-By Simon French, Comvort Group-
“You are young yet, my friend,” replied my host, “but the time will arrive when you will learn to judge for yourself of what is going on in the world, without trusting to the gossip of others.
Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” – Edgar Allen Poe.
I remembered this famous quote a few weeks ago when I was reading various articles trying to decide which news was real and which…. well. One article suggested this crisis had accelerated change so rapidly, things were happening now that wouldn’t have happened for another 20 years.
Bold statement! So I started to look around and while I don’t think its 20 years, for sure, this crisis has forced trends and events which would have taken much longer to emerge.
We have been looking at the resurgence of luxury brands in China as a guide to what will influence
brand creation and retail as the crisis evolves and presumably, at some point, subsides.
Leaders of the Covid Generation are Gen Z’ers and Young Millennials who are Masters of Digital
Immersion and of processing information. This may sound like the latest Marvel superhero movie but this is today’s reality: this will infiltrate all levels of brands and influence totally the way we make purchasing decisions. The Covid Generation is a global, cross demographic universe which swirls around the Gen Z Young Millennial epicentre.
It is sending out waves of sudden creativity across all product areas which touch us all.
Digitial consumers are livestreaming fashion shows on TMall.
Gen Z’ers and Millennials follow Key Opinion Leaders (KOL’s) who create extreme digital value for
brands and services.
They want “Snackable” bites or bytes of brands on TikTok , WeChat and Bilibili.
They don’t want just ads or promotions, they are getting entertainment and they like it.
Gen Z’ers and Young Millennials hang out in virtual malls. They aren’t buying anything, just…..well,
At the same time farmers in China are Shopstreaming their hard to sell products on TaoBao which made me think, is this is a lesson for anything Bricks and Mortar?
Bricks and Mortar is not dead but those store chains and malls who did not embrace the omnichannel experience are on life support at best.
Bricks and Mortar must offer more: an experience, a connection consumers cannot get digitally. This is some challenge.
Bricks and Mortar must offer consumers a reason to believe to physically go somewhere to experience the act of purchasing. It could be Limited or Special Edition products they cannot get online eg Hermes, Guangzhou.
Consumers don’t want a brand, they want to be told a story, be inspired and entertained.
As marketers we have to be aware of this when creating campaigns and/or products.
How do we tell a believable sustainable story-connection and not patronise our consumer?
How do we successfully avoid stereotypes?
How do we create a compelling message and connection while being aware of gender expressions and cultural nuances ?
Alonside that, we all want a sense of Well-Being, Safety and Being Well.
Impossible? No. Not even improbable. It is simply problem solving. Creativity and innovation are virtually byproducts of the process.
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Enjoy the summer.