How Covid-19 Shook the Consumer Mindset | Part 6

In the final chapter of our 6 part series, we analyse the ‘Patiently Waiting’ consumer group, the silent generation most likely to just now be coming to grips with WhatsApp, Zoom and yes, online shopping, too.


As we navigate our content series delving deep into the insights shared by Kantar in its recent tribal analysis, we stumble into one of the most powerful packs: that of the so-called ‘patiently waiting’.

This demographic accounts for up to approximately 16% of the UK population and is made-up from a combination of the ‘silent generation’ (born between 1928 and 1945) and a cohort of less troubled Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).

Although technically more vulnerable in terms of age specific mortality around the COVID-19 pandemic, this pack has lived through many national crises. From post-war influenza to several market crashes and national health emergencies like SARS and Mad Cow Disease, they are the most familiar with the media furore that arises in such times and understands its consequences the most acutely.

Now interacting regularly with loved ones via telephone, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Zoom during lockdown, this group, previously slow to adopt new technologies, has kicked into high gear. Online shopping figures for their demographic has doubled and research from University College London shows them to be the age-bracket currently experiencing the highest levels of satisfaction.

Where it does come to concern, Kantar tells us it’s directly concerning seeing friends and family, the impact of lockdown on relationships and on the wellbeing of their loved ones. As arguably the most emotionally mature of groups, the Patiently Waiting group are typically compliant with government guidelines and view the experience as akin to the need for ‘blitz spirit’, a term coined in the UK with the reaction of the residents of London to bombing during the war, it typically means to ‘keep calm and carry on.’

For brands, finding a connection directly with this audience means focusing on the newly acquired technology skills of the group (mostly communication apps) and on sharing hobbies (e.g. language learning or gardening). Typically offline media such as print or direct mail is most effective (although in the latter case there is evidence to suggest that people are exercising particular caution with door drops).

Above all else a sense of value should come through when engaging with the Patiently Waiting, they respond best to empathy and are big believers in authenticity and honesty. They will spend the longest of any group in lockdown and have already begun to adjust daily life for a much longer-term isolation. 

For brands, there is a real emphasis required on still reaching out to them on traditional channels such as print and broadcast media. However, there is the advantage to know they are beginning to feel more comfortable around digital news, less so social media.

In summary, the ‘Patiently Waiting’ pack are a little older, a little wiser (and as a result) perhaps a little less worried than any of the others. In some ways, lockdown has catalysed a need to adopt technology that has made life easier at home and for some, the safety of knowing they are not going to catch the virus as long as they observe the lockdown, has eased anxiety to the point of relaxation. For the time being, they’re keeping calm, it simply remains to be seen how long they carry on in lockdown before some frustration starts to creep in.

This concludes the pack content series, to find out more about how we can help you better understand your audiences or develop a communications strategy to engage them, get in touch today, we love to have a chat!