July 16, 202130 behavioral insights to help you get ahead

To celebrate hitting 30,000 insights articles on the Canvas8 Library, we’ve put together a list of the 30 behaviors bubbling beneath the surface that you need to be tracking, now. Use these 30 weird and wacky behavioral titbits from our analysts to spark new thinking, inspire that new business idea or identify a change of direction for your brand. Go on, arm yourself with expert cultural insight (and excellent dinner chat) for the rest of 2021!

Josie Colter

🎾People want to close generational mental health gaps– Naomi Osaka's exit from the French Open highlighted a divided response across different age groups – showing the need for inter-generational education

🍺People are missing spontaneity – Pubs and holiday homes in the UK are being booked out months in advance, leading to disappointment. How can brands come to the rescue?

🎁People are sticking with online gifting– online gift-giving became a way to demonstrate affection from afar. But even post-pandemic, experts predict deliveries and subscriptions will be the gift that keeps on giving, with Britons set to spend as much as £240 million annually on gift subscription boxes by 2022.

🍼People want to future-proof their babies – Parents are feeding their kids peanuts safely and often, to safe-guard their future health. But the glut of nutritional information online and around products can make things confusing – 80% of people have encountered conflicting information about food and nutrition and 59% of them say that this makes them doubt the healthfulness of their choices.

🌏People like green buzzwords, but they don’t understand them– eco, sustainable, recycled, compostable... a knowledge gap means most people don’t actually know what they mean, and enables companies to get away with greenwashing.26% of people are very likely to believe a company that uses words like 'green' to describe its products and 23% are still much more likely to purchase from those companies, too.

❤️People need support coping with separation anxiety - as parents return back to work, brands can support kids and pets deal with being alone. With impending lifestyle changes post-pandemic, 46% of people are worried about missing important child development milestones and 30% are concerned about losing the closeness they've built.

✈️People want to hang out at airports – feeling aimless and lost, young people are turning to liminal spaces to work out their anxieties around the future. Seven in ten Gen Zers are anxious about their future, expressing concerns about employment and their ability to earn money.

👾People are using video game worlds for free-form creativity – hacktivists are housing controversial government-censored materials deep in the virtual worlds of Minecraft – the latest tool in an activist’s arsenal. With more than 3 billion people globally gaming, video games have become important vessels for ideas.

🥀People are over toxic positivity - enter, defeatism- the latest trend sweeping Gen Zer’s TikToks, epitomised by the trend for ‘lying down’ and Lelush’s grumpy attitude and penchant for slacking, young people are opting out of the rat race by taking defiant naps.

People want bad behavior to stop in live sports events – a period of fan absence has made player abuse both more shocking and unacceptable. 41% of ethnically diverse fans in the UK say fear of racial and physical abuse makes them hesitant to attend events, so how can brands stop commoditizing and start humanizing sports stars?

🍔 People don't want to work in restaurants– eateries across America are suffering from the same problem: not enough staff. With key workers gaining praise during the pandemic, but no pay rise – how can businesses help people feel valued and rewarded?

📱Young people don't recognize memes as tools for activism – even though 55% of Americans shared a political meme between June and September 2020, 72% of them said that memes and other humorous content were helping them cope. Gen Zer’s haven’t necessarily connected the dots between humor and politics, and brands can use humor to shatter apathy and boost brand engagement.

🚲People want to keep traveling locally – could sustainability concerns reshape the ways that Britons plan their holidays post-pandemic? It very much seems so – with 53% of people wanting to travel more sustainably post-pandemic, and 48% wanting to visit alternative destinations to avoid overcrowding.

🎮People want communities built around niche interests – the passion economy is growing as social media users become more discerning with their time and attention. As a result, 50% of Britons say they would join a new social platform or app dedicated to one of their passions, so how can brands create spaces for people to deep dive into their passions?

🌿People are using botanical flavors as emotional boosts – and associate them with different emotions, with ginger, guarana, and ginseng being the top three energetic botanicals. With people in need of an emotional boost, and 97% of people perceiving botanical flavours as a way to stay healthy, brands can consider the positives of botanical extracts.

📗People are aspiring to 'bookfluencers'– The rise of mega-influencers turned bookfluencers links to a broader societal shift of reprioritising values, moving away from superficial and aesthetics-focused traits to more empowering ones. With 80% of Gen Zers thinking beauty is about confidence, not appearance, how can brands get real with the creators they work with?

💪People can’t get enough of protein - so much so, they’re even putting it in their coffee - enter, ‘proffee’. One of the top three reasons people are going mad for protein is related to self-improvement, with over a third of people saying they consume it to help build muscle health and strength, but hidden sugars and low-quality carbs can make these choices less than perfect.

🗽People want diverse storylines and non-English narratives – catering to the thirst for complex cultural stories, Oscar-winning Minari reflected the diversity of American experiences, yet the entertainment industry is still losing $10 billion per yeardue to a lack of opportunities and poor representation for Black artists.

📸People are faking mirror selfies– The overly polished Instagram aesthetic has lost its pull for many young people who prefer relatability and informality. It’s why the most engaged-with content on TikTok is inherently casual and seemingly off-the-cuff. As brands find ways to engage with younger audiences online, there are opportunities to help them communicate their true personalities, even if the means of doing so isn’t ‘real’.

🐹People want AI pets– tech receives tough press for breeding loneliness, but since the pandemic, people are re-appreciating tech for how it can help bring people together. Brands can help people find tech more friendly, such as Moflin, a little fluffy AI robot hamster designed to offer people solace, comfort and company.

🌿People want to microdose drugs – achieve the perfect high with dosing device 'Mode', that lets users adjust cannabis doses to the milligram. With weed becoming increasingly legalized and normalized, people want the modern-day benefits of smart-tech to enhance their highs.

👚People want sexy on their termssexy crochet has been a fave this summer – searches for ‘sexy’ clothes have soared since January, but Gen Zers are redefining what that means for style.

😴People will go to any lengths to get a good night’s sleep – forget smart pillows and sleep spray - at-home sleep tool Tatch has introduced wearable stickers to the sleep market. Sleep became a core focus of self-care during the pandemic, and people are keen to keep this wellness habit up.

🦇People don’t want to abandon their recluse lifestyles – ‘Cave syndrome’ is making some people hesitant to leave their ‘nests’ and get back to socialising. It affects two camps: those who value the perks of lockdown life, such as working from home, and vaccinated individuals who retain a fear of infection.

🍆People want plant based BBQs as flexitarianism becomes a norm, people want to nail alt meat cook outs to gain social-influence. But with last-minute shopping a thing for impromptu BBQs (60% shop for BBQ supplies last-minute, which can result in forgetting some items) - how can brands make these products more readily available?

📣People want activism to return to its roots – people are wary of disingenuous corporate action and value driven campaigns, particularly during Pride, so how can brands signal legitimate solidarity?

🎥People are finding their faith on YouTube – driven by conservative Christian groups, Alt faith channels, driven by Boomers seeking a sense of belonging, feature a blend of virus denialism, anti-government content, and conspiracy videos. Overlooked, it’s understandable that this cohort is finding comfort in alternative leadership, such as through thepastors of megachurches.

😓People are sick of hustle culture – particularly Gen Y and Gen Z, who see it as unpaid labor. The ‘Uberization’ of the workforce is a scary prospect for young people, who increasingly rely on employers to help foster a work-life balance – so how can businesses make the workplace feel like a source of comfort and stability?

👗People are exploring 'live' clothes that sequester carbon – the pinnacle of eco-fashion, carbon-negative clothing could well be the future of eco-friendly fashion. Nearly nearly half (46%) of people in France bought recycled, organic, locally-made clothing.

🤗People are aspiring to become ‘neighbourhood aunties’– grassroots community leaders. As people (particularly Gen Yers) reject the high-pressure corporate life and internationalism, they are shifting their energies to focus on sustaining their local communities. Brands could take cues from Erdos, which feeds into people’s appetite for 'guochao'.

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