Times of change present opportunities for change. Don’t miss your moment.
As the saying goes, “Life has never been this fast before, and it will never be this slow again.” In an era where entire market paradigms continue to be up-ended by a global pandemic, throwing into question the nature of basic interpersonal relationships—let alone consumer relationships with brands—this notion is as relevant as ever. When the future is uncertain, the best you can do is position yourself in a way that serves you best across the range of possible futures. Times of change present the best opportunity for change, and there is no better place to start than with how you think about brand experience.
Human Experience First
More than a year into a global pandemic, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity remain extremely high. Even the foundational assumptions brands could previously make about relationships, the structure of work and education, or the physical organization of our space on a societal level are thrown into question as we look to the next 3-5 years. Your approach to positioning your brand for the future might take many forms. But no matter how you think about the future, it is clear that putting humans and their long-term experiences at the center of your brand’s model of the world is a smart and generally effective way of ensuring your place in an unknown, unknowable future.
In reality, as hard as it is to operationalize a human-centric approach to the way your organization is run and your brand manifests itself, investing in these as foundational values has been proven to have significant returns—especially when done in an economic downturn. Vision gained from investigation of consumer behaviors that transcend the day-to-day can be a counter to volatility. Collaboration beyond individuals’ functional expertise can result in understanding that balances uncertainty. Clarity derived from consumer insights highlights which strategic initiatives to explore or evolve, and serves to counteract complexity. And a start-small approach with a focus on behavioral outcomes and rapid evolution can help to institutionalize agility as a counter to ambiguity.