With everyone talking about doom and gloom, how the world will never be the same again, and what will be the new norm… who is going to come up with the next big thing? I think it’s time to pause and reflect.
I don’t think we need a “big thing” at all; rather, we need lots of simple and small things. It’s about creativity, connecting the dots in a different way. The questions at the moment in my mind is this: How can a brand remain front of mind with a customer? How can this unprecedented time be used to strengthen existing customer connections and create new and relevant ones? What services or products can a brand provide that are relevant to this time? What communication of hope and the future is being conveyed to customer?
This isn’t about out-spending or out-shouting the competition; it’s about making a customer’s current situation easier, more tolerable, and more supported.
To that end, I suggest all brands first take a look in their marketing “pantry”. Ask yourselves what content or work have you already created that could be given a new purpose, a simple means to support customers now and be remembered?
All customers’ footprints have been reduced to the size of a living room. The user journey is now from the bedroom to the sofa and back, probably no more than three feet apart, while the method of communication is on three screens all working at the same time. Understanding this new norm and delivering value in that environment is going to be key to future success.
People are very savvy to a disingenuous “we are here to support you” message that isn’t backed up by something honest and tangible. It becomes easier to identify because it is being repeated constantly by multiple brands… it’s as if we are all binge-watching insincerity. No more long-winded letters from the CEO, please!
In the book the Power of Positive Deviance, the point is made to seek simple, creative solutions in the face of intractable problems, and it showcases inspiring accounts of bringing such solutions to bear. If ever there was a time to take advice for this approach, it is now (and I strongly recommend reading if you haven’t already)!
Re-evaluating current challenges through an outside lens can lead to some wonderful and original outcomes. And pantry creativity isn’t something that needs to be done in isolation but can also be used to help and support each other. Take the #GreatAmericanTakeout campaign developed by the HW&H agency, by involving multiple brands a good campaign was turned into a great cause that gained significant impact and reach while driving business for brands in an industry severely impacted by COVID-19.
Now is the time for the “MacGyver” in all brands to really show up. We need to ask ourselves the following: what content do I have that I can repurposed for good? Is there an at-home experience or product that can be repurposed to help where it’s needed? Perhaps a digital experience put on a shelf that, with a little TLC, could support customers at home? And what new or existing partnerships could take on a fresh meaning is this current situation, take advantage of what we might be able to share?