3 ways brands can benefit from social pruning

December 11, 2020

Bye, then?

Why 2021 is the year for social pruning – and 3 ways brands can benefit

Consumers are set to cull toxic contacts to boost their wellbeing in 2021. They’ll increasingly see the company they keep as important to their physical and mental health as careers, homes, health and nutrition. And brands are in prime position to help them reassess, reconnect or relinquish.  

The boost in ‘Social Wellness’ is just one of the new trends featured in Trending 2021 – The Report – our definitive guide to the trends shaping consumer mindsets and expectations next year.  

Pandemic shines light on social circles    

While COVID-19 has reminded consumers of the value of their relationships, it has also made them address which people they want into their limited social orbit and which may pose potential health threats.  Consumers now hold parallel needs: to invest in ways to rekindle and strengthen social bonds, and to check or prune toxic contacts.

Brands have already started to capitalise on the social recalibration. Absolut Vodka recently launched its new “can’t wait for #togetherIRL” campaign, highlighting that the brand is on standby to help repair and lubricate social connections as soon as consumers can meet again in person. And Snapchat has released a slate of astrology features which allow users to create a detailed astrology profile to determine how compatible they would be with others.

Reunite, repair or root out in 2021?

As pandemic separation recedes, next year will see consumers looking to reappraise social ties. At first, they may try to reconcile differences rather than end relationships completely. But those who cause stress or sadness may need to be rooted out entirely. For others, such relationship management will represent snowflakeism: the inability to tolerate those with differing world views and challenging perspectives.

In any scenario, brands will be in a position to help consumers reconnect. At its core, Social Wellness is about living a fuller life: brands can only benefit by helping consumers achieve this. 

How can you help keep social connections alive, but also highlight empathy and togetherness?  

  • Reassure consumers that social pruning is okay. Help consumers recognise and end harmful relationships safely and kindly. Your brand can offer encouragement – or consolation to excluded individuals. 
  • Emphasises how your brand brings people together. Evaluate the social benefits of your offerings. Is there a common thread of human connection that runs through them? What CSR efforts are you engaged in that support community-building or the health of families or friend groups? Perhaps use real-life stories from customers who first met in your spaces or bonded over a shared love of your offerings.

Offer rewards that bolster social connections. Tailor perks for your customers’ social circle, such as by offering group discounts and experience packages that enable them to spend more quality time with friends. This will both reward loyal customers and expose potential ones to the benefits of being a brand follower.

Want to understand more about how consumer trends will impact your business and sector in 2021? Download our Trending 2021 Preview Report now.


Written by Emily Cullen

As Trends Manager at Foresight Factory my role revolves around spotting and quantifying new consumer trends, with a particular focus on Health, Beauty and Food innovation. I am also responsible for managing our team of Trends Strategists, and through this helping to ensure the smooth and high quality delivery of content to clients.

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