Quick brand wins during the homebody economy.

Vice President

Your customers are being asked to continue to social distance, work remotely, and, for those who are parents, school online. COVID has evolved the home into a multi-purpose space where people live, work, learn, shop, and play. Global consultancy McKinsey refers to this as the “homebody economy,” and this new reality is requiring brands to reconsider how best to meet customer needs.

What’s shifting is that society is becoming more individualistic, and brands now face the challenge of being relevant to millions of “microcosms” made up of individual households. Right now, people are primarily concerned about staying safe and healthy, and don’t feel as strongly about decision-making based on supporting the greater good. As a result, behaviors can vary vastly as people decide what’s most important in their own microcosm. For example, some households may feel comfortable dining out, while others still eat primarily at home.

What’s shifting is that society is becoming more individualistic, and brands now face the challenge of being relevant to millions of ‘microcosms’ made up of individual households.”

The result of this homebody economy is that the perception of your brand’s value may have shifted. To capture quick brand wins during this unprecedented time, your messaging, product, and commercial activities need to resonate with your customers and appeal to as many microcosms as possible. To do that effectively, you must know what their needs are and how they have changed.

Here are several approaches your team can use to gauge customer needs and how they are evolving:

1. Virtual immersive approaches provide quick, budget-efficient insights to evolving category needs and brand perceptions. These online methodologies include online bulletin boards, pop-up communities, one-on-one in-depth interviews or mini-groups.

2. Simple prioritization exercises give you an understanding of category needs and where opportunities exist to meet customer needs. For example, a Max/Diff exercise with existing and emerging category needs and a simple brand association exercise will prioritize the importance of needs. A quick product or message evaluation with priority scoring will tell you what you should be communicating to customers during this time. A brief category driver study will tell you where to focus your product or communication efforts in ways that will directly impact connection to your brand. Each of these exercises can be included in existing tracking efforts or done separately.

3. Break into customer microcosms by refining your segmentation model, re-evaluating your brand fundamentals, or conducting an agile profile research study. These will further your understanding of how behaviors and attitudes are changing in your category and enable your team to take action that grows your business.

To capture quick brand wins during this unprecedented time, your messaging, product, and commercial activities need to resonate with your customers and appeal to as many microcosms as possible. To do that effectively, you must know what their needs are and how they have changed.”

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