The Point: After a year of lockdowns, people are getting ready to reenter the world. But they're not just bracing for the changes ahead. They’re also trying to preserve positive changes they’ve already made.

This past year swept away our old routines. As the world starts to reopen, we’re at another crossroads. Our lives will change again—and it’s natural that marketers are trying to meet the next moment.

But here’s what our latest research says: if your marketing message focuses only on the changes in front of us, you’re missing an important part of the picture. For many, a journey onward starts with preserving their journey inward.

It’s not just about the change ahead. It’s about sticking with the positive changes—to their routines, their values, their priorities—that they already made during the pandemic.

Know what consumers need from you

We ran exclusive research to see how consumers are feeling during this time of transition. Many spoke of a tension between excitement, and anxiety. They’re thrilled to see friends and return to more social settings. At the same time, they’re apprehensive about feeling comfortable in public spaces, returning to commutes and losing some of their flexibility from this past year.

In more cases than you might think, people developed new positive habits during COVID. They created new rituals, reoriented their values and reprioritized their time. They’re proud of their personal growth. And as their lives get busier again, they want to make sure their new habits stick. In fact, they’re anxious they might lose these healthy routines once the hustle and bustle of life picks up again. That’s where your brand comes in.

Marketing to this moment means focusing less on the external changes ahead and more on supporting the internal changes people already made.

1. Woman in sheer red shirt painting on a canvas in front of big, sunny windows in an artist studio 
2. Close up of woman’s face with grey clay skincare mask 
3. Aerial photo of a woman’s legs and hands rolling up a yoga mat

Five personas to guide your strategy

Based on our conversation with Pinners and Pinterest search data, we’ve identified five new personas for this phase, all grounded in values.

• The Routine Ritualist
• The Prioritized Parent
• The New Nomad
• The Eco Evangelist
• The Emerging Entrepreneur

For every persona, we’ve identified their top priorities and what they’re searching for to keep these good habits in check. Let’s explore how your brand can support their journey inward and onward.

The Routine Ritualist

Woman with silver french braid wearing a navy long sleeve top doing warrior pose in front of a lush green background

For the Routine Ritualist, routines were a stabilizing force this last year. Their rituals helped them feel healthier and more grounded, both physically and mentally. They don’t want to jeopardize the progress they’ve made when the world reopens. So they’re looking for tips to keep new routines going, even as “real life” picks up again.

Growth search terms for routine seekers

34x

increase in searches for workout routine at home in 2021 vs 20191

22x

increase in searches for soulfood sunday dinner ideas in 2021 vs 20191

6x

increase in searches for daily routine schedule for adults in 2021 vs 20191

Idea Pin featuring a woman holding a coffee mug wearing an orange sweater and khaki pants with on-screen text that reads: “5 meditations you can do on he go”

Act on the insight
Help people incorporate their new positive rituals into busier and more public routines. For example, you could share tips for meditating in your car before walking into the office or simple exercises you can do in the lunch line. When it comes to new products, think about ways to help people make things smoother or faster, like speedy meal prep tools or foldable exercise equipment.

The Prioritized Parent

One of the most moving themes from our research was how deeply people re-connected with their immediate family members this past year. Prioritized Parents are keeping these relationships top of mind and looking for ways to keep their bonds strong—especially when the pace of life picks back up and kids head back to school in-person.

Aerial photo of people’s hands eating salad with chicken on seafoam blue plates
Woman wearing a white tank top and dangling earrings kissing a small baby in overalls and a white T-shirt.

Growing search terms for parents

93x

increase in searches for cute mother daughter tattoos in 2021 vs 20191

34x

increase in searches for family dinner meals in 2021 vs 20191

6x

increase in searches for movie night at home with kids in 2021 vs 20191

Pin featuring a birthday cake with candles that read “BDAY” with on-screen text that reads: “Make family time sweeter.”

Act on the insight
Help parents work more bonding and fun into their everyday schedules of carpools, drop offs and social events. You could create playpacks with little games to play while running errands, sell recipe kits to make mealtimes easier or come up with pre-assembled packages for the perfect movie night.

The New Nomad

Many people on Pinterest reconnected with the great outdoors this past year. Some New Nomads upgraded their home garden, while others got into camping and road tripping for the first time. Turns out, nature really is healing.

Growing search terms for outdoor lovers

39x

increase in searches for small backyard ponds in 2021 vs 20191

34x

increase in searches for dream vacations destinations in 2021 vs. 20191

12x

increase in searches for road trip bag in 2021 vs 20191

Smiling woman with upper arm tattoos in a colorful tank top and straw hat fixing a metal bar on the side of a camper van.
Idea Pin featuring  the trunk of a car filled with string lights and luggage with on-screen text that reads: “all the essentials for the perfect road trip.”

Act on the insight
Consider how you can position your products as the gateway to outdoor adventures. Auto brands could show how to tow a camper, or how to fit more gear in a smaller car. Meanwhile, home decor brands could help people design the perfect home garden, based on their personal specs and preferences.

The Eco Evangelist

All that time at home this past year gave many people a better understanding of their consumption habits. Eco Evangelists took on new sustainability behaviors during the pandemic, and they’re planning to prioritize sustainability moving forward, too. They’re looking for tips to weave sustainable practices into their everyday lives, from recipes to home design.

Ceramic cups filled with greenery and dry brushes on a slab of tree bark in front of a white wall.
Woman wearing a green T-shirt and khaki pants chopping a green apple to make a smoothie in a blender.

Growing search terms for sustainability seekers

10x

increase in searches for sustainable lifestyle in 2021 vs 20191

8x

increase in searches for raw vegan recipes for beginners in 2021 vs 20191

2x

increase in searches for smart home design in 2021 vs 20191

Pin featuring a man and child looking inside an oven with on-screen text that reads: “Our classic stove, now energy efficient.”

Act on the insight
Consumers can tell when you’re being authentic about your values. Emphasize your own brand’s impact—make sure customers know what you stand for. Small changes matter more than you might think, like making commitments to earth-friendly packaging or giving your teams volunteer time to help local causes.

The Emerging Entrepreneur

A year of lockdowns caused people to take a beat and reevaluate their lives—work included. Emerging Entrepreneurs realized that their careers were out of alignment with their values. They took the time inside to plan their pivot, and used Pinterest to do so.

Man and woman sketching on a dry erase board.
Man applying eye makeup in a mirror in front of a ring light.
Red manila envelope on a grey background next to a ballpoint pen.

Growing search terms for entrepreneurs

98x

increase in searches for small business packaging ideas in 2021 vs. 20191

23x

increase in searches for small business plan in 2021 vs 20191

4x

increase in searches for entrepreneur motivation in 2021 vs 20191

Yellow chair and seafoam green end table in front of a pale purple background with on-screen text that reads: “Your new business deserves a new office.”

Act on the insight
Inspire Pinners entering the entrepreneurial realm. Highlight products and budgeting software to help people finance their venture. Give people fashion and beauty tips to dress like a boss and share decor ideas to spruce up their home office.

Help your audience safeguard their new habits

The people on Pinterest have always inspired me. This past year, they also made me deeply proud. From creating recycled gardens and bolstering their own businesses, to reprioritizing their loved ones and rewriting their personal values, people on our platform grew in profound ways.

But they need help sustaining these changes. That’s where you come in. Instead of focusing so much on the change that’s coming on the outside, start supporting the changes they’ve made on the inside.

And as you figure out what’s next for your brand, don’t just go back to your pre-COVID playbook. The world may be reopening, but it’s different than before. We’re different than before. You might need to tweak your messaging or strategy to meet people where they are. You might even want to do your own research to see what your audience wants most from you during this unusual time.

That’s how we’ll move forward: together.

If you’d like more guidance on reaching these new personas on Pinterest, please reach out to your Pinterest team. We can help with creative and strategic support like updating your messaging or creative to match what a specific persona is looking for on Pinterest.

Written By

ANDRÉA MALLARD

Currently saving ideas to

BACKYARD GREENHOUSE

Footnotes
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Source: Pinterest Internal Search data, US, Jan to June 2019 vs. Jan to June 2021