Meet your new consumer



It has been almost three weeks since we shut the doors at our Denver homes, opening them only to go out for exercise, walk our dogs, hang out in the backyard, or grab groceries.

Like most of America and the world, we’ve made big changes, presumably temporarily, and are both doing all we can to stay healthy and support our families and our community so we can, you know, flatten the curve.

The trends over at Scott’s: more time to cook and bake (goodbye Instant Pot), a revisiting of old pulp novels (Ask the Dust from 1939), researching the life and career of recently deceased actor Stuart Whitman and his over 150 individual roles on TV and film, working through a discography of the Beatles during dinner, hours spent with his daughter and wife watching the new bird feeder attract short-term lodgers, and more sleep.

The trends over at David’s: working his way through every episode of Norman Lear’s “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” consuming essays about life in the 70’s from Joan Didion and Gore Vidal, sharing his bewilderment over “Tiger King” with friends during virtual happy hours, and ordering tubs of licorice and chocolate each time he visits Amazon in search of elusive toilet paper.

How are you experiencing this? And how do you think your audiences, be they customers or voters, are experiencing it? We’ve seen a lot of surveys reporting on changes people are making, and more will certainly be released over the coming weeks and months. These will all be helpful in allowing private companies and civic and non-profit organizations to understand how individuals are experiencing the now – the order to shelter in place.

But this disruption will end…and then what? What will define the consumer experience when the quarantine ends? What changes will we see, both meaningful and mundane, once restrictions on movement are lifted? And how will your brands and your business goals be specifically affected by the changed consumer habits – and changed consumers – that emerge from this temporary shutdown?

At CRA, we know that whether you’re selling a service or product or attempting to pass a ballot initiative or elect a candidate in November, you must start with your customer’s experience and their relationship with your product, service or organization to successfully communicate with them.

Will receiving a stimulus check make voters more appreciative of the role of the federal government moving forward – and more likely to vote for a tax increase that your city or county is seeking? Will those committed to your candidate be willing to volunteer their time knocking on doors in their neighborhoods? Will consumer loyalty to your brand still be there once consumers have been without it for a few months? As regular customers discover that their favorite restaurants or entertainment experiences did not survive this outbreak, will they be open to spending their dollars on your offerings that did survive? What strategies will be right to meet these changed consumers?

A couple of our current clients have steered our current projects to explore some of these ideas and more. We’re putting our 20 years of experience to use, engaging consumers and providing strategies and messages to get a jump on engaging the consumers who, hopefully soon, will emerge from their homes, changed in ways we are just starting to understand.

We’re ready to help you plan a communication and messaging strategy, founded on consumer engagement, so you can succeed, better inform and persuade your audience and, importantly, change behavior. We want to help you regain market share, pass that initiative, or get people back to relying on and enjoying your products and services.