On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, brands from Hyundai to SodaStream flexed their creativity to socialize messages of inspiration and optimism as the dire reality of COVID-19 continues to strain consumer well-being. Our research has shown that the prevalence and intensity of values-based consumers have been on the rise; now, the pandemic forces consumers to rethink their priorities when selecting brands and products.

COVID-19 will transform values-based decision making, but the verdict is still out as to how. On the one hand, the shared sense of struggle may heighten social and environmental consciousness even further. Consumers who wear protective gear and practice social distancing think less about themselves and more about those around them; many also celebrate the fact that reduced activity has a positive effect on the planet. On the other hand, massive loss of discretionary income and operating in a “survival” mindset may drive consumers to deprioritize a company’s social, moral, political, or environmental commitments when they start spending again. In this week’s consumer insight spotlight, I reveal three key insights from our latest data that signal how values-based decision making is likely to change.

Join us at Forrester’s CX NA Forum June 16–18, where I’ll unveil the full research about what values-based consumers look like post-pandemic and how shifting consumer purchase drivers reset expectations of a brand. Till then, please send your consumer-related questions via inquiry (Forrester clients) or LinkedIn or Twitter (nonclients), as your input directly shapes our research strategy.