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What should brands be paying attention to in 2021 by Lulu Raghavan
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A good place to start is a better understanding of where consumer behaviour is headed. Mintel predicts that there are seven global consumer trends that will impact how brands will need to adapt their strategies for winning and keeping consumers.

Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director of Landor & Fitch has taken the headlines from Mintel and explained each trend in her own way.

1. Health Undefined

Health and wellness have risen to the top of every consumer’s priority. The conversation starts with safety – which is no longer table stakes for brands – but then moves on to a holistic sense of wellbeing that consumers are embracing. From sleep and meditation conversations that have gone mainstream to an interest in a slew of immunity-boosting products, health and wellness are manifesting itself in all aspects of consumers’ lives.


2. Collective Empowerment

Consumers are increasing awareness of their collective might. When they rally together to align around causes close to their heart, they can make a huge difference. Black Lives Matter has shown just how much grassroots involvement by consumers to impact change in a number of areas will be the norm going forward.


3. Priority Shift

Millennials had already shown the big consumer shift from material possessions to experiences. Post-Covid, the concept of ownership will be redefined even further. There might be two extremes here and lots of in-betweens. One segment will return to a far simpler, minimalist lifestyle. On the other hand, once we emerge from lockdown there will be a huge YOLO segment that will want to live life king size at the moment and embrace full-on physical OTP experiences.


4. Coming Together

The isolation during the pandemic has created more of a desire for consumers to link up with other like-minded folks through shared interests and beliefs. We’ll see an explosion of virtual communities on digital platforms that connect consumers more closely with each other. From greater bonding with neighbours to more outreach in the community, social togetherness at the local level will gather momentum.


5. Virtual Lives

Increased number of hours spent online got consumers super comfortable with consuming digital experiences. Some may be so comfortable with virtual living that stepping out of the house may not be a necessity after all.


6. Sustainable Spaces

2020 redefined our relationship with space and has forever changed our expectation from the spaces that we inhabit. This coupled with increased concern for Planet Earth, there will be a heightened consciousness on sustainability which will flow into all aspects of our lives.


7. Digital Dilemmas

As we’ve embraced digital, we’ve also increased our desire to escape its stranglehold. From Zoom fatigue to eye soreness to a host of other negative impacts on our health and wellbeing, consumers everywhere are struggling to define the right balance of the real and virtual that will be beneficial to their physical and emotional wellbeing.

So how should brand owners make sense of all these changes and think about the implications for their brands?

Lead with Empathy to Deepen Consumer Understanding

Putting ourselves as brand owners in our consumers’ shoes has never been as important as it is now. It’s time to examine all the ways in which we collect and analyse our consumers. How well do we understand our consumer – not just their behaviour with our brand but their broader world? Do we have a clear picture of who they are? What are their aspirations and anxieties? How can we add real value in their lives? Which of Mintel’s’ trends impact our business more than the others? The implication is to immediately commission primary research or collate and study secondary research on our consumers.

Areas should include understanding the consumer as an individual (broad), their relationship with the category (more specific) and their relationship with our brand (laser-focused). It is best to get your team involved in collecting the data and culling consumer insights. There is no better way to get close to your consumers and have real empathy for them.

Question Everything and Reimagine Why You Exist as a Brand

This is as opportune a time as any to fundamentally rethink the business and its very reason to exist. Brands will surely need to find a legitimate purpose to own, ways to create relevance and ways to stand out from the sea of sameness in every category.

 

It will take a lot of open-mindednesses to kill the sacred cows and think of fresh, new ways in which to add value in your consumers’ lives. The insights gleaned in the empathy stage should be the foundation of reimagining your brand’s purpose.

Think of a Holistic Brand Experience to Serve Your Consumers Better

The consumer journey framework is the most useful tool you can use now to map every interaction touchpoint with your consumer – be it physical, digital or human – and plot how you will engage deeper and more holistically across all the touchpoints of the brand experience. It’s goodbye to SILOS and hello to a unified view of consumers by all parts of your organization to truly serve them better.

 

In short, brand transformation in the service of business and consumer behaviour transformation is the need of the hour.

 

It’s time you embarked on this to give your business the competitive brand edge it needs.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

First Design Job - Vantage View by Lulu Raghavan

There are few things in one’s career as exciting and full of promise as the first day on the first design job. Yet, if you don’t prepare for this wonderful opportunity, you may miss the chance to make the best possible first impression and set yourself up for success. One of my favourite bosses loved quoting Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”!

So how can you be so well prepared for your first design job?

1. Research Thoroughly on The Company You are Joining

How well do you know the agency or company that you will be joining? Have you devoured every piece of information in the public domain that you can find on the company? What is the company’s history and track record? What are they really proud of? What’s the vision for their industry?

 

Have you tried reaching out to people who have worked there or are still working there to understand the culture? Check on glassdoor.com. Do you know what it will take to succeed at this company? All of this information will help you connect emotionally with your new colleagues and also fit in to the culture.


2. Clarity of Your Role

Were you so excited to accept the offer that you didn’t really pay much attention to the role? Will you be just another cog in the wheel or are they going to be assigning you lots of responsibilities? Who will you be reporting to? Is this person just a few years senior to you or is there a big gap in experience? What does the company expect you to do? How will your effectiveness and performance be measured?

 

How will you be rewarded? Having clarity on your role and what it will take to succeed at the company will ensure that your efforts and hard work are channeled in the right places. Even if you don’t have these questions answered before you join, try to get these answers on the first day or first week.


3. Refresh Your Skills

If you’ve done the homework on the company and role clarity, you will know exactly what hard and soft skills you may need to brush up on. Spend time before your first design job mastering the basic software tools you will be using. Practice both your written and oral communication skills.

 

Flex your creative muscle and warm it up by solving some online creative thinking exercises. Take a class on skillsshare.com or LinkedIn Learning. Watch some motivational speeches by Steve Jobs, Robin Sharma or Tony Robbins. Read up as much as you can on being a team player. It’s no long just about you. Your success will largely depend on how well you get along with others.


4. Reset your Mindset

The biggest gift you can give yourself before your first day on the job is to cultivate a growth mindset and a passionate can-do attitude. Attitude trumps everything else in the workplace – the right one can take you farther than you ever imagined possible.

 

Make sure you get eight hours of sleep every night, eat healthy, exercise regularly, meditate every day to clean your mind and wake up in the morning with a burning desire to get on with your day’s work. Some days will be fabulous, and others will make you way to cry and perhaps even quit.

 

It’s important to solider on despite the difficulties. I love these words by Carol Dweck: “Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning”

Issue 47 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 47

Portfolios ready and design graduate all set to grab their first dream job in the studio and agency they admire. And on the other side, the industry is always on the look for the fresh talent to acquire. The issue is full of advice on, what to expect from your first job, how to be prepared to get the best opportunities and much more. So if you are a recent graduate or looking to hire fresh talent, this is a must-have for you. So go ahead and order your copy now!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 52