Planning For 'The Next Normal'
The three things smart brands are doing right now:
Instead of "the new normal", smart brands are leveraging the rapid change brought by COVID-19 and creating an accelerated version of the 2020 and 2021 they projected eight months ago. How are they doing this? By combining new innovation enabled by the rise of e-commerce with the trends in place before COVID-19 hit our vocabulary.
They are developing e-commerce specific products and bundles. Consumers making less trips to physical stores are looking for more complete solutions from brands - nobody wants to find out the chocolate bars and marshmallows made it home but the graham crackers were out of stock, and tonight's s'mores are cancelled. Give consumers total solutions by bundling complementary products together. This has the added benefit of maximizing your average order value and mitigating shipping costs.
They are leaning into trends that were already here before COVID. Health and sustainability were important before March and remain top of mind for consumers now. The next normal will make these "trends" long-term areas of importance, and brands that lead early will be best positioned to win.
They are testing faster using e-commerce. Brands do not have the luxury of testing unproven product concepts on shelf at retailers. Instead, e-commerce has become a more dynamic test and learn environment, where the penalties for low velocity are minimal compared to losing shelf space at physical retailers.
-Bill & Team Exverus