A SWEET ESCAPE
Consumers want to take their minds off everyday stressors. They need a little relief from their anxieties and a chance to break away from the mundane.
Delightful Distractions invigorate and uplift emotions. These thrill-filled and feel-good moments can leave a meaningful impression.
Brands that find opportunities to sprinkle in bliss—from touchpoints to campaigns—will build strong connections with customers.
Moments of goodness
A perpetual crisis. That’s how the last couple years have felt—filled with economic uncertainty, political unrest and climate disasters. All the negative noise has taken a mental toll. Now, people want to find daily doses of happiness to brighten their worlds.
Delightful Distractions are moments that evoke positive feelings. Think: exciting, heartwarming or playful. These interactions help spark joy and release tension, allowing consumers to leave their worries behind—if only for a few minutes.
Small (unexpected) surprises or little acts of cheer can satisfy this demand to an extent. Shoppers will also look for products that elicit those rewarding emotions. The dopamine dressing fashion craze is an example of this trend. And they’ll search for entertainment that excites or experiences that serve as a temporary escape.
Consumers want to offset the hustle and bustle of everyday life with an infusion of fun. Delightful Distractions often make a memorable impact, which improves brand perception and customer relationships.
of consumers who struggle with stress and anxiety said these issues had a moderate or severe impact on their everyday lives
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, fielded January/February 2023 (n=21,221)
of consumers said they shopped in stores that created engaging experiences
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, fielded January/February 2023 (n=40,691)
of consumers would be comfortable with brands tracking their emotions and personalising experiences to their moods
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Digital Survey, fielded March/April 2023 (n=20,079)
Positive and playful
Companies should create Delightful Distractions at varying scale to deliver instant gratification and form deeper connections with customers.
Clever or creative messaging will further engage your audience. Add a light-hearted spin to order confirmation emails or in-store signage, for example. Little details and small gestures can go a long way.
Emotional marketing comes to the forefront here, too. Brands should focus on tying their products to this cultural desire for optimism. Such tactics could cause your customers to crack a smile, then that positive feeling becomes associated with your brand.
Limited-edition merchandise or collections that feature vibrant designs will continue to hit the market. Bright colours and bold imagery capture attention when used strategically. But these elements must be complementary to avoid overstimulation.
Interactive brand experiences that fully immerse consumers also appeal to their desire for escapism. Elaborate events that combine technology, brand storytelling and entertainment will both captivate and amuse your audience.
Bottom line: find moments where you can uplift your customers. Don’t be afraid to get silly or be playful, but always stay true to your brand personality.
of professionals said their company used storytelling and compelling messages to communicate new or improved products to consumers
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry: Innovation and Lifestyles Survey, fielded March/April 2023 (n=122)
of professionals said their company is exploring experiential store formats
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry: Retail Survey, fielded June/July 2023 (n=186)
DELIGHTFUL DISTRACTIONS Trend applications to consider
Automotive manufacturer FIAT ceased production of grey cars and introduced new bright colours inspired by Italy to represent the brand’s “Dolce Vita” values. FIAT aims to bring joy to the road and wants to be a brand that represents optimism.
Disney’s Wonder of Friendship: The Experience is an immersive pop-up attraction with multisensory spaces that takes visitors through a journey of friendship, featuring classic characters and stories.
DELIGHTFUL DISTRACTIONS Three tactics for 2024
Incorporate playful, fun, positive messaging into customer interactions—both high- and low-touch.
Add pops of colour, visual effects or audio in branding and product design that appeal to the senses.
Create memorable, feel-good moments to build stronger bonds with your audience.