Soapbox: Customer-centricity in the new normal
All our underlying assumptions about what makes consumers tick need to be pressure-tested.
In what seemed like a moment, the entire world changed. Everything we took for granted about the economy, consumers’ attitudes and values, and ways we collectively went about living our lives have been suddenly turned on its head.
The implications of how this will influence consumer choices are seismic in scope. Complicating this is the fact that now, more than ever, what the “new normal” will look like for all of us – as human beings and as consumers – is largely unknown. Like a pebble dropping into a still pond, we’re experiencing the first ripples of this change…and the aftereffects will be felt for many years to come.
This means that all our underlying assumptions about what makes consumers “tick” need to be pressure-tested. Nothing can be taken as a “given” anymore. Because we’re living in such a turbulent period in history, what is true today might not be true even a month from now.
This new reality creates an urgent challenge for brands and marketers: how to remain nimble while understanding how consumers’ lives will continue to change, how to connect with consumers in authentic ways, and how to create meaningful value in peoples’ lives.
As researchers, we will need to re-envision how we “go” into people’s homes as ethnographers, how we help our client immerse in insights and collaborate together in ideation sessions; and urge clients to make online experiences just as fulfilling as in-person or in-store interactions.
It’s a daunting challenge that can only be successfully navigated by fixing our sights on the consumers who are the lifeblood of any business, deeply understanding them as humans, and making them the focal point of our strategies to better serve them as the new normal takes hold.