How we begin 2021 will define how we end the decade

Q: Should I wait and see, to assess how my consumers and competitors react before deciding my strategy?

Before the current crisis, artistic parallels between the 1920s and 2020s were being drawn, with collections on this year’s catwalks being influenced by fashion of the decade a century prior. That decade ended with a recession so bad we called it ‘the great depression’. In the rear-view-mirror, this decade does look like that may be its outset if not its end.

Many things are different between then and now, which will ensure the impact of Covid-19 is nowhere near as far-reaching, but brands will be made, and broken, now. Those that do well in 2021 will be those that are (still) loved by consumers in 2030.

And the key to this will be in how these brands handle the transitional period between isolation and a return to – relative – normality. Consumers could be gorging on all the goodies they missed out on, rushing around having reunions, travelling wide and far and generally not being stuck at home. 

They’ll do it with trepidation, they’ll overdo it, they’ll do things they won’t do again for a long time just because they can. In doing so, they will take their new needs and preferences and evaluate favourite brands, and new ones, in this new light. Winning brands will:

Encourage re-sampling: Ensure everyone has a timely opportunity to try the product, new customer or old. 

Double down on distinction: Get their key assets out there across the whole path-to-purchase. 

Promote premium cues: Remind customers what makes them worth-paying-more-for. Don’t discount.

Go live in culture: Being ‘always on’ makes for wallpaper or spam. Brands who choose selectively when to go live in culture will be always relevant when needed.

Go deep on digital: Ensuring a premium digital presence across the consumer journey, for all key segments, not just gen Z and millennials.

A: How you behave as a brand in the transitional period, from isolation to free, is more important than anything you do for the full year after. Act deliberately now to win this decade. Now is the time to use digital to make the analog world better.

This is part of our FMCG (CPG) Thought Leadership x Covid, read more here.

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