Move over, Marketing 5.0! It’s time for 6.0 to take over: Chetan Mahajan, Founder & CEO, The Mavericks
Brand’s commitment to sustainability will move beyond vanity and its investment in aligning its deeds with its promise will help in building trust and reputation writes Chetan Mahajan.
More than four weeks under lockdown to combat the coronavirus epidemic, the world already seems to be a changed place. Forced social distancing has helped reclaim the space that some of us may have so badly wanted. There is more time to reflect on things and a greater opportunity to learn from people around us. Trivialities that we had gloated and fought over are now ignored or at least sidelined. The coronavirus battle to which thousands of people are succumbing to each day has prompted many to look within than look around.
Inducing Simplicity in Life for Long-lasting Happiness
Since you are stuck at home for your own safety, it makes sense to focus on the simple ways of living. Luxury has given way to utility. The wardrobes have been rendered useless and a regular unadulterated beauty has become the new normal. The invisible virus is now deemed invincible and enjoys greater power than all our luxury goods put together. People who till date resonated with the quote by Vincent van Gogh, “How difficult it is to be simple!” now realize that happiness lies in the small things that count but are mostly understated.
Has Insecurity Brought Everyone at Par?
Some people have hailed COVID-19 as the great leveller as it has grounded both the rich and poor alike. Truth be told, the joy of forced isolation can be enjoyed only by those with enough liquid funds at their disposal. The circumstances are demanding as many businesses have closed. Global recession is likely, which translates to more job cuts and higher unemployment rates.
It’s unlikely that our earnings will keep pace with what we’ve experienced in the past. Economy will take time to recover as the International Monetary Fund estimates global growth in 2020 to be in the negative. The need to have enough cash in hand is now being felt like never before. The status of cash is likely to be move from being a king to an emperor.
More Spending on Digital Tools
Most businesses have ensured effective business continuity during the lockdown. They attribute their success to effective digital strategies in place. This has led many companies to prioritize digital transformation of their operations post lockdown. Digital transformation is expected to be commonplace in the post-COVID-19 era with virtual exchange of information becoming the new reality. This lockdown has made us experience digital across all sections of the society. Social distancing would need to be practiced for a few more months. This would have a lasting effect on consumer buying behavior. Online buying channels will replace the brick-and-mortar ones, thus, necessitating companies to invest in online collaboration tools apart from planned digital strategies. While it will be sunset scenario for many businesses it will be a watershed moment for many other businesses that have been waiting for an inflection point.
Solving Impulsive Shopping Problems
Believe it or not, a lot of people seek treatment for their compulsive spending problems. Rise of E-commerce portals aggravated this problem among online shoppers who went on a buying spree from the comfort of their homes. However, restriction on movement, barring for purchase of essential items, proved to be a therapeutic measure for those diagnosed with shopping addiction problems. The past one month of compulsory quarantine has helped demark the essential commodities from the non-essential ones. The urge to pay for things with the click of a mouse has been replaced with buying things that we need and not what we want.
Less is Now More
The want for luxury items and expensive crockery has taken a backseat. Storing essential goods of everyday use has veered the consumer mindset towards minimalism. The compulsion to survive with the bare minimum without impairing the quality of our lives has left an indelible impact on our lifestyle choices. Maxwell Maltz, a renowned plastic surgeon, discovered that it takes just 21 days to form a new habit and in just 66 days new behaviors become automatic. The ‘Reset’ button has been pressed with a major part of the world embracing minimalism during the post lockdown period. Overstuffed closets would be decluttered as the consumerist lifestyle would soon be replaced with focus on quality living.
Appealing to a Rationalized Mind
Most Brand Mangers and CXO’s have perpetually questioned investments in building reputation since the benefits are usually intangible. It’s been a push strategy instead of balanced pull and push to win the battle; with very few actually preparing for winning the war instead. This quarantine has rationalized the human mind to an extent that marketers will now find it difficult to get their customers to behave irrationally. The marketing strategies will need to be completely reset to adapt to the new mindset. Reputation and trust will be the new currency. Brand communication strategies will now have to bring their purpose to the core of their storytelling, Brand’s commitment to sustainability will move beyond vanity and its investment in aligning its deeds with its promise will help in building trust and reputation that can earn goodwill & preference amongst its stakeholders. Brands that invested in building reputation over the years will finally get to see tangible benefits. Marketers who expect Post-COVID consumer to slip back to the old normal are surely in for a rude shock and must get ready to brace the impact.
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