The Evolution of Normal
There has been a lot of talk about ‘normality’ recently. Getting back to normal, or perhaps a new normal. The truth is that normality is constantly changing and evolving, even without global pandemics. Just take a look at how fashions change and how quickly technology is adopted. Normal never looks the same from one year to the next.
The difference, of course, is that this year normal has changed far faster than we would ever have imagined. Some changes that would have been slow evolutions over many years, happened seemingly overnight. Some things suddenly became far more important than we could have expected. As our world continues to evolve things will change again. Perhaps face masks and hand sanitiser will become a little less important. But other changes are almost certainly here to stay as new values and attitudes continue to shape the future.
The Importance of Home…
For some people home used to be little more than a place to sleep, with days spent in an office, or eating out and socialising. The crisis of 2020 has changed all that and home is now the command center for busy lives.
Home entertainment and decor are now more important than ever, and something the party industry can tap into. From balloon kits that allow a single person to learn a new skill, to decoration packs designed to liven up video calls. People are always looking for fun and novelty, but now they want it without leaving home.
It’s also worth considering your marketing strategy, and how you can reach people at home without seeming intrusive. Aim to start conversations and discussions using the many platforms that your customers rely on, phones, tablets, TVs and smart speakers come top of the list.
Local shops for local people?
In a world that has suddenly gone online it may seem that location doesn’t matter and it’s certainly true that online sales can happen anywhere. However, many people have discovered a new appreciation for their local community.
With travel almost non-existent people have had no choice but to find local retailers, and many have discovered the joy of supporting small businesses. Not only that, a community spirit has emerged. What began with checking in on elderly neighbours has evolved to supporting the whole community, including businesses.
Many people now feel that it’s important to support local, familiar, businesses. The sort of place where they know the owner and know that their custom will “make a real person do a happy dance”, as well as feeling confident that you operate safely.
If you have a bricks and mortar premises then the link is obvious, but even if you operate entirely online you can still use this feeling to your advantage by becoming a well-known name in both local and virtual communities.
Beyond Face Value!
Taking this a step further, there seems to be a growing emphasis on doing the right thing, looking after each other as a society and championing important causes. There has been a surge in activism, giving consumers the feeling that they have the power to make a difference in a world where they might otherwise feel helpless.
Your business can be a part of this when you communicate a clear purpose, something that goes deeper and takes your brand beyond the obvious. Perhaps you support environmental causes, fight world hunger or support a local charity.
Whatever you do, it must be backed up with real action. Paying lip service to a cause can backfire, but if you truly have a passion to make a difference then you will earn a great deal of respect.
Top: Will consumers have a renewed affection for the people and businesses that are their neighbours?
(Photo by Artem Beliaikin)