So we are all in a bit of shock at the moment. The world is experiencing a health and economic crisis. Global health is paramount at this point, yet we are also concerned with the longer term issue of prosperity. 

Retailers, wholesales, manufactures and creative agencies are all searching for a solution to both challenges.

Discretionary spending has fallen in many categories but is booming in others. Online business in furniture and homewares categories is very strong. This may be a momentary spike in demand. No one is sure how long it will be before consumers are willing and able to open their their wallets again to the same level as before. 

Secondly, our collective concern is more the big question of how will consumer behaviour change post Corona? 

  • Will consumers be more conservative, altruistic, connected, and wise? 
  • Or will consumer return to rampant, short lifecycle consuming as we have experienced in the previous decade? 
  • Will tastes change or will they stay the same?

There are as many opinions as there are variables to this question. One thing we believe at MC&Co is that there will still be 6 key Aspirational Segments driving taste and home interior lifestyle. They are the key to making your brand, and your products, more resilient when wallets open again. 

What is Aspirational Segmentation? 

Our research and experience has identified that there are 6 key decorative styles or aspirations. These segments are the most important aspect of TREND identification. In a world of self curated news feeds, these aspirational segments are quickly developing into tribal communities that self propel both an individual and a group style. These segments sit beside demographic and psychographic profiling but are not defined by age or earnings. When used in conjunction with historical consumer profiling, Aspirational Segments provide an excellent opportunity for consumer brands to focus and build tribal brand advocates. The tribe is more important than ever in these uncertain times. Yes, they are women because women are the primary decorators. Let’s introduce them to you.

The Ordered Woman 

I aspire to be structured, strategic, educated and considered. I seek comfort in order. I love “design”. I am architecturally focused. I see value in classicism.

The Grounded Woman

 I aspire to be earthy, spiritual, healthy and of independent mind. I seek meaning and connection. I focus on authenticity. I see value in artisanship.

The Escapist Woman 

I aspire to be relaxed, friendly, collaborative and welcoming. I seek comfort in good times. I love vacations. I am friendship focused. I see value in the outdoors.

The Opulent Woman

I aspire to be sophisticated and worldly.  I seek comfort in luxury. I am glamour focused. I see value in the cosmetic.

The Nostalgic Woman 

I aspire to celebrate history. I seek comfort in the past. I am retrospectively focused. I see value in many different eras.

The Playful Woman 

I aspire to be cheerfully rebellious and noticed. I seek comfort in whimsy and humour. I am colour focused. I see value in light heartedness.

Why are these women so important? 

Because they are self selecting into a specific interior expression that represents who they are as a person. 

They are the decorators. 

They are very brand loyal and prefer a holistic approach to not only their interior, but also their personal lifestyle expression 

They are the customers you can catch and keep, but only if your brand position and product offer is focused on them. 

A business  can focus on more than one, but many lifestyle brands find it difficult to service all segments effectively. The most successful brands focus on one or two. 

There are many moods that express each aspiration and speaking to these women effectively requires the application of a scientific process, which you can read about on our Trend Intelligence page. We are showing only a snapshot of one mood within each aspiration here. The differences are very clear.

Knowing and inspiring these women within their specific aspiration is crucial in a post corona environment.

 “But why” you ask?

 Because, they will be much more discerning about who they buy from. Many will have learned to do without.  

They will gravitate to absolute authenticity. Tokenism will be seen as inauthentic. Brand authenticity and a tribal focus will be paramount. 

Here are 6 things your brand can do now to start to building a relationship with these women.

  1. Define which of these women your brand, product and communications currently talk to – We don’t mean generally. It is important to be very specific. Can you narrow your business to 2 aspirations? You can use your merchandise and transactional data to do this.
  2. Assess the relevance of these segments post COVID  19. Will these women continue to express themselves in these ways or will they evolve into a different segmentation?
  3. Get to know your target aspirational segment in much more holistic detail. Deeply understand their total lifestyle and develop a plan to talk with them holistically rather than just through product and photography.
  4. Provide them with plentiful ,free, non product information – Think food, travel inspirations, apparel or relevant corona coping activities. Think about podcasts, zoom groups and style webinars. Be altruistic and authentic. Social media is a great vehicle.
  5. Be conversational and ask them what they are experiencing and how they are coping – how are they changing or how are they staying the same.

The Aspirational Changes post COVID 19

The MC&Co opinion is that there will be significant movement in Aspirational Segments when consumers return to decorating. Each of these women will still be wanting to express themselves within their aspiration, and will be looking to retailers to show them how to do it. There will be movement towards specific aspirations however.

 At the time of writing this article, we were still trying to “keep flattening  the curve” and we really can’t imagine what the world will look like in one month, let alone a year.

  • We expect a decrease in Opulent and Playful interior aspirations. Escape aspirations will maintain in popularity.
  • We forecast that there will be an increase in Grounded, Ordered and Nostalgic interior aspirations.

If you’d like to learn more about these Aspirational Segments book a call with our Managing Director, Michael Cleghorn, today. 

Be sure to also check out our latest reports and forecasts. 

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