As brands try to find a sign of semblance post a period of uncertainty, it has become more important than ever to understand and evolve as per changing consumer expectations. From selling goods online to incorporating consumer feedback are some of the ways brands are trying to remain relevant. Ashish Khazanchi, managing partner, Enormous Brands, talks about how brands and agencies can engage with their consumers–
On the playbook, brands and agencies need to adopt in the new normal
If you see the world around, it is turning fast to the place that it used to be, at the pre covid level. People are still being somewhat cautious, but they are doing whatever needs to be done. They are going out, they are buying stuff, meeting people in slightly limited numbers. The entire administration of the vaccines in the slightly older population continues, we can see people getting less and less cautious about things. I am not commenting on what is the ethically right thing to do but this is an observation of the behaviour that is going on in the world around us.
I’ve had some travel and I’ve seen places where people gather in restaurants and bars. There are some places filled to the rafters like coffee shops and people are there in a really large number. The businesses that we work with depend on physical movement of people, physical presence of people, at retails. We’ve seen a huge return to near normal numbers and I think there is also a fair amount of experience abbreviation so people will get out and get experiences in a big way so we will see a fair amount of recovery, but the general trend will be up and up for a significant amount of time. So that is a sudden return to a business is concerned.
On the gradual return of the business – how much of its restored and the new trends which can be spotted compared to pre-Covid times
What brands and agencies need to do is, agencies have discovered a very interesting model of working, they always used to do it but at scale, it has been proved to be a very very effective way of working which is mostly flexible. People only go to the office when they necessarily have to get into a physical brainstorm session. A lot of work which earlier was getting done in the offices itself is now getting distributed and getting done. Also, a lot of people are not even present in the same city, so we are hiring people from places other than where our offices are. It’s possible for people to collaborate because the way we have grown dependent on technology to solve issues of proximity have been taken care of in the last year. People have gotten used to the way of working so both brands and agencies will take this in their strive.
On how brands can create at-home meaningful experiences for consumers
So customers, the overriding insights are two, people want to save and people want to have the experience deprivation that I was talking about earlier, that mitigated from their lives, people are craving experiences, that don’t cost them an arm and a leg because there is still a little bit of financial cautiousness in the world around and it is yet to return to the optimism of a few years back. So people will want those experiences and things that make them feel like they’re returning to normal in their life at a certain cost which does not cost them an arm and a leg. How can these experiences be made available for people at interesting price points.
On how brands can make the most of the shift towards digital
I think that the world of advertising has changed in the last one year at an ornamental level. There’s been a lot of shift towards efficiency and effectiveness, both in terms of impact and cost. As we move forward, we’ll see a lot of that happening. Agencies and service providers will do all this — and marketers will have to be cognizant in terms of this new reality. How can we reach the customer in a way which is meaningful and yet efficient.