The Innovation Group is proud to present The Anxiety Economy, a new report examining the impact of uncertainty and fear on consumer behavior.
In the quest to achieve ultimate happiness, Americans are embarking on exhausting, expensive self-help seminars, meditation retreats, workplace wellness programs and endless positive self-talk – and yet, despite all of these safeguards, they are more anxious than ever before. The abundance of self-care doesn’t seem to be shielding anyone from an endless list of stressors, from financial insecurity to job insecurity to political upheaval.
The report explores how instability and disruption are having a profound impact on culture and emerging trends. Behavior driven by fear, from the extreme (and the paranoid) to the more justified, is creating new market opportunities to self-soothe and navigate the storm. Highlights include:
Workplace wellbeing: Fuelled by economic, financial and geopolitical fears, the workplace wellness market is already worth $48 billion and is growing at a rate of 4.8% per year as firms bring in equipment, services and programs designed to improve their employees’ mental and physical healthy.
Dystopic landscapes: These dark times are changing the way creatives and designers approach the concept of beauty. Makeup artists and luxury fashion designers are channeling the grotesque and transforming models into otherworldly creatures. The media and entertainment industries are also tapping into this dystopian mentality with TV series set in alternative worlds or futures.
The sex recession: Yes, these anxious times are impacting our sex lives. Millennials are reportedly having less sex and experts have been quick to link it to everything from the anxiety surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency to the uptick in rates of depression.
Post-truth: From the fake news frenzy of the 2016 presidential election to the disastrous scandals of the Fyre Festival and Theranos, the age of post-truth conspiracies as questions of accountability and transparency fray the relationships between consumers and brands. Companies seeking to survive these turbulent times and sidestep distrust are taking steps to become more transparent and establish more intimate connections with their target audiences. The trend is even more apparent in the influencer world, where nano-influencers – those with just a few thousand followers, but stronger and more personal ties to their fans – are on the rise.