3. The new consumption behaviours within the category need serving, with an eye to what the long-term/post-crisis behavioural shift might be
Management consultants have moved fast to recognise the new behaviours we are necessarily adopting in this crisis. So too have the most plucky and nimble essential neighbourhood shops. There is an immediate new consumption behaviour in almost every category that must be served, but companies should have an eye to what the long-term behavioural shift might be. As people re-evaluate their pre-crisis consumption behaviours, new ones may be adopted for the long-term. Plus, the lockdown will be long enough for new habits to be wired permanently into our brains, and for old ones to be replaced.
4. First and fast (and beta) will garner maximum earned media value
Organisations such as Mercedes, Formula One and BrewDog have garnered national news headlines and mentions from government officials in the daily briefings in large part because they were the first to offer something. A whole host of alcohol brands and other industries are currently making hand gel, but it’s those who put their hands up first who we will hear about.
Building digital pubs and clubs may soon become de rigueur for many alcohol brands, but we were first to market to create a ‘WFH moment’ with craft beer client Beavertown via the creation of the ‘Beavertown Cheers’ platform on the first week of lockdown, something that we knew we could build on and improve over time with live drawing classes and more, creating an ‘appointment to view’ moment for this new at home behaviour. A note of caution, however. If providing something serious, it’s important to ensure it’s fit for purpose before making bold claims.
5. Utility and, maybe, entertainment are key
The best companies have always understood this. But it’s now ever more critical to focus almost exclusively through these two lenses. Start by asking if you can be of help or reframe your service in a new manner that’s built for the new reality. Then also ask, if appropriate, whether you could provide some much-needed light relief for the millions of people who are living within the confines of their own homes.
So, whilst this is absolutely not a time for opportunism or narcissism, it is absolutely a time when every brand in every category can and should remain present and visible.
Many tragedies lie ahead. But we’ll always remember those who help us in a time of need, and constraint and limitation have long been seen as drivers of great strategies and creative ideas.
Do not go gentle into that good night.