Embracing the rebellion as consumers shift towards restraint-free living in 2023

As we enter 2023, consumers are breaking free from the constraints of established norms, defying authority, and challenging traditional wisdom across various aspects of their lives. This rebellious mood has emerged as a response to a volatile and uncertain world, where individuals seek to take back control and reshape their narratives on their own terms. In Trending 2023, a comprehensive report powered by Collision’s dynamic trends intelligence platform, four key mindsets of rebellion are identified: the rebellions against perfection, authority, surveillance, and restraint. This blog will delve into the rebellion against restraint, exploring how consumers are favouring indulgence, YOLO hedonism, and maximalist excess to reclaim happiness and balance amidst global challenges.

Now or Never: Living for the Moment

In the face of an unpredictable future, consumers are confronted with numerous challenges, from financial instability to climate change. While the common wisdom suggests saving for the future and adopting sustainable behaviours, many are adopting a “Now or Never” attitude, prioritising present-day indulgence over future security. This attitude stems from a sense of powerlessness in the face of constant crises, leading individuals to seek happiness in the here and now.

Brands are facilitating this attitude by offering opportunities for in-the-moment indulgence and pleasure-seeking. “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) offerings in retail and travel, for instance, allow people to enjoy experiences immediately and pay later. Food and beverage brands are embracing riotous colours and playful messaging to reject traditional restrained and sustainable branding. Moreover, the rising appeal of nostalgia and “fauxstalgia” reflects consumers’ desire to find comfort in the past amid a stressful present.

Everyday Celebration: Finding Joy in Simple Moments

As the world faces challenging financial times, consumers are determined to find joy in ordinary, day-to-day moments. The desire for regular indulgence and celebration, even in small ways, has become prevalent. Brands are tapping into this trend by promoting moments of escapism and celebration within everyday routines. This approach allows individuals to experience spontaneous joy and relieve stress, acting as a powerful corrective to the uncertainty and pessimism they encounter daily.

Light Relief: Unrestrained Indulgence and Comfort

Consumers are seeking a balance between purposeful, healthy options and more indulgent pursuits. Activities once considered unserious or lowbrow, such as casual social sports and livestreamed gaming channels, are now embraced as beneficial for relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being. The consumption of guilty pleasures is no longer viewed negatively but rather celebrated as a badge of honour, demonstrating the balance consumers are seeking in their lives.

Case Studies of Rebellion Against Restraint

Several brands have already recognised the significance of the rebellion against restraint and have adapted their strategies accordingly:

John Lewis: The retailer adopted a new slogan, “For all life’s moments,” based on research revealing consumers’ desire to spend on things that bring daily happiness.

Glonuts: This healthy donut brand rejects conventional “good-for-you” messaging and instead embraces playfulness and colour to attract consumers seeking indulgence.

Apple: By adding functionality to Apple Wallet, allowing purchases to be split into four equal payments with zero interest and no fees, Apple facilitates indulgence and instant gratification.

Embracing the Rebellion: Acting for 2023

Brands can seize the opportunities presented by the rebellion against restraint by:

Tapping into the “moments economy”: helping consumers experience regular moments of indulgence and celebration within their daily routines.

Making hedonism compatible with sustainability: championing pleasure-seeking while innovating offerings that align with more responsible and sustainable consumption.

Transforming resignation into optimism: balancing the desire for spontaneous pleasures with positive positioning and messaging that highlight a purpose of building a better future.

The rebellious mood of consumers in 2023 and beyond is reshaping decision-making processes across various mindsets, including the rebellion against restraint. As individuals seek to regain control in an uncertain world, they are embracing indulgence and celebrating everyday moments. Brands that understand and cater to this shift will thrive, finding success in a world where strategic foresight and consumer insights are more critical than ever. By embracing the rebellion, brands can build stronger connections with consumers and create a more prosperous future for all.

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