People drinking in beer garden with masks
From our brandInspired newsletter

this week’s brandInspired is inspired by the pandemic and the UK government.

That’s right, we’re talking about marketing responses to the roadmap out of lockdown and what businesses can do to prepare.

Change has been, gone and it's coming again

The pandemic in the past 12 months has turned lives and businesses upside down. Despite the obvious financial impact of the pandemic on businesses, there was one other major factor that has hit marketers. The huge change is consumer behaviour.

People that wouldn’t ordinarily shop online are being forced to. People can’t eat out, so takeaways and cook at home boxes are becoming more popular. No trips to the pub, instead it’s drinks alone or on a Zoom call.

The world really is a different place to how it was a year ago, but marketers and business owners have figured out a way to make it work. They’ve pivoted their offering, reidentified their customers’ problems and found creative ways to redefine why people should choose their business.

Now, do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is it’s all about to change. The UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown has set us on a path to freedom. Hooray!

Here’s the bad news. It’s all about to change… That’s right. Everything you thought you knew about your customer is going to change. I don’t mean change back to how they were pre-pandemic either.

It’s time for business owners and marketers to relearn everything about your customers’ behaviours. What behaviours, drivers and blockers have returned to the pre-pandemic and what new behaviours, drivers and blockers have developed.

For clothing brands, following trends and understanding their customers’ desires has been so important. For example, at the beginning the first lockdown, the need for loungewear shot through the roof. However, after the government announced a potential date for beer gardens to reopen, there has been an unseasonably high search demand for them.

Google Trends 12 month view of loungewear and beer gardens

Your actionable takeaway

“How can you capitalise on new trends and customer behaviours?” I hear you ask. As Paul mention two weeks ago in the Drag Race issue of brandInspired, Google Trends is a good start. You can also review your Google Analytics and sales data, make educated guesses and A/B test or, as I shared in the first issue of brandInspired, ask your customers what they want.

Once you have an idea of what the trends are and what your customers want, it’s time to take action.

ASOS were quick off the mark after the government announcement and created a new June 21st category on their website. This showcased products a far cry from the usual end of winter/early spring products they would normally be promoting on their website, instead showing dresses, skirts and opened toed shoes.

For Winston’s of York, one of milnerCreative’s clients, we created a beer garden outfit page ready for 12 April, the earliest date a beer garden can reopen. This includes jumpers for those late nights and hoodies for the warmer days that can be slipped back on as it chills.

Don’t miss out on the changing trends of your customers and the potential sales that can come from it. Now that businesses can plan long term again, it’s time to think about how you need to adapt to your customers’ new behaviour. Don’t expect them to slip back into their same old routines.

If you’re struggling to identify your customers’ behaviours and trends or want some ideas for content, feel free to get in touch by replying to this email. I’m always happy to chat and share ideas or see how we can work together.

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Each week we send our brandInspired newsletter out to business owners and marketers. We take a campaign from a brand and share actionable tips that you can apply to your business.

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