Australians are craving closeness and connection to break the isolation and loneliness that is impacting over half of the population, and are looking to their communities for that connection, not social media, according to a new report – PPR CLOSER 2018: Community and Connections In The Lives of Australians.
In an increasingly connected world, Aussies are feeling more disconnected than ever and are turning back to community to rediscover that sense of connection and belonging.
The PPR CLOSER research revealed that over half of the Australian population is at risk of loneliness – impacting Aussies in metro (54%) and non-metro (53%) almost equally, with men (55%) indexing slightly higher than women (52%). If you live in NSW you are at greatest risk of loneliness (58%) , followed by Victoria and Western Australia (54%), with Queenslanders at lowest risk at 49%.
Not only could the loneliness epidemic soon rival obesity as a national health risk, it’s also been compared to having the same impact on health affect as 15 cigarettes a day.
63% of people rate their relationship with their local community as more important than their social media relationships. And the importance of community is gaining momentum, with almost 60% more interested in their local community now compared to 10 years ago, and 87% interested in what is happening in their local community.
Brands are being invited into those communities, with two-thirds of all Aussies wanting brands to get involved in their local community, and 59% more interested in brands that get involved in their community vs. those that don’t. Over half remember brands that are involved in their community over those that don’t.
This invitation to brands extends beyond the communities Australians live in to their communities of interest – their tribes.
66% wish more brands would get involved in their tribes, with almost 60% more interested in brands that do get involved in their communities of interest over those that don’t. When shopping, 49% remember brands that get involved in their tribes, over those that don’t.
The key for brands when it comes to getting involved in those communities is to be authentic and genuine, with half of the population wanting companies and brands to develop a long-term relationship with the communities they are involved in rather than a one-off campaign.
PPR CEO, Michael Pooley said: “Social connections are central to the human experience and one that digital communication cannot replace. As we rely on technology to communicate in a global world, our research indicates that we still need to feel closer via our physical communities – be they the community in which you live or play. Community is the key to feeling connected, it is that element that ties and binds us together. This research shows us that as a nation we are craving closer relationships – with our neighbours, our community and where appropriate, brands.”
Pooley added: “A brand’s social stance on issues is more important now than ever before as consumers seek out a relationship with brands that share the same values and care about the same things. Brands that invest in building a genuine relationship with their consumers by getting closer to their communities and creating opportunities to build closer community connections around issues they care about will be in a strong position to foster and build brand connection and love.”
For more information please contact:
T (+61) 2 9818 0955
T (+61) 416 095 070