Customer Reimagined

October 14, 2021

As Pandemic realities have become embedded in our collective everyday living, the modern customer journey has evolved accordingly, effectively redefining what a consumer is, and therefore how brands must shift the myriad ways they cater to their most important audiences.

More than anything else, the pandemic has caused people to rethink their life’s purpose and reevaluate what genuinely matters. Not surprisingly, almost half of all global consumers acknowledge that the pandemic – and the crippling isolation it brought about – has made them realize they need to focus more on others than themselves, which in turn has had a massive impact on their buying behavior across all modes of consumption and all industries.

Of course, here at Mastermind, as we identify such seismic shifts in consumer behavior, we can’t help but uncover incredible opportunities for companies that are able to pivot and meet consumers where they now find themselves, and along the trajectory they’re now heading.

Most interesting among this new subset of “Customers Reimagined”, the importance of both price and perceived quality has decreased significantly, giving way to 5 new priorities that increasingly determine whether to engage with – and ultimately purchase – a product or service:

  1. Trust and Reputation – Can I trust you, above all else, to do right by me and those I care about most, not just answer to the bottom line and your financial stakeholders? Can I have confidence you’ll deliver on what you say, that you’ll live up to your promises, and that you’ll fight for things you claim to stand for, the things I stand for?
  2. Origin and Provenance – Are you conscious about all societal, environmental, cultural, and corporate responsibilities? Are you able to help me make informed and sustainable decisions, and can you help me support the communities I care most deeply about?
  3. Health and Safety – Are you keeping me and my neighbors safe? What about your employees and other stakeholders?
  4. Ease and Convenience – Are you meeting me exactly where I am, on exactly the platform I prefer, whether in the physical world or digital world or some hybrid between the two? Can you deliver precisely what I need, when I need it, how I need it, across all channels?
  5. Service and Personal Care – Do you know who I am and care who I am? Are you personalizing my experience with your brand as much as possible, and are you there for me whenever and however I need you?

These – together – are the biggest motivating factors for consumption among the Reimagined Customer, far surpassing the importance of quality and price, which – prior to the pandemic – largely dictated all purchase behavior among the very same audience.

The ramifications of this shift are profound. This new subset of consumers, encompassing almost half of all consumers and growing by the day, will gladly pay more if a brand can deliver on the 5 promises listed above. They will abandon companies they’ve done business with forever, without hesitation, for companies that cater to their new normal. And they will onboard to a new brand with zero trepidation, embracing change and disruption like never before, if it means they get to do business with companies that accept responsibility, share their values and empower them to feel more connected and validated.

COVID forced companies to offer a variety of concessions and experiences they never anticipated having to provide, essentially as a prerequisite to survive during unprecedented times. And, not surprisingly, customers fell in love with many of them. The question that remains for many: can the market keep pace with consumer shifts, and continue to deliver on those critical experiences?

The silver lining for brands is that there is now a playbook to follow. The people have spoken, and insights into their desires and expectations are abundant. We know what to do next, to appeal to ever-evolving customers and give them what they want most.

If you want to crack the code on how to engage today’s customers – Customers Reimagined – we’re here for you 24/7. Let’s talk!

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