What must be kept in mind when assisting our clients to survive and then thrive in the post-pandemic reality?

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Author
Craig Hart
Assembled Group Chairman
Date
February 28, 2022
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As we emerge from an extended lockdown and return to a ‘COVID-normal’ market, what learnings should companies and their marketers apply to protect, sustain, and grow the brands they represent?

"originally-published" Originally published October 2, 2021

With business confidence at the very least equivocal, now is the time to consider how brands re-present themselves to customers who's buying behaviours have changed.

Assembled Group with a multi-disciplined approach across media, advertising, research, digital, brand, design and public relations is working with numerous leading brands to navigate these new realities, while also exploring the opportunities that can are presented from renewed customer relations.

While it’s clear that the uptake of online shopping and increasing engagement with e-commerce platforms are habits that are here to stay, there are still many unknowns with respect to lasting behaviours, and how consumers might respond to ongoing uncertainty.

It may be that from brands making an effort to re-state their value propositions they can create a context for growth in the value of customer relationships that might otherwise have not occurred.

Assembled Group through its research agency, Truth Serum, has conducted a sample research study amongst 500 community members in Victoria and New South Wales to gather some insights about consumer sentiment.

The findings provided a few surprises:

  • While it’s clear online shopping is here to stay, there is a pent-up demand for bricks and mortar shopping.
  • 6 in 10 people stated they are looking forward to going into stores.
  • 71% of people confirmed they feel safe returning to regular shopping.
  • 50% are looking forward to trying on products, to feel the quality of products through in-store displays and merchandising.
  • Over 60% of those polled have delayed purchases awaiting a return to regular shopping.
  • 47% have had frustrations with online delivery delays and younger demographics (18–29-year old’s) are increasingly irritated by the cost of delivery.

While COVID created a necessary and growing appetite for e-commerce services, it’s clear that recent delays and rising costs of delivery have left consumers willing to now re-engage with physical shopping.

These sample findings suggest there is an opportunity for a re-think about how consumers experience brands. Perhaps there has never been a better time to invest in the customer experience and make it consistent across all the platforms consumers use to engage with brands.

By confirming a number of assumptions around varied consumer behaviours as a result of the pandemic, we have a preliminary view of how consumer attitudes towards brands have evolved, and the opportunities this presents for those who market products and services informed by these changes.

With higher than usual levels of brand switching and experimentation, there is now the possibility to specifically target “undecided” customers. The cumulative factors of lockdown fatigue impacted consumer confidence, and an uncertain economic forecast, are all factors to consider when planning the right reconnection with customers.

At Assembled Group our agencies are recommending that our clients take on board the following key considerations:

  1. Consumers whether existing or new, need to have brands reconnect with them, and not assume that their loyalty remains unaltered.
  2. It is to be expected that consumers will increasingly expect the sellers of products and services to more clearly state how their offers are demonstrably relevant and appropriate ongoing.
  3. Product and service providers must have a coordinated communication plan across all platforms, in-store and online.
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