World has changed, now what?
Marketing and communication will not be the same as lock down conditions begin to abate. Consumer confidence is in need of triage and should be foremost on your radar as you make plans to re-energize the business.
- Confidence in their own safety.
- Confidence in your businesses’ on-premise and product safety protocols.
- Confidence in how and where they shop for food, whether that be from grocery or restaurant delivery.
- Confidence your brand has their best interests and welfare at heart.
This checklist is intended to help inform your thinking and strategy in light of the transformational lifestyle shift consumers have experienced.
You might agree that any marketing plan must be founded on respect for the consumer’s mindset and behaviors. Families have endured one of the most harrowing, precedent-setting and impactful changes in their world, ever.
What we know about the COVID-19 impact:
- Health and safety are the top priority for people.
- At home is safe, out of home is not safe.
- Invisible threats exist that can impact your health or take your life.
- These events have disrupted every aspect of living and society.
- People cannot control these conditions and are forced to adapt based on self-diagnosis of their own needs and preferences.
- What consumers value changes when life is literally upside-down.
The key changes:
- At home: time and space have become more fluid, less regimented.
- Blurring of home and work separation.
- Desire for guidance on home-focused activities from exercise, to gardening to cleaning/decluttering to baking/culinary.
- Digital experience now a necessity for art, music and escape.
- Content consumption is nearly 24/7 as average weekly screen times skyrocket.
Top priority for people:
- Physical, mental and emotional health.
- Staying well.
- Boredom, anxiety and uncertainty meet desire to be distracted/inspired/entertained, productive and composed.
What we know about people:
- Human beings are feeling creatures who think – not thinking creatures who feel. Emotion governs behaviors, decisions and actions.
- How brand relationships are cultivated and built must adjust to be respectful of where people find themselves, emotionally, now.
Marketing and communication priorities
Every brand is unique; what do your core users care about, need, want, desire?
Is the brand correctly positioned for shifting lifestyle relevance and empathy?
Holistic solutions that answer, tangibly, how you can help improve your core users’ lives.
Digital first and emotionally relevant content is king.
Now more than ever social community building is embedded in the desire for conversation and interaction. Witness Zoom is a verb and people long for regular contact and interaction. Social channels have acquired an entirely new and uplifted value proposition.
- Overwhelming importance of shared purpose, meaning and values in messaging.
- Emotional communication vital to engagement.
- People believe other people before they believe companies – who is speaking?
- Health is the new wealth – your brand is the guide, expert and coach.
- Storytelling vs. story-yelling – days of shameless brand self-promotion are over.
- Consumers feel out of control, how can you give it back to them?
- Trust creation as core brand platform – earn belief through higher purpose.
- Be careful, data can be a false god – algorithms don’t dream.
Secret sauce to success:
Put your consumer at the center of planning, decide relevance matters most and work backwards from there.
To help you navigate these unprecedented changes and chart a course to sustainable growth Emergent can provide deep CPG and retail marketing experience, insight to consumer behavior, health and wellness lifestyle expertise and transformational ideas. Use this link to let us know if you’re ready to explore new solutions.
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Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent, The Healthy Living Agency. Traditional brand marketing often sidesteps more human qualities that can help consumers form an emotional bond. Yet brands yearn for authentic engagement, trust and a lasting relationship with their customers. Emergent helps brands erase ineffective self-promotion and replace it with clarity, honesty and deeper meaning in their customer relationships and communication. For more information, contact Bob@Emergent-Comm.com and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.