Design for Changing Consumer Behaviour
General Manager, Strategy & Business Development
There is no denying that COVID – 19 has had a huge impact on the economy. It is going to be a long time before consumer confidence bounces back.
In fact, some industries have changed for good at fundamental consumer behaviour & experience levels. Brands operating within those industries have to rapidly evolve at business model levels. Take the case of theatres within the entertainment industry. A business model that is based on aggregating people together may not be sustainable anymore. Consumers may not view entertainment as an essential activity and may not be willing to sit in confined spaces for long times because of the perception of risking infection. Another case in point, the events industry is surely looking at hiatus. Large events for sports, music, politics, religion etc. may not be allowed to aggregate a large number of people anymore.
This is where design has a fundamental role to play as it enables businesses to question the conventional assumptions of consumer behaviour within their industry. In industries where consumer behaviour will change radically, design may have the answer through enabling businesses to reimagine the manner in which they deliver their consumer experience.
Movie goers may want to view movies but may look at experiences which inspire more confidence than current ones. Old age ideas like open air theatres where people can view movies from the confines of their cars may not be a bad idea! The whole movie delivery experience is up for reinvention in a manner that enables social distancing & immersive experiences at the same time.
In the events industry, the consumer journey becomes more important than ever before and for control of crowds, technology may play a larger role than ever before. Imagine one-hour slots for parties being given to party goers in a music festival. But this would also mean that brands have to work that much harder as the audience is captive only for an hour.
In the restaurant industry, we are already seeing innovation in anticipation of a changed scenario. A few restaurants have begun delivering meal kits to consumer’s homes trying to tap into a new age trend for cooking at home. As such the brand experience for these restaurant brands now moves from the restaurant space to the meal kit that is delivered. Packaging structure & graphics is what will drive the stickiness of new age restaurant brands for now.
Designing personalised experiences that are tech driven, immersive & build not only customer confidence but also government & societal confidence is the need of the hour.
To sum things up, businesses & brands that rapidly evolve their business models using design & design thinking will bring in new ways for affected industries and will not only survive the coming economic onslaught but might be able to take advantage of upcoming economic opportunities.