Monday, May 18, 2020

The pandemic that stopped the world and accelerated the purpose of the brands

The debate is not new, but it is increasingly evident that both the current model of capitalism and the role of the companies inserted in it are changing sharply and seeking alternatives. At the last meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January this year, representatives from around the world reaffirmed their commitment to so-called stakeholder capitalism, or conscious capitalism, whose essence highlights that the interests of companies need to be focused on each one that directly or not depends, directly or not, on their success, whether shareholders, employees, the local community or other companies in the production chain. The idea of improving the world in which they operate, of providing environmental balance, of creating value in the long term and of sharing it fairly, is also reflected in a growing outcry from consumers, who are interested not only in the performance of brands for their individual benefit, but also in the benefits they promote for society as a whole. The current period of pandemic and social isolation only catalyzed and accelerated this movement. Every day people begin to analyze more thoroughly the behavior of each brand and check which ones are worrying, collaborating and acting effectively together with their surroundings, and in this context the storytelling gives space to the story doing. Notably, the preference has become for those companies that exercise empathy, to the detriment of those that talk about themselves or that have benefited from actions of notably empty influencers, ethically questionable or little committed to the collective interest. The Edelman Trust Barometer 2020: In Brands We Trust?, on brand confidence and the coronavirus period, conducted by online survey of 12,000 respondents in 12 countries, pointed out that 1 in 3 respondents said they had convinced others to stop using a brand because they felt their response to the pandemic was not being adequate. And 71% say that companies, which are putting their earnings above people during this crisis, will lose their trust forever. In Brazil, 72% agree that brands play a crucial role in solving the challenges we face. The same study also states that consumers expect companies to focus on solutions, not sales. In addition, 92% of Brazilians are in favor of brands turning to the production of products that help people face the challenges of the pandemic. In practice, we are realizing that organizations that do not have attitude and are not authentic, will lose market strength or will cease to exist. Saying "I care" and acting with truth and transparency can be a challenge, but also a great opportunity to gain the loyalty of a new conscious consumer. Since the beginning of quarantine, we have witnessed empathic behavior of brands that began to use the structure to produce new products to help society. We've seen beverage and perfume companies producing gel alcohol, refrigerator companies manufacturing or repairing air breathers, banks, technology and entertainment companies making their platforms available to bring information, entertainment and financial aid. We also look at companies that have teamed up with competitors, in the best way for cooperation, to support non-governmental organizations or even create their own donation efforts. But what's to come after the crisis? What we do know is that the habit of consumption already has obvious marks of transformation. A familiar example: my mother, 72, had barely heard about food delivery apps, but learned to download and use, and has been using her smartphone ever since. The ease of receiving the products you need in the safety of your home will certainly cause it to continue with such behavior even after the quarantine is over. How many people will do the same? The change in the way we consume has already been integrated into our new routine. Virtual experiences, the home taking on new meaning, new hobbies, more family bonding, remote work and transformed mobility are just a few trends of a path without turning back. Transformation is not only possible, we are swept away by it. Studies on post-crisis macrotrends point to the birth of this new consumer-citizen, even more connected and aware, who will take his new habits acquired during this period into the future, either by incorporating the use of delivery like my mother, or making his own food or buying from small merchants in his neighborhood. Recent research also indicates an increase in the infidelity of these consumers, who will be increasingly open to trying out new brands, products or services. I believe the best way to generate fidelity is to trust. And trust is the result of the empathy obtained by what we can call corporate vulnerability: the exposure of our truths, weaknesses, doubts and anxieties as a company. The definition of a legitimate purpose and connected to social claims will depend on this combination and will be preponderant for the legacy and perpetuity of business. In these new times, no company can be sustainably better than the environment in which it operates. -Andre Turquetto
Meio&Mensagem - 14/05/2020 News Item translated automatically
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