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Since March insights agency Opinium has tracked attitudes towards the pandemic and the way our government has reacted, and produced over 20 reports exploring the changes that have occurred to society and the impact this has had across a multitude of sectors. 

So where are we now? Well, in a less cohesive place than you might imagine. 

Our latest research has showed that the UK is split in both expectations and aspirations of a post-pandemic life, which poses an interesting question for brands. 

Are you going to be the same old brand as before, back to the good old days? Or are you refreshed and reinvented as lockdown lifts? To find answers, a handy bit of market orientation might be in order.

At Opinium, we found that consumers’ attitudes towards the future, what they want to hear from brands and even their values have been shaped by their experiences over the last year. 

Do you know how your customers have fared? If not, it’s time to find out. 

The economy is gearing up for a boom, concern is declining and those spending habits consumers have picked up are going to be put to the test as society re-opens (and hopefully stays that way). There will be plenty of winners, but also plenty of losers, and without keeping on the pulse of how society rapidly expands, shifts and reforms, your brand might get left behind. 

Opinium’s Most Connected Brands Index comes at a pivotal time; treat it as the benchmark, the starting line, as we gear up for an explosive rest of 2021.

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A year of missing out

It has been a long and intense year of on and off lockdowns. Social limitations and the closures of many places have greatly affected all of our lives.

For much of the past year, the public was critical of the government’s approach to handling the pandemic, feeling that the government was underreacting and too slow. Opinion became more favorable due to the success of the vaccination program. The success of this program has led to the government producing a roadmap for easing restrictions in England, which is perceived to be the right pace for the majority (54%) of those living in England. 

With many now happy with the pace of change, as society re-opens brands will want to capitalize on providing experiences that chime with what people now crave. People have missed seeing their friends and family, but they also very much missed the social scene of being able to go to a pub, eat in a restaurant, visit a cafe or watch a movie in the cinema.

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Opinium’s Most Connected Brands Index UK 2021 is out now. Download the full report here.

Priya Minhas is research manager and Jack Tadman is senior research manager at Opinium.