trust in consumer behaviour.  We identified the drivers as Capability, Benevolence and Character.  These vary by category and market conditions, and a brand’s competitive performance can be monitored on each driver allowing management action and market communication to target performance improvement (our whitepaper ‘Trust: Before Reconstruction comes Deconstruction’ can be read here).  ‘Brand’ WA is certainly strongly outperforming the ‘competitors’.

And on another note for Marketers, we are observing differences between the states responses, and wonder if adjustments need to be made to activities such as media spend.

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