As the Country starts to reopen we look at the ‘return to live’ and what brands need to know and do in order to be prepared.
Covid-19 forced huge change upon us, some of it absolutely for the better and other aspects we will be happy to leave behind in the covid world. But one thing it really did highlight was that consumers – a whopping 86% of them globally- want to see significant change post covid.
So 2021 should be all about laying the groundwork. Really using this time to create ‘A New World’- designed towards a purposeful recovery that safely delivers us back to a “live” world, but learns from the times we’ve just come from.
But what is a purposeful recovery? It’s fulfilling a consumer need for more than just ‘talking the talk’.
It’s backing up that talk with measurable, observable action, genuinely supporting real movements, not just moments, and doing it in a way that is authentic to your brand and speaks to your audience.
In an age where consumers are increasingly in tune with global issues, and more invested in the common good, purposeful pop-ups will allow brands to highlight local causes while also engaging their consumers and demonstrating that they understand what’s important to them.
For New York Fashion Week 2020, Visa launched the ‘Everywhere Fashion Week Pop-up’. Living their belief that their brand belongs “Where Style Meets Statement”, spotlighting its tap to pay technology & championing Female Leaders, the pop-up housed female-founded brands with 100% of the purchase price benefiting the Women’s World Banking charity.
In activating this purposeful pop-up, they proved their commitment to living by their brand values.
‘We are in this together’, a phrase we all lived by through this pandemic and its deeper meaning is here to stay. This change in mindset from “me” to “we” is something that consumers want to see extended into brands. And some brands have really hit the nail on the head:
In the US famous foam clog shoes, Crocs, launched ‘A Free Pair for Healthcare’ donating up to 10,000 shoes every day to healthcare workers. The programme allowed Doctors, Nurses and other medical employees to select a free pair of crocs to bring a little comfort during their long shifts.
A super example of connecting a brand with a socially responsible and relevant movement while also highlighting the brands comfort and support credentials.
After price and quality 66% of consumers buy from brands who have a great culture and that includes looking after their employees
In a time when job losses and layoffs reached peak levels across the world, McDonalds and Aldi came together in a collaborative partnership demonstrating that they understood the feeling and mindset among not only their consumers, but among their employees. Striking a partnership around their workforces, McDonald’s employees who had been affected by restaurant closures were ‘leased’ to Aldi who were experiencing a significantly busy period. This synchronicity was a PR win-win for all parties.
This concept of working together for the greater good and striking partnerships with brands with similar values is here for the long term. As we emerge from this pandemic there will be an even bigger emphasis on ‘doing good’ and giving back but it must be authentic.
This trend is also alive and well in the virtual world, for now.
Enabling consumers to use digital platforms and gaming to achieve real world results is a growing trend among brands, something which should be strongly considered as part of the marketing mix. Hellmann’s did this recently with a brilliant digital campaign focused on food waste.
They noticed that in the online game Animal Crossing, rotting turnips held no value. So, they opened up their own Hellmann’s Island for Turnip donations, where every rotten turnip donated equalled meal donations to real-life food banks. For every turnip dropped off Hellmann’s donated two meals to Fareshare Food bank, a charity that aims to reduce food waste and help those in poverty.
An excellent campaign by a brand who spotted the opportunity to tie their brand to an existing virtual platform while at the same time making virtual philanthropy simple- and free- to the user.
So where do the opportunities lie in building foundations for a purposeful recovery?
You need to be ready! Strong planning and forecasting are at the heart of making it in this new world. We need to create, anticipate and forecast the “now”, weeks & months before the “now” actually arrives.
We encourage brands to consider what they really know and understand about the consumer and what matters to them coming out of this pandemic. How can they take these learnings and apply them to the returning market.?
Remember the opportunity (and profitability) lies in building more authentic relationships with consumers. Consumers act as brand champions to those they believe in, and reliable loyalty equates to consistent income.
Purpose provides the differentiation for your brand to stand apart from the others, and edge is everything in a brand new market.
For more ongoing trends and insights, check out Verve’s new podcast: The Virtual Events Podcast. Our team chat about all things virtual. Each episode has tips, hints, what’s new, what works best, hope you enjoy it.
The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts : https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240
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