As Covid is on a rampage, the world has travelled through a portal and has reached a place from where there is no going back. Covid has brought fear into the minds of the people. Fear of the disease, fear of losing jobs, fear for the future. This has forced us to take a step back and reflect on the real meaning of life. Meaningful work and the higher purpose of life is now gaining importance. Being cut off from our social surroundings, people are longing for a social connection and have increased social needs. Work and work-life is being reinvented and the search for authenticity has increased. With the progression of this pandemic, people are adapting well to the situations and consumer behaviour as a whole has changed a lot. New innovations are coming into play which has made it somewhat easier for people to adapt to this situation and thus making the current situation the New Normal.
In this New Normal, the trends are changing almost overnight which has led to brands across the world struggling to strive and maintain resonance in the minds of the consumers. Now the question is, how can brands adapt to this and become successful in engaging their audience. Let’s discuss in segments.
First, let’s discuss why meaningful work and higher purpose is important. The financial aspect no longer holds purpose or inspiration. It doesn’t build respect and it certainly doesn’t guide decisions. On the other hand, meaningful work creates brand respect and increases brand visibility. Not only consumers but employees also search for the higher purpose and the meaning in their work. These can be offered driven like Apple offering to create insanely great products or Lego offering to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. It can be cultural in some cases. With the pace of life slowed down, people have now started reviving their interest in their family, culture and have become more sensitive towards worldly issues like environmental problems. They want to improve their quality of life not just by means of finance, they also want to add more meaning to their life. This emotion that has come into play, the feeling of having a higher purpose in life is something that brands must target to attract their consumers.
Let’s consider the consumer’s social need. Social connection brings in Brand Community. A brand community is the group of people with shared activities, issue or interest area with a certain brand in the focal point. It is necessary to create a human connection with the brand. This can be achieved by making customers belong to a group, bringing like-minded people together on a social platform. This increases brand involvement and energy. This as a whole gives the feeling of owning the brand in the minds of the consumers.
Brand Stories get more attention than a description of offerings as products or services. It changes the perception about the brand, helps to persuade consumer and creates a liking for the brand. It also majorly energizes and stimulates action. Brand messaging will work when it’s more about self-actualization and less about safety and belongingness (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Now, more than ever before, brands need to restate and match their brand purpose with their day to day communication. People want to see the impact of a certain brand on society. They want to see how the brand can not only develop products or services for them but also how can or rather how are they contributing towards making this world a better place to live. This is what will particularly set them apart from their competitors. Brands need to make this purpose come alive through their brand assets/properties.
I would like to summarize this by saying, generate solutions, not just campaigns. It is easy to do campaigns but unless they bring solutions to consumer’s problems in these changing times, they will be lost in a sea of ever merging and diminishing brands. Strive to be the preferred brand over the considered brand.
This article is sent to Prittle Pratle News by Mr. Priyam Chakraborty