In my last blog entry, written just before we emerged from shelter-in-place toward re-opening, I contended that it was high time for forward-looking marketers to re-assess their brand’s value proposition against shifts in their customers’ needs and wants in this New Normal.
Fast forward to today, it’s becoming more apparent that many of these shifts are here to stay. As work-from-home and remote learning routines settle in, families are trading commute-friendly urban living for Zoom-friendly spaces in the home and proximity to nature. Busy, “on-the-move” professionals who used to value speed and convenience, are instead seeking frictionless alternatives to the purchase experience.
In response, marketers are also looking to move beyond reactive messaging and existing consumer “product memory,” with growing urgency to keep their positioning agile and relevant to their customers ahead of the new year. Specifically, the three most common business cases we see are:
No matter the rationale, it’s now time for a “route refresh” with a well-documented positioning that drives measurable business results across customer touch points given these new realities. Below, you’ll find a five-point roadmap that is both customer-centric in its approach, and pragmatic in its execution (pardon the pun!)
Roadmap to a new pathway: A rental car industry example
In a recent audit of major car rental agencies, we found that while most players have essentially focused on themes of cleanliness and safety in their outbound communications, one national chain also stood out above and beyond those themes. By explicitly pivoting how they address their target audience, messaging evolved from celebrating the “road warriors” who demand speed and ease at the airport, to “work-from-home warriors” who value contactless delivery from neighborhood locations for their roadtrip needs.
How this manifested itself in their most recent customer email execution:
“You need to escape. We got your back.”
“… how about escaping the COVID confines and making great memories [your children] will never forget. With locations near you, we’re right around the corner. The choice is yours.”
“Set Me Free”
Value the journey, not just the destination
Having outlined our five-point roadmap, I will end with one final thought: No one gets it right 100% in just one iteration. Therefore, rather than putting your messaging hierarchy on “set-it-and-forget-it” mode when it’s done, know that the journey to evolve your positioning is, in and of itself, an important step toward customer centricity, and that a maniacal focus on “test-and-learn” is the ultimate point of differentiation for forward-looking marketers.