How the Middle-Eastern consumer have adapted their purchasing behaviour through a period of uncertainty.

The colossal story of 2020 is a global pandemic that has left the world in a fragile and uncertain state. Heading into 2021, consumers are still adjusting to pandemic life. For marketing leaders, that means paying attention to profound changes in consumer trends, values, attitudes and behaviour, and adjusting brand strategies accordingly. Despite the Middle Eastern consumer being the most positive, their spending patterns have drastically shifted.


The average Middle Eastern consumer is now more price-conscious and is increasingly looking for ways to save. They expect brands to show that they care by adding value and addressing the immediate basic needs and concerns, research indicates that brands that assist their customers during a crisis receive long term brand trust that can easily be translated into brand loyalty. Value is now the top influencer for any purchase, this has heightened the new brands and brand switching in the region. The EY Future Consumer Index reported that 84 per cent of consumers declared that they have also changed the products they buy with a greater focus on value for money, and an increased commitment to consuming locally made products.

As consumers re-evaluate their approach to personal consumption and adopt new habits, preferences, and attitudes for the future, companies will also need to ensure that their products meet expectations to either maintain or brand loyalty. This will have a pivotal impact on consumption patterns and consumer identities over the next few years.


Travelling has been part of the Middle Eastern lifestyle, however, there has been trading down of international travel for local tourism to re-explore the Gulf until it is safer to travel beyond its borders. The pandemic has also intensified technology use with a stronger appetite for online streaming, restaurant delivery, grocery delivery, video chatting, remote learning and working and online fitness. These digital activities are expected to be form part of the everyday lifestyle. The new consumer now wants to have a full lifestyle both indoor and outdoor, brands that can enable this will be the led customer experience in 2021.

TLC Marketing has conducted research in the various consumer groups in the Middle East and adopted their data-led solution of EXPERIENCE-LED REWARDS to help brands reconnect with their customers in 2021. The company has a wide range of affordable EXPERIENTIAL REWARDS available for customers. These rewards can be tailored to your different target markets considering their different lifestyle and aspirational needs together with the effects of the pandemic.


Call us today on +971 (4) 429 5899 or email us at and reconnect with your customers while you achieve your bottom line.

Understanding rewards based marketing

Working and learning from home in the uae

‘I know when to go out and when to stay in’ so sang David Bowie in pre-pandemic Modern Love.

Sadly things aren’t so clear cut now.

As we ease the lockdown restrictions one thing is certain, and that’s that uncertainty will rule. Whether it’s confusion about government guidelines or simply our own fears and doubts, things will take a long time getting back to normal.

Of course practicality will drive us. For example, having to go back to work, which means for the vast majority of us returning to public transport and sharing our office space (whether we like it or not!): but in our leisure lives we may think differently.

When will we feel content to sit in a dark, enclosed cinema with 200 strangers? Will a gym ever feel safe again and will we be happy to take the kids to a theme park?

The answer is of course different for all of us: it’s not in a brand’s interest to try and force the issue, despite the easing of restrictions by our higher powers.

Instead in response, we’ve started to offer all our clients the ability to add value in the form of ‘experiences’, a choice of leisure time activities that their customers can redeem and use inside or outside the home, and gives them the very personal choice about how they exercise their new found freedoms.

So if your target market has got into the habit of living room Pilates, or feels brave enough to take a personal trainer session in the park, our advice is to offer both and allow them to transition out of lockdown in the way they feel most comfortable.

Covid-19 is changing consumer behaviour in the-uae

Staying Home, a Rewarding Strategy

At TLC Marketing our main objective is to ensure that we provide our clients with high-value, experience-led rewards under any circumstance. Impressively, our USP, comprising 6,000 dynamic partnerships, allows for instant adaptability which achieves previously-agreed to sales and marketing objectives, even mid-campaign.

Introducing the Stay Home Network, which includes our National Online, Entertainment, Dining, Service, Learning and Wellness Networks. With incredible and appealing rewards such as virtual classes, online shopping, food delivery services, gaming, movie streaming, craft and wellness partners, perfect for the home-body economy. This comprehensive and guilt-free solution caters to both adults and children. Attempting to make a stressful situation, for consumers, more enjoyable by offering interesting home-based activities and experiences to their abundant and unexpected free time. While also maintaining, and quite possibly improving, brand engagement and sales for our clients during a time when everyone expects the worst.

“We can chose to read all the negativity and lose hope or find the opportunity to step into the newness that 2020 will bring. So many lessons are being learnt and we will never be the same again! A shift is coming. At TLC we choose to innovate and survive. Our new product network provides customers with rewards at home, with the home becoming the new multipurpose arena where you can work, learn and play!” says Preneshen Munian, TLC MEA CEO.

This offering perfectly caters to clientele ranging from e-commerce, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, quick serving restaurants as well as casual dining restaurants, subscription services, gamification and broad industry-based staff incentives where everybody wins. We literally reward everyone who participates in a promotion. The high-value rewards offered is based on analysis into what drives consumer behaviour. Now central to the analysis of consumer behaviour is how consumers respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, across markets. Identifying and catering to the phases of national epidemic prevention measures with the corresponding consumer spending patterns.

The long-term prediction from the MEA Insights and Strategy team based on their global research indicates that when everything is back to normal and children are back at school, there will be two main threads of consumer behaviour. The first will be those who have had a bad case of cabin fever, cooped up in the apartment. This group will embrace the newfound freedom – dining out, travelling, and being more social than ever. The other group will be those who have become more connected to and content with their homes: cooking, family time, in-home fitness regimes, etc. These consumers will spend more on making their homes special, purchasing new smart appliances, furniture and even art. Overall people will be more focused on hygiene practices.


With a strong strategy, abundant and attractive rewards and clients who have incredibly appealing offerings in their own right we are looking forward to reporting on the results of campaigns using our Stay Home Network during this time and moving forward.

More information.
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