Embracing the Un-Normal Series 5: Indonesian Consumer Sentiment about New Normal. Using Social Listening & Discourse Analysis

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Embracing the Un-Normal Series 5: Indonesian Consumer Sentiment about New Normal. Using Social Listening & Discourse Analysis

Now that social restrictions are starting to ease and we are approaching the ‘new normal’, we are keen to understand how consumers are feeling about the transition back into a more normal life. 

We used Ivosights program to generate raw data from social media postings, focusing on 2 weeks in June 2020.   We filtered out any obvious corporate postings and analysed the posts using discourse analysis (i.e. the written language expressed in the postings are studied within the social contexts)

Social listening indicate a spectrum of emotions towards the easing of restrictions and the ‘new normal’, with 4 key typologies summarising the different reactions and emotions among Indonesians:

  • The angry rejectors - Have a strong concern that things are opening up too soon and choose to stay at home.  They vocally criticise those going out into public spaces – as socially irresponsible, putting others at risk
  • The anxious dilemmaed - Want to regain social life e.g. social interactions and activities, but anxious aboutvirus exposure. This creates an internal conflict & dilemma. They also concern that friends will view them as anti-social
  • The cautious optimists -Eager to venture out, start getting back to normal life, and leisure activities, but are aware that this needs to be done cautiously.  They are in control e.g. closely monitoring and following of rules / protocols
  • The Excited Enthusiasts - Excited to enjoy all they feel they missed out on during lockdown, particularly social gathering.  Less real fear is exhibited e.g. many proudly sharing activities on social media; hanging out with less emphasis on following protocols

Focussing on 4 key themes;

  1. FOOD & BEVERAGE: It’s not about the food itself, but more about hanging out and interacting with others. As new normal commences people are rushing to go outside, and less excited about home cooking & baking
  2. SHOPPING: The experience of shopping and going to malls are now reconfigured based on new health protocols. Malls continue to be an important part of urban Indonesian lifestyles, however reactions about going to the malls in the context of New Normal varies
  3. TRAVEL & TOURISM – Excitement about visiting tourist sites, although still limited to local sites. Consumers seek quick escape as soon as movement restrictions and social distancing rules are eased.
  4. HEALTH – Responsibility at a societal level to follow protocols imposed by health authorities.  It is not about personal health but also about the general health and well-being of the society; at varying levels of adherence


  • Entering the Post-Lockdown Stage – Euphoria emerges: Indonesians currently have a desire to make up for lost time & experiences during lockdown – to enjoy all they missed out on.  But one of the recovery models is by Professor Mark Ritson predicts that this won't last long - the large global recession is predicted to arrive and habits may change again
  • Key learnings for brands:
    • Keep on listening - Consumer sentiments changed quickly in this New Normal. Brands need to anticipate by keep on monitoring the changes in consumer and culture.
    • Be mindful about your message - Brands need to be more sensitive about consumer sentiments in New Normal. They need to thread their message carefully as not to offend consumers.
    • Prepare for the next stage - New Normal euphoria will not last too long as the world will be heading into recession. Brands need to learn from past recession to anticipate another behavioural change.


This article based on a webinar on 25 June, 2020.  Please download the Presentation File here.

For more information, please view the webinar recordings:

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