RETAIL WITH PURPOSE
Finally, with a huge sigh of relief, high street retailers have had the green light to open. Retail outlets welcomed in the hordes of UK shoppers desperate to get out and spend. This was a huge relief after such a long period of isolation, and economic uncertainty.
Without a doubt, Covid-19 and the consequential lockdowns have taken their toll. As a result, we have witnessed the demise of traditional high-street staples such as Oasis and Cath Kidston. At the same time, we have also seen an accelerated change in consumer buying habits and values. It has become clear that, now more than ever, consumers are looking to shop for brands with purpose.
What are brand values?
“Brand values are a set of guiding principles that shape every aspect of your business. They’re placed at the very core of your brand and are there to dictate your brand message, identity and personality.”
To boycott or to buy? Brands that ‘take a stand’ and represent their values in an authentic way have been rewarded by consumers. Scrutiny has only increased during the pandemic, and many brands have made bold, often sloganeering, statements and claims. However, when it comes to real change and follow-through, examples are rather harder to find.
When brands shift from a product to a people-focused approach, they had better be sure that they understand totally what their customers value. If you take this path and get your messaging even slightly wrong, it can have disastrous consequences, even alienating the very audiences you are trying to woo. Covid-19 has emphasised the importance of strong brand purpose, as roughly 85% of consumers will now only buy from brands they trust – but trust is slowly won and easily lost.
Changing Consumer Values
What is the new normal? The pandemic has shaped new consumer buying habits and attitudes, and Covid –19 has and will continue to have a lasting impact on both bricks and mortar shopping as well as ecommerce. Economic uncertainty has led to shoppers prioritising retail essentials, and curtailed movement has pushed buyers to re-aquaint themselves with the shops in their specific locality. They are now buying more consciously with a focus on keeping it close to home.
How Our Brands Have Adapted
Not only have we helped our brands adapt their performance, digital marketing and PR strategies to a more online focus. We have also witnessed a huge growth in their online sales over the past 12 months. Indeed, the growth of ecommerce has been universal as the financial results of many companies with an ecommerce base attest to. We have been working with our clients such as Zwift, Slinger Bag, Pour Moi and Nurvv on their digital, global and ecommerce launches with an emphasis on exploiting the consumer shift to retail online.
Our performance marketing team has also experienced unprecedented growth, delivering record-breaking sales for clients across the paid social and Influencer marketing spectrum, with exceptional successes achieved when adopting a full-funnel digital approach. In the peak of lockdown our client and Europe’s biggest footwear retailer, Deichmann, briefed our Social Media team on the creation of a social campaign that would ensure maximum brand reach within the UK. The performance team adopted a full-funnel multichannel approach, utilising detailed targeting and lookalike audiences to target Deichmann’s core followership. The results were hugely impressive, with a return on ad spend of 17:1! Read the full case study here.
The shift towards sustainability
Consumers are driving change. Sustainability is now front and centre of retail purchase decisions and this is represented in the growth of ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘recyclable’, and ‘ocean-bound’ products now available on the market, and companies are now identifying this potential to reach new audiences as well as making positive environmental impact. According to a report by Garnier, 73% of UK shoppers want to be more sustainable in 2021, and consumers across all age groups are now, more than ever, empowered to buy from brands that champion sustainability.
Supporting local business has been a driving force over the past year. Due to travel and health restrictions, many have opted to shop locally, finding new alternatives to their traditional one-stop-supermarket shop. With a new sense of the importance of community, and the opportunity to explore and appreciate ‘local’, shoppers have become more conscious of how, where and who they support.
Our data-let digital approach ensures we always understand the latest in retail buyer and consumer trends. If you are a brand looking to make big impact in unprecedented times, get in touch with us here.
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