Oct 08, 2021

The rise of smaller life spheres

The rise of smaller life spheres Featuring The No Normal Show of Revive

They say bigger is always better, but consumer behavior seems to suggest otherwise as many continue to shrink their life spheres. How far are health consumers willing to go outside of the home?



Facebook in hot water 

  • Last week the Wall Street Journal released a powerful and damning series on Facebook’s negative impact on society and repeated decisions to turn a blind eye. Former Facebook employee, Francis Haugen, identified herself as the whistleblower and soon after shared a congressional testimony.
  • Following this debacle, the entire Facebook ecosystem, including Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, and Messenger, went down for six hours with limited response from the company.  
  • Facebook, following these events, announced that it would be postponing the development of the app ‘Instagram for Kids.” 
  • The outage highlighted how powerful a marketing tool Facebook is and how reliant marketers and businesses are on the platform. The outage may be the catalyst marketers need to diversify their marketing mix and experiment with new channels outside the Facebook ecosystem.   

Life spheres … but smaller 

  • Last year we did a joint study with The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) to reveal the long-term consumer behavior changes resulting from COVID-19. One of the changes listed in that was “smaller life spheres.” 
  • COVID-19 abruptly forced the world to operate from home. From entertainment to education to work to social gatherings – we, as a society, operated from home. Even with fewer restrictions, consumers are now used to traveling shorter distances for goods and services.  
  • We call this the shrinking of life spheres — a phenomenon in which people have become accustomed to the convenience of at-home or nearby goods and services and continue to seek that convenience. The question has become: How far are you willing to travel for certain activities?  
  • Our team resurfaced this finding and shared new research that demonstrated the trend of smaller life spheres has continued into the present. 
  • Stats that support this finding: When it comes to driving, the number of miles the average American has traveled is down to 2007 levels. Air travel is still down 26% from pre-pandemic levels.  
  • People will think and act differently about how far they are willing to go. This trend is risky for health systems as retailers like Walgreens and CVS live within miles of every American consumer. Because these options are closer and more convenient, consumers may be more inclined to use them as an alternative.  
  • Not to mention CVS’s recent announcement to transform hundreds of its retail stores into primary care outlets
  • Home healthcare is growing rapidly and is predicted to grow almost 8% more by 2028. From a business standpoint, many believe the home is the solution to high healthcare costs.  

The wheel of fortune 

  • Our team came prepared with three different topics to discuss and spun a wheel to select the topic they would talk about randomly. The three trends on the table included the great resignation, nostalgia marketing, and the rise of minimalism. For this episode, the rise of minimalism was selected.
  • The standard definition of minimalism: The movement toward a sustainable self-aware lifestyle where people learn to spend less, save more, and have a less negative impact on earth and resources.  
  • While this definition applies to many cases, our team expressed that the motivator behind minimalism may vary. For example, millennials are known to rent items rather than purchase them (think Rent the Runway, Spotify, etc.). In many cases, this trend stems from a desire to reduce clutter. 
  • The team noted that they see this trend represented through brands like Apple through packaging Chick-fil-A through billboard design.