The New Reality of Digital Nomads

Digital nomadism has been on the rise, but the implications of this trend go far beyond post-pandemic location flexibility and remote work. A cultural shift is taking place in developed countries that sees swaths of people becoming disillusioned with the lure of the “good life” available to prior generations. Digital nomadism offers an alternative path away from expensive, long-term mortgages and a raft of possessions and instead opens the door for people to maximize their income by living in countries with low costs of living. Amid all of this change, the implications for brand strategy and consumers are not yet well understood. The authors’ research identified three major trends that are reshaping consumer behavior and that present significant opportunities for brands: The end of rootedness and need for flexibility; the need for new infrastructures and services that cater to nomadic living; and the possibility of shaping the discourse around new values and lifestyles.

Digital nomadism — a lifestyle where one leverages remote work to travel and live in varying, often affordable locations around the world — has been steadily on the rise, attracting not only tech-savvy workers, but everyone from families with children to retirees. In one survey, over 17 million American workers identified as digital nomads, an increase of 131% from 2019, and they included workers from a wide array of professions. This rise has also been fueled by the ease of obtaining digital nomad visas in many countries, post-pandemic.

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