You might be tired of hearing it, but 'the new normal' is here, and many of the changes it has brought are here to stay. What does this mean for brands and their consumers? Branding expert, Martin Nordseth, shares five important aspects that he has identified as key to understanding this new context.
The world we’re living in today looks quite different from what it did only half a year ago. In a matter of months, everything has changed. Many things and situations that we took for granted and saw as obvious are not available anymore. The comfortable familiarity of everyday life is gone - or replaced with a new reality -for most of us.
This new reality, or new normal if you like, has changed our perception of the world, our priorities, and our daily routines. This includes the possibilities and options that we have when we make decisions.
We’re driven by emotions – not by rationale
Substantial and conclusive research shows that sensory input and emotions play a crucial role when we make decisions. We’re quite far from the rational creatures we often think we are – people in a consumer context are no exception—quite the opposite. To facilitate decision making and, even, help us survive, our brains continually simplify the world around us. We react intuitively on shapes, colours, patterns, textures, sizes, images, and focus words. This is enhanced in a situation where we are stressed or pressed– for example, during a crisis.
We’re quite far from the rational creatures we often think we are – people in a consumer context are no exception—quite the opposite.Martin Nordseth
When we design products, services, visual identities, and brands, we must be relevant and easily recognizable to our consumers and target groups. And, even more importantly – we need to meet them in their own context.
Five context trends for more relevant branding
Based on our experience and existing research, we have defined five aspects that we deem necessary to pay attention to in the near future:
1) Catch me in one second. People have a lot of things to worry about. Be straight forward and honest. Show your intentions clearly and use strong and focused visual keys.
2) Give me an emotional connection. This is the time to offer a more personal connection, using a direct tone of voice, humanization, and a sharper focus.
3) Give me a cozy space. In times of crisis, minimalism doesn’t work well. Instead, turn to warm, calming colours and decorative elements. This creates a sense of homeliness and safety.
4) Take me to nature. As we’re in a situation of limited travel, proximity to nature, and natural experiences are increasingly important to us. Natural colours and materials, and a natural look overall are appreciated. Use the surroundings as a source of inspiration.
5) We want to be together again, even more than before. The sense of community has gained increased importance. Social distancing and isolation have taught us that our own «tribe» matters the most – our family, friends, and partners. Make solutions for people that want to be together and enjoy the simple things.
The changes are here to stay
In my 30-year career, I‘ve experienced several crises, both economic and political, and I know from experience that many of these changes will last. They’re not temporary and won’t magically go away anytime soon. From a branding and consumer perspective, this means that when we communicate with people, we need to consider that they are deeply affected by the current context.
The positive side of it is that we may come out on the other side of Corona as a more social and more humane society, where we value human connection and our immediate surroundings higher.
We believe that brands need to figure out what this means for them and how they can adapt and fit into this new context. EGGS and I are ready to help you figure this out together.
Let's talk to Lead Branding Designer
+47 924 80 449