Nine weeks into lockdown and we’re inching towards release. It’s not going to be business as usual, but it’ll certainly be one step closer.
What have we done with our time inside? And how can we prepare for the next phase of our lives as we emerge from our bunkers blinking into the sunlight?
At home I realise it’s been a combination of activities that will have set me up for the next stage.
For instance, lockdown has given me a chance to clean out my wardrobe and discover quite how many black tops I owned, including some I had completely forgotten about. I’m not the only one – someone I spoke to recently confessed to owning 9 pairs of white linen trousers ‘I buy one before my summer holiday every year’.
I think the same is true for brand-owners.
It is very tempting to commission a major piece of strategic research without going through the cupboards first and seeing what already exists in the wardrobe. And whilst it might seem contrary for a research company to be saying this, we can’t help but suggest to our clients that they check what they have before they buy something new.
Whilst the shops are still closed it’s the clutter consultant you need, not the personal shopper.
We would be delighted to help you comb through the data you have already or the assets you already own. Our Data Plus product helps brand-owners review, organise and join up all the data they collect for more effective, business-focused analysis.
Just as my wardrobe clear-out has helped me match up all those black tops with all those pairs of trousers so Data Plus is helping our clients understand relationships across a range of data so they can prioritise what’s most useful in the brand cupboard, whether to do with audiences, products or activities, and face whatever the new normal brings.
It’s not just finding out what you already own, it’s also a case of re-purposing what you have.
Whilst going through my wardrobe I have also found a shirt that has never fitted properly which I resolve to get altered the minute the dry-cleaners opens up and a multitude of scarves just waiting to be re-purposed as…well you’ve guessed it… a face-mask or two (I have almost as many scarves as I have black tops).
Watching the TV recently (and I’ve been doing a lot of that too) I spotted an NHS ad featuring a range of NHS personnel: physios, paramedics, nurses, radiographers, all shown doing their jobs with care and devotion, ending with the sign-off We are the NHS. How could I not be moved?
This was actually a recruitment ad, conceived and created before the pandemic, but now working as much as an NHS brand ad than one focussed more narrowly on job recruitment.
Many brand-owners will have brand assets that could be re-purposed, re-edited, revived to meet new objectives or reinforce brand values. Consumers may not be able to buy all the products they would want at a time of lockdown but they certainly won’t stop building relationships with brands.
As with Data Plus we have been helping our clients evaluate what they already have to see what they can use most effectively right now.
Our qual team has been exploring a campaign aimed at parents that was brought forward to make the most of the potential offered by all that extra family time in lockdown.
We also stepped in to help a brand-owner re-purpose a TV ad that was originally product-focussed but needed to communicate a brand message instead.
And finally it’s always helpful to call in an expert to give us provide top tips and hacks when de-cluttering. Whether it’s Marie Kondo, or influencers such as Vicky Silverthorn (youneedavicky) or Christine Krkach (theocdbychristine) we can all be inspired to improve our lives and make the most of what we have. We have been at the other end of Zoom calls to provide tips, tricks and hacks for managing research in this strange new world of lockdown (and to answer a lot of other research questions too).
We can’t pretend that we have all the answers and we know that the only thing that’s certain is that the future is unpredictable, but we can offer help and guidance along the way to ensure our clients do the best with what they have (although I’m not sure I’d trust us with the fashion tips).
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