During the pandemic brand purpose has become an important issue since consumer values and priorities are changing rapidly. Culture has always been the best channel to understand how change is evolving. So, it is more relevant than ever for brands to observe consumer culture and changing habits.
How can brands help people and stay relevant in crisis?
Social listening is an increasingly effective channel for brands to understand how consumer behaviours are changing. What are the key themes and new issues repeated in conversations? By identifying emerging social behaviours & needs brands can anticipate new user situations and opportunities.
I have focused on four cultural trends that express recent changes in social behaviour. They are: #Moodoftheday Management, Remotely Together, Sharing Responsibility and Equal Representation.
To link culture and social behaviours, I have used previously analysed four New Normal persona types (Sensitive Conformist, Inspired Connector, Frugal Cultivator and Misfit Challenger) that identify specific persona values & needs.
- #Moodoftheday Management is about actively managing Wellbeing/Anxiety levels
- Remotely Together is about feeling emotionally close while physically distant
- Sharing Responsibility is about increasingly taking responsibility over community wellbeing
- Equal Representation is about minorities finding a voice
Coping strategies of everyday life have changed due to pandemia. Rituals are a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly (as part of a ceremony) to help everyday life routines.
As people adjust to New Normal, brands can take an active role by creating new rituals and purposeful new ways for people to cope everyday life situations and reconnect. Brand missions help to identify right type of rituals for each brand.
Below is an example of four types of brand missions with rituals suitable for four persona types.
1. #Moodoftheday Management is about actively managing Wellbeing/Anxiety levels
- Comforting rituals can help people to PROVIDE STRUCTURE for Sensitive Comformist personas. (E.g. creating a digital detox routines)
2. Remotely Together is about feeling emotionally close while physically distant
- Sense of belonging rituals can help Inspired Connector personas to CONNECT in new ways. (E.g. creating new employee benefit experiences)
3. Sharing Responsibility is about increasingly taking responsibility over community wellbeing
- Anchoring rituals can EDUCATE Frugal Cultivator personas. (E.g. plan new community ceremonies)
4. Equal Representation is about minorities finding a voice
- Transition rituals can help Misfit Challeger personas to feel that they can make a difference. (E.g. by creating gaming characters to explore different identities)
This is a simplified example to illustrate how brands can align their purpose and mission to reconnect with people in new and relevant ways using rituals to build stronger connections.
SUMMARY OF THE PROCESS
- Identify themes and key issues from cultural context
- Align brand mission with specific types of rituals that are important for target audience
- Create new rituals that express brand purpose and mission