From Makeovers to Taking Over: What Reinvention Means to Canadians

Ipsos Reid Analyzes Twenty Ways in Which Consumers Reinvent Themselves

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Toronto, ON – New Year’s resolutions haven’t quite arrived, but that doesn’t mean that Canadians aren’t thinking about how they can achieve a fresh start. According to recent research conducted by Ipsos Reid, three-in-ten (32%) Canadians are thinking about reinventing a part of their life in the future. And from a brand’s perspective, that means some big opportunities. As part of the study, twenty different ways in which Canadians reinvent themselves were analyzed and categorized into four groups, including minor physical changes, shaping work and personal life, growing and experiencing, and finally, some fairly drastic life changes.

“Personal reinvention is an expression of the fact that people change depending on their stage of life, and they expect brands to deliver on this,” says Steve Levy, COO with Ipsos Reid. “And so, paying attention to how consumers have and expect to reinvent will play a big role in helping companies forecast new market trends and develop relevant marketing initiatives.”

Under minor physical changes, Canadians are most likely to mention getting into shape (45%) and losing weight (38%) as a means to reinvention. This is followed by changing their appearance (32%) and wardrobe (21%). When it comes to reinventing their work and personal life, the study shows that half (49%) of those surveyed will take more control of their life, while nearly four-in-ten (37%) will change their career. One-in-three (31%) will part ways with someone in their life, and in contrast, one-quarter (25%) will find someone to share life with. Only 12% of those surveyed will give up, or take less control of their life.

Four-in-ten (39%) Canadians plan to reinvent themselves by discovering or doing something new, and another three-in-ten (30%) will move to another city. One-quarter (25%) will become more involved in their community and/or politics. One-fifth (21%) think of it in terms of practicing a new area of spirituality. And 14% say they will learn a new language.

Some consumers will reinvent through more drastic life changes: 13% mentioned moving to another country, 11% will get a tattoo or piercing, and 6% pointed to changing their name. For few Canadians (4%), reinvention is about having cosmetic surgery or body enhancements, and very few (1%) say it’s about changing their gender.

“Attitudes toward reinvention also tend to vary with age,” adds Levy. “Our results indicate that while Generation X tends to be more focused on making changes to their looks and to shaping their lives, Boomers are looking to experience new things and grow as people. Moreover, the likelihood of making drastic life changes is related to age: the younger you are, the more likely you are to make a drastic life change.”

Related Press Release: Research Shows One Key to Market Relevancy is Brand Reinvention

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between August 22nd and 28th, 2014. For this survey, a sample of 1,378 Canadians was drawn at random from the Ipsos Opinions panel in Canada. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the Canadian household population according to Statistics Canada census data and to provide results intended to approximate the entire population. As this study was English only, proportions were set by re-basing regional populations. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all English-speaking Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services
Ipsos in North America
(778) 373-5136

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,712,4 million (2 274 M$) in 2013.

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From Makeovers to Taking Over: What Reinvention Means to Canadians


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America