How COVID has changed brand experience

The Comeback. An Enormous Opportunity for Brand Experience


how covid has changed brand experienceBrand experiences took a sharp turn when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down work and life. As people hunkered down and were glued to their screens, brands readjusted to reach key audiences. Everyone lived by the mantra “the show must go on. “ And it did. We adapted, thrived and learned.

Fast forward more than a year. Vaccines are rolling out; lockdowns are being lifted; and a glaze of optimism has been spread over just about everything. Consumer sentiment is on the rise. Spending is up. And travel is anticipated to explode. In fact, over 90 new airlines are expected to launch in 2021.

And, marketers are starting get back to pre-pandemic activities. They’re waking up to the possibilities of what’s next especially as interacting with live audiences re-emerges.

But people have changed so brands shouldn’t just slide back into old habits.  We shouldn’t forget everything we have learned and adopted.

We asked our brand experience experts to talk about what Covid-19 has transformed. We asked them to take a hard look at the single biggest  considerations post-pandemic across 10 core competencies. We found three central themes:

  1. Reassessment is crucial. Every brand needs to take stock of the way they marketed their products and services before the pandemic and during. The sweet spot moving forward will a combination of new and old tactics. Brands need to make sure that they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s time to reassess, take what you learned and add it to the mix so all of your key audiences can have more robust and relatable post-pandemic experiences. People might go back to many of their old behaviors but they won’t be the same consumer they once were.
  1. Purpose is more important than ever. The reason behind why we do things falls into two categories. First, clarity around your objectives and making sure it makes sense for your brand and your audience.  Every new experience should be well thought out in order to get the right mix of attendees and to get the right results.

The second is your brand’s purpose – what it stands for. The pandemic broke down walls and authenticity became more important. We saw Fortune 500 CEOs deliver earnings reports and launch new products from their living rooms. And we liked it. We saw brands put people over profit to help the world – such as manufacture PPE, hand sanitizer or help their communities. Moving forward, audiences want to see more of this but it has to be done in a way that is true to a brand’s DNA.

  1. Accessibility. Live audiences became digital captives. But the good thing was that no one missed out. Couldn’t attend CES? We’ll bring it to you. Sure, it wasn’t the same as being in a room with people, face to face, but moving forward brands can capture more eyeballs when they make experiences available to everyone. It won’t be one size fits all but it sure will be one for all.

Want to learn more? Check out our insights on how Covid-19 has changed:

The thrilling part about a return to ‘normal’ is the opportunity. Applying the learnings of the last year to the years of expertise that came before it. It’s an opportunity to reimagine what a brand experience can be. Because you only get one chance to come back.