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Trend Alert: Back-to-School with Advanced Analytics

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Advanced analytics is proven to uncover powerful trends and insights that brand manufacturers will use to drive business decisions. And with 57 million students across the United States in the process of returning to schools, we asked our solution experts, as we have been during the entire COVID-19 pandemic, to help identify key, relevant insights that can be used by marketers and business leaders to connect with consumers in a data-driven way.

Here are their findings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought both new and old topics to the forefront of consumer discourse. Issues like working from home, which was once an option, suddenly became a necessity for most people, creating new challenges, like childcare and homeschooling. Over the past month however, consumer discussion around these very issues have increased dramatically, as children go back to school. What once might have been a discussion around school supplies or nostalgia for the summer gone by, has now become a discussion around safety and social distancing. Parents and teachers have flooded forums and blogs to ask questions and express their reservations.

While some are concerned that schools and states are not implementing the necessary safety measures to ensure safe face-to-face learning, and others worry for the infrastructure to facilitate online learning. Almost all are concerned for the quality and continuity of their children and students’ education.

In the month of July, consumer discussion around reopening and childcare was up 240%. Discussion around reopening and homeschooling was up 181%. Taking temperatures and wearing masks and contact tracing showed the highest rise in discussion over the month of July in relation to childcare and homeschooling, indicating how important safety is in the minds of parents and teachers, more so than topics like working from home. So, what are consumer worried about, and how can brands make this easier on them?

Advanced analytics reveal what consumers are worried about and provide clues to how winning brands can respond

  • Rewarding Creativity & Commitment: Some educators are harnessing their creative spirits to design learning environments for children that are fun and for lack of a better word, not scary! One teacher decorated the children's desks to look like cars, with plastic dividers “doubling” as windshields. Another teacher built himself a bubble so that he can teach his high school students safely. Above his protective tent-like structure, he wrote a message to his students: “I am to survive and see you thrive”. Responses to these initiatives are overwhelmingly positive, with a slight nod to the under appreciation and underpayment of educators. Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of this kind is a great way for brands to both reward those making a positive impact and reaffirm their connection to and care for consumers.
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  Source: Signals Analytics

  • Separation Anxiety: After being at home for months on end, parents and children may find it especially difficult to part with each other, particularly parents of young children who are about to send their little ones to day care or school for the first time. Brands have the opportunity here to reinforce the value of family time so that consumers feel understood. They can also take a different route when communicating to parents and remind parents of how to maximize their time when not taking care of their kids.
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     Source: Signals Analytics

  • Child Safety and Adherence to COVID Rules: When it comes to schooling, consumers worry about their kids’ abilities to adhere to safety regulations, and the capacity for contact tracing. While adults can hardly be relied upon to uphold safety regulations themselves, consumers worry even more for young children who are not only unable to comprehend the importance of mask wearing and social distancing but cannot be relied on remember all the rules all the times. Creative branding and messaging on child-focused products might make it easier to reinforce the importance of adhering to COVID guidelines on children, as well as ease the burden on teachers and caregivers to give constant reminders.
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  Source: Signals Analytics

As with all disruptive events, analyzing data can reveal important trends and insights and surface white space opportunities and new ideas such as those discussed above. At Signals Analytics, we enable this type of market intelligence by connecting more than 13,000 external data sources that are continually refreshed into our connected data set by category and process the data through with patented NLP technologies and curated taxonomies to surface new findings. Having the ability to automatically refresh the data and add new data sets means much faster time to insight and greater ability to react and get ahead of emerging trends. As we enter the fall and winter season, filled with holidays and promotional events, alongside the next phase of the pandemic, the importance of generating timely insights and taking action based on this data cannot be understated.

To learn more on how to apply advanced analytics to your business, click here. And stay tuned to our blog as we roll out new trend alerts over the coming weeks, covering the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on consumer brands, how COVID-19 will affect Prime Day, what Halloween candy consumers will buy and more.

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Chris Thatcher
5W Public Relations

chthatcher@5wpr.com 646-430-5161
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