As every brand, business and government official keeps reminding us, Christmas 2020 is going to look a little different to festive seasons gone by. As an unprecedented year draws to a close, many consumers are looking to moments of shared connection and nostalgia to find moments of comfort. And what’s more familiar than Christmas?
Indeed, this year according to research, people in the UK are celebrating Christmas earlier than ever. Christmas songs are creeping up the charts, trees glimpsed through every window and festive jumpers worn with careless abandon in mid-November. Because consumers are all just searching for a moment of joy, a moment that reminds them of happier times and of the momentary relief that a familiar tradition can bring.
But many of the cultural touch points that consumers long for have been dismantled this year by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Cancelled in effect by lockdowns or by tier systems designed to protect us and the health of the nation but that have shifted every single person’s life in ways unrecognisable to our 2019 selves.
Alongside these shifting touch points has come a myriad change to daily life, reflected in the shifting buying behaviour and media consumption habits of households across the country.
But these changes signal opportunity for brands to offer help, guidance or even a moment of escape to consumers longing for the familiar. Whether that’s live sports or the big family Christmas, perhaps brands can step in to give a little love this year.
With that in mind, we asked a selection of industry experts, as the cultural touch-points and rituals of daily life change irrevocably in the midst of the crisis, what is the role for brands in filling this void?