How the nation is truly feeling in September 2020

September 2020 is going to be very different to previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way people go about their lives, despite the easing of more lockdown restrictions for most parts of the country so we wanted to understand how the nation is truly feeling in September.

At Spark Emotions, we conduct our Mood of the Nation research on a monthly basis. We are a consumer psychology market research agency based in the UK, who work globally specialising in shopper research, online research and getting to the truth of how your consumers are really feeling about your brand, product or service.

Throughout the year, we focus in on different topics by month depending on what is important to the UK. This month, we spoke to over 1,000 people to understand how the nation is truly feeling in September. To do this, we wanted to understand their emotions and what plans they have for the month ahead.

The September paper brings you an understanding of what the general mood of the nation is in the United Kingdom and the key topics that matter most. This month we understand how the UK feels about their finances, consumer confidence and we look ahead to the return to university at the end of the month.

Transitioning back into ‘normality’

The pace of change continues from previous months, with most businesses now reopened. Other key events included the release of A-level results and UK going into recession for the first time since 2009.

When we conducted our nationally representative survey in September several key events took place in the UK.

The UK is optimistic when looking forward to September

UK adults describe the month of September differently from the month of August. The most popular emotion when thinking towards August was ‘Anxious’, whereas in September we see the words ‘Optimistic’ and ‘Hopeful’ more prominently. It appears that many feel a return to normality is on the horizon.

People are feeling more Optimistic than they did in August

Happiness, Excitement and Control have tapered off in the last month.

Our Spark Emotional Wheel is a bespoke tool that helps us quantify emotions (click here if you would like to read more about the Spark Emotional Wheel). Scores for Happiness, Excitement and feelings of Control have decreased for September in comparison to August. Interestingly, the public feel the lowest levels of Happiness and Control since May – during the height of lockdown. Interestingly the announce of several localised lockdowns across the UK may have contributed to these feelings.

It also appears there is a dissonance between how the UK feels right now, and their anticipation of what the month of September will bring (‘Optimistic’; ‘Hopeful’).

The UK currently feels similar to how it did during May.

Are you meeting the changing needs of consumers?

As the UK attempts to return to some sense of ‘normality’, it is key to understand how customers feel and what they are thinking. In doing so, businesses can align their product and service to meet different consumer needs, be it financial or emotional.

Businesses can take several steps to support consumers transition back into using services. As an example, findings from our September Mood of the Nation report reveal 38% of those over the age of 45, have not participated in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out scheme’ due directly to COVID-19 concerns.

If you would like to see the full September Mood of the Nation report,  please click here and enter your details and one of the team will be in touch. Or reach out to Binna Chopra directly using the details below.

Written by Binna Chopra, Research Manager at Spark Emotions
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Binna via email or connect with her on LinkedIn

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