Consumers are a fickle bunch, if you're brand is no longer as relevant as it once was they will go to the next one with whom they 'feel' understands their needs better than you.
Since humans became the social animals that we are, we have passed on our knowledge via stories, and in many cases through songs.
This is something that all tribes around the world have done in order to keep our version of history and culture alive.
Today these stories are being played out to a pandemic narrative, a story that will go down in history and one that has impacted every single person on this tiny planet of ours.
For brands to succeed in any sector they must stay focused on a 'relevant to me' mindset.
What this means in simple terms that a company need to obsess about 'why' a consumer should choose to spend time and money with your company over that of another.
If you can do this persistently then you stand a much better chance of winning out, but remember this is an ongoing fundamental.
In the not too distant past brands were the custodian of how we perceived them, this was primarily driven by brand awareness ad campaigns across all relevant mediums, especially digital.
They told us what they stood for and if we 'related' to that message we might be swayed to choose 'Coke over Pepsi', 'Wrangler over Levi's', 'Nike over Reebok', 'BMW over Mercedes'.
The basis of this branding message is still very much the same, but as social media has opened up our ability to do our own research around those 'brand promises' we tend to be swayed more so by those closest to us.
Analog thinking in a digital world is (IMO) what's holding companies back from genuine and authentic relationship building with prospects and existing customers alike.
Nothing can make me 'scroll' or as we say in Manchester 'jog on' faster than brands who regurgitate corporate content whilst trying to get their message across.
It's all totally sanitised, signed off by the brand police then handed over to the girl with the tattoo in marketing who in turn hands it to the 'retained' agency to schedule the post rather than the employees who can probably tell a more authentic story anyway.
The reality is everyone is saying 'we're the best', or 'great innovation', worse still is the 'look at us, 'we just won this award for the fastest boiling kettle' and frankly it's shit!
At no time in retailing history has inertia been so much in the consumers favour.
Today your website is probably one of the last places the consumer will go to look at products and services and find out who you really are.
Today, I'm going to be more inclined to make my purchase via any number of social media channels with something called 'Social Commerce', I also get instant feedback on what other people say you are, no longer do I have to be influenced by 'what you say' you are!.
Virtually every brand/company we benchmark on social media talk endlessly about themselves, they think that showing us pictures and video's of the gifts they shower on the new intern, or (pre-Covid) that corporate 'get together' is something that's going to endear us to them.
This is simply analog thinking in a socially savvy digital world, so please stop producing corporate vomit.
Stop selling, start telling more stories, because social media is our new campfire and we all have a story to tell.
The tension between brand and digital products and services here is clear. The practice of developing customer experience has come to retreat from, or in some circumstances outright oppose, deviation. Services are designed to match ‘normal’ and earned behaviour to reduce the need for education.