The Swift Effect: What Brands Can Learn from Taylor Swift
By Emily SmithFeb 29
We’ve analyzed the fascinating online conversations about resolutions to find out which goals are trending right now.
And if you think about it, New Year’s resolutions say a lot about our ever-evolving world at this very moment. So, if you’re hoping to aim your brand strategy towards societal trends as well as people’s goals and priorities this year, this data might help.
Let’s get to it.
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We used Brandwatch Consumer Research to discover how the online conversation about New Year’s resolutions has evolved. And by the looks of it, the number of resolutions we’re making is trending upward from last year.
On January 1 this year, over 150,000 people mentioned New Year’s resolutions online – showing an increase of almost 20% from last year’s data. Over the previous five years, 2024 saw the second-highest number of unique authors discussing resolutions on January 1 – just behind 2022’s data. So, it looks like we’re having more desire for positive change in our lives.
Yet, looking at the chart below, there are still plenty more negative mentions than positive New Year's resolution-related mentions. However, the data shows that the number of negative mentions is going down while positive mentions are on the up. In fact, negative mentions about New Year’s resolutions have been trending downward since 2018.
So maybe we’re not all Scrooges about goal-setting after all. Now, let’s see which resolutions have been popular this New Year.
We collated a list of popular resolutions to see which ones are the most commonly made online.
This year, learning something new remains the most popular resolution for the third year in a row. People are quick to share their new learning endeavors online, and this offers a great opportunity for relevant brands to share how they can help individuals learn new hobbies, develop skills, and ultimately better themselves.
Travel is on the up, sitting at the third most popular resolution this year. It’s risen from ninth place in 2023 as more and more people look at exploring the world in a post-pandemic era.
Saving money has risen from tenth place to fourth this year. This change might be attributed to the increased cost of living and general inflation. Brands might benefit from keeping this in mind when marketing to consumers, crafting tailored solutions or financial offerings that address these evolving priorities and ease the financial strain consumers may be experiencing at the moment.
Let’s dive deeper into this year’s data compared to last year.
Taking a look at the difference in the number of unique authors discussing resolutions can tell us a bit more about how our priorities are changing.
In addition to being the top resolution for the year, almost twice the number of people are discussing learning something new compared to last year.
My New Years resolution is to learn something new every month in 2024. It doesn´t have to be something big, as long as its a new experience or knowledge. But I need help figuring out cool stuff to learn... any ideas/recommendations?— nobleFilip (@nobleFilip) January 3, 2024
At the same time, interest in losing weight is decreasing. People seem to be becoming more interested in setting mentally challenging goals rather than physical ones.
The goal of spending more time with family and friends has seen a large decrease in interest this year. However, this decrease shouldn't necessarily be viewed negatively. Post-pandemic, there was a surge in resolution, likely due to the restricted interactions. The current decline could simply indicate a return to normal now we’re all able to see our loved ones regularly.
Now, let’s look at a different way people are setting goals.
Earlier in this bulletin, we established that positive mentions about resolutions are on the up. Perhaps one of the reasons we’re leaning into setting New Year’s resolutions is that we’re taking them less seriously.
Instead of becoming tied to implementing strict, difficult new habits, some of us are taking a different approach. Enter: silly resolutions.
A subsection of the internet is taking a liking to setting silly, goofy, fun, or, in other ways, unique resolutions like eating as many different types of pasta as possible (which the internet has dubbed the “pasta quest”).
Other examples can be found on this Reddit thread, where the poster asks for silly suggestions for their New Year’s goals with one request only: “it doesn't have to aim to make me better in any way.”
Here are some of the replies.
When looking at mentions of fun New Year’s resolutions, numbers are on the rise. In fact, last year saw a peak in mentions about setting fun, exciting goals for the year ahead.
We’re still waiting to see what January’s mentions will look like, but we expect mentions about uniquely interesting resolutions will be on the up. And we’re excited to see what people come up with.
So, if you’re struggling with your current resolutions, why not try something different and go for a goofier one this year?
And for brands looking to resonate with people around New Year’s resolutions this year, embracing the whimsical aspects might just be the unique edge needed to connect with the spirit of evolving goals and aspirations.