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How are brands addressing communication in 2021?

As businesses moved on line in increasing numbers during 2020-2021, we’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries at Qm, and we ended up tackling projects which were very different to those we used to do before.


We constructed teaching platforms for companies, shifting a successful in-person model to an online format, and designed an e-commerce platform for products intended for the international market that can be sourced from just about anywhere in the world.

This project also includes developments by manufacturers keen to respect traditional commercial chains, but giving traditional communications and exchange with their retailers a twist to ensure they regularly receive up-to-date information, and processes are more efficient.

What they all have in common is a much more dynamic and flexible approach to projects, a shift in the mindset of customers who are on the cusp of change, at a point of no return, leaving behind the commercial schemes they used up to a year ago.

Overall, we see a great openness to suggestions, to working in teams and sharing ideas that enrich each party and their experience: the client can take on board ideas for new commercial strategies while the internal team has an opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the business they want to migrate to the online platform.

If we look back, this is all about breaking new ground in terms of the way we work: digital communications used to be an extension of all other forms of communication: media, events and exhibitions, broadcasting, etc. In other words, we’ve noticed a switch in the way people think about digital native businesses, where the equation is thrown into reverse, with the strategy centering on seducing online users.

We also noticed a faster reaction in companies whose business model was already digital, or among startups already primed to do business successfully through this channel. In short, those companies able to understand that, just as they purchase goods online, they should also sell their services in this way.

If our purchase process begins by Googling a brand, or finding an image on Pinterest or Instagram that leads us to the entrepreneur selling it, in which we look at the comments, reviews and rates, compare prices with those on Amazon etc., before taking a decision, it makes sense for this to be the basis for a sales strategy, with the attendant variations depending on the product or service, of course.

Also in recent months, we've noticed how users have changed their way of thinking, no longer qualifying decisions with the justification that we’re in an exceptional pandemic situation, but rather embracing the fact that this is a new modality that’s here to stay, a new paradigm to join.

In light of all this, we recommend that brands consider the following:

1. Not centering communications on COVID-19

Consumers are tired of the restrictions and difficulties caused by the pandemic in their lives, the uncertainty as to when things will go back to normal, and the hollow-sounding reassurances of brands communicating messages such as "We’re here for you", and "We're all in this together." The message is clear: consumers on social media are talking far less about it. We should not insist on an imminent "return to normal" because in fact, we’re already living in a "new normal".

2. Accentuate what can be done...

Consumers, tired of restrictions and yearning for their old freedoms, want to hear about what they can do in current circumstances, not what they can't yet do. This isn’t a play on words but a new reality.

Opportunities for brands lie in offering consumers entertaining and attractive content to break with monotony and provide pleasant surprises to reward and compensate them. Accentuate what is feasible with responsibility, as shown by the recent reaction against the influencers who got vaccinated and are now gaily traveling the world once more. The large majority of consumers clearly want to be as outgoing as possible, but within the current restrictions. This creates opportunities for brands to position themselves as responsible enablers, and then use this as a springboard to innovate.

Although many people are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s still a long way off. Brands cannot and should not assume that people are still up for celebrating at the drop of a hat.