Sheridan&Co announces partnership with Araminta Marketing to help brands support their community digitally and why this is important in the long term when it comes to reopening stores.
At Sheridan&Co, the last few weeks have been a time for checking in with one another. We have all been self-isolating and taking responsibility to ensure we are staying connected. Whether that is the teams we work with internally, to the clients we engage within projects, our goal is to ensure everyone is safe and feels supported.
Yet our responsibility and wider purpose extend beyond work. Whilst ensuring we are connected during this time, we have also taken the time for reflection. We are all learning, listening and adapting. We have a responsibility to our neighbours and our wider communities. We recognise that each and every one of us is connected. Each of our decisions has a direct or indirect impact on another person, family, business or the wider community.
As Nike put it, we are all playing for the same team, and that is team humanity. We must not only ask ourselves how we do this on a short term basis and whilst amidst a health crisis, but how do we seek to achieve this in the long term.
In our response, we have been analysing brand responses in this unprecedented time, both on a short term and long term scale. Brands that formerly relied on physical spaces have had to pivot very quickly to create an online community and connection. In this new era of quarantine, we have relied on our capacity to connect with one another in our digital worlds. Here, the sense of community has never so strongly been felt.
On a short term basis, first and foremost, brand strategies, whether online or offline, must support their customers during this exceptionally difficult time. They must seek to understand their hardships and most importantly, foster communication that provides hope, kindness and reassurance as life is spent at home. Blatant intentions to sell at this time are harmful and unperceptive.
More than ever, this is a time for community, not commerciality. We just have to look to France and see how Burger King has prioritised their community through the promotion of their quarantine whopper, one you can make at home, with your own ingredients located at a supermarket.
Yet, like with all hardships, new opportunities can arise. In a climate whereby we all asked to stay at home, the opportunity for remote services, whether it be beauty, work, food or fitness, are colossal. What’s more, once we pass through this pandemic, audiences wanting remote services are likely to be maintained. In this new way of living and engaging online, there is a chance that new opportunities will arise for brands and they can arrive at an unexpected revenue stream. Fundamentally, this pandemic will change us. It will change the way we work, consume and live. Not just now, but in the long term.
During these difficult times, it is human nature to look to our past, to navigate the uncertainty of our future. If we look at the recession in 2008, startups founded in that time include Airbnb, Slack, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Square and Uber. Whilst in those circumstances, our economic system crashed due to financial reasons, what all of these companies have in common is that they built new ways of living during times of austerity and hardship. These startups paved the foundation for the sharing economy in an industrialised and individualised world.
10 years later, we are on the brink of a new recession, though through different circumstances. The innovation demanded at this time is one that requires collectivism at its centre. We must now encourage brands to move from markets based on consumption principles of self-interest, to behaviours that are socially reciprocating. For the last 70 years, economic growth has been paramount to success. We have built our society around this flagrant desire for growth.
At the same time, this growth has been at the cost of the environment and the wellbeing of the planet. Yet, with the global economy on pause, travel restrictions imposed and nationwide lockdowns, we can take the time to reconsider and rethink our attitudes to growth. Now, we must design a way of living so that we embed the economy into our society, and not the other way round.
This pandemic has been good for sustainability and has forced brands to deliver on strategies that prioritise social responsibility and the welfare of human nature. This will not stop, when the pandemic ends. Rather, brands will need to establish new ways of being and connecting, and continue to place precedence on safeguarding the wellbeing of humanity, and seek to help rebuild and restructure a new economy that reflects this.
Like many of you, we are embracing new challenges, and learning from one another as much as we can. Many of our clients are overcoming obstacles, and have transitioned from developing their physical spaces, to nurturing their digital communities.
There is no one ‘magic formula’ on how to navigate these times. Rather, we must embrace these times and seek to ask questions. We must tap into our creativity and challenge ourselves to think differently. In times of uncertainty, we must all lean into our expertise to drive forward. Our expertise is brand communication, experience design, storytelling and business development. We acknowledge the importance of collaborating with experts in areas where we need further judgement and counsel.
In light of this, we are partnering with Araminta Marketing, whose expertise is in digital marketing, so we can offer clients full strategic and marketing support across brand communication and advise how to engage with consumers and reorient strategies amidst a global crisis.
Analysis of Covid-19 has been widespread. We just have to turn to the headlines to see how the pandemic has impacted all walks of life, from economic impact to education and the future of work, consumer behaviour and the retail sector.
We know that gradually the role of a retail store was becoming less about the transaction itself and more about building and maintaining relationships. Like many industries or services, as we transition out of lockdown, we can expect this progression to have been accelerated.
Covid-19 brought the world to a grinding halt, but the psychological repercussions of this pandemic will see a ripple effect of consumers seeking comfort, security, positivity and reassurance. Brands can use colour psychology to rebuild their retail experience and restore consumer sentiment.