For consumers, the Covid-19 pandemic underscored some existing priorities and introduced others. Though it completely disrupted business as usual for brands, the new normal offers opportunities for connecting with customers and making a more meaningful impact through products.
During the R/Evolution Sourcing Journal Summit on Thursday, Roberto Ramos, founder of consultancy and creative agency Ideatelier, outlined some ways brands can tap into the new consumer mindset, beginning with safety.
“Prepared is the new sexy,” he said, noting that brands must set a strategy for clearly communicating their cleanliness and safety precautions within their own operations. But cutting through the noise—especially as society congregates online in record numbers—requires an innovative approach.
“How do we create a sense of community when we physically cannot be together as much as we would like?” he said. “We see this in many different ways.”
Ramos pointed to effective digital strategies like “virtual styling,” which some fashion brands have begun offering to clients via Zoom. Other brands, both luxury and high street alike, have turned to TikTok to reach a younger, more tech-savvy audience.
According to Ramos, connecting with the post-pandemic consumer requires an “always-on” approach—as inspiration can come from anywhere.
“Identify all of those little day-to-day insights in terms of how [customers] consume things—in terms of what’s missing in their lives—and then design around those real-life needs,” he said.
And what they need is an experience. Ramos noted that conveying warmth and comfort through a screen requires something more than just a product. He challenged brands to make the experience the product, and look for ways to gamify or make the product more engaging.
In a society now plagued by monotony, brands have the opportunity to provide a sense of excitement through their marketing.
“Think of yourself as a culture brand and ask yourself ‘can this be turned into an exhibition, can we can we gamify this, can we turn this into a much more addictive experience?’” he said. “Be as immersive as possible when you leverage the beauty of technology from that angle.”
All of the sessions from this year’s virtual Sourcing Journal Summit, R/Evolution, are available on demand for the first time. Follow this link for more information.