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Are you listening? How to win in 2021.

How will brands win in 2021? I was asked this recently and here was my response - what do you think?

It looks like 2021 is going to be a year of opportunity for brands. As vaccines for Covid-19 are developed and carried out we can be hopeful to see the world opening up again. This will create opportunities for brands to help customers get comfortable with their sense of freedom again.

Photo by Math on Unsplash

But be warned. Brands that don't move fast will seem irrelevant. You cannot afford to have old stale lock-down messaging go out still. You cannot allow customers to feel in any way unsafe as they re-enter physical spaces. You may need to rethink your customer experience. Your brand might need to create new products, services and experiences. You need to be prepared for rapid change.

The way to win will be to stay close to customers. To listen to their concerns, goals and challenges and to innovate fast to deliver relevant meaningful experiences for them.

My advice to my clients at the moment is to ensure they have designed routines and ways in which they can obtain customer insights. That there are “listening posts” set up where customers can speak and that this can be heard by the decision-makers in a business.

Here are some ways this could be achieved:

  • A formal series of events that the brand hosts

  • The creation and regular meeting of incentivised customer steering groups

  • Having set times where customers are directly called or approached for feedback

  • Designing or implementing a series of simple questionnaires.

Every context and business is different so these are, of course, suggestions. However you do it, you will need a line of communication from customers to your leadership team so you can manage the meaning and relevance customers are placing on your brand.

Now is the time to set the budget and allocate the resources so that the voices of the customers can be heard by leadership and be responded too swiftly.

2021 will be another year where business will not be “normal”. To continue to be relevant and to ensure you are set up to respond to your customer needs will be the key to maximise opportunities and serve your customer well. Do not get left behind.


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