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The pandemic has seen a consumer and marketplace that have been radically altered by mental and physical health crises, racial injustice, economic disparity and supply chain disruption to name a few. In light of these changes, the traditional rulebook for engaging audiences must be reimagined.
In this brand loyalty report created in partnership between PSFK and Toluna, learn how new consumer expectations are driving brands to pursue a purpose-led agenda and increasingly adopt a people before profit mindset. Explore the trends defining progressive innovation and discover how successful brands are taking part.
This brand loyalty report was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.
Pausing previously scheduled content and programming, brands are instead redirecting time and budgets toward collaborative community-building projects. As consumers take note of the companies providing measurable social impact, purpose-led brands will be top of mind post-pandemic.Community Platforms
Brands are building stronger communities by establishing digital and physical platforms and activations that help foster the relationship among customers and encourage participation, empowering consumers to co-create the rules and even inviting them into the R&D process. It includes hosting programmed events to build confidence in a purchase or product use in an engaging manner. It also includes peer-to-peer platforms where consumers can interact and exchange with each other.Driving Connection Through Values
In order to build a stronger emotional connection with consumers, brands are providing customers with tools and platforms to shape their values and incorporate them into daily life.Impact Platfroms
Demonstrating shared values with their customers by investing in the social impact and environmental initiatives and offering customers a way to directly influence which initiatives the brand supports.
At Walmart’s first virtual Open Call event in 2020, more than 800 small businesses were able to pitch their products over a 30-minute, one-on-one meeting. Of those who participated in Walmart’s Open Call, 175 businesses’ products are heading to the retailer's shelves and website, while 450 more are being given further review. Addressing the virtual crowd prior to the first pitches, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillion detailed the retailer’s continued commitment to helping small businesses during the pandemic, from rent relief programs to providing small businesses with more space within its store’s shelves. In 2021, the still virtual Open Call event will be one of the ways Walmart plans to support its latest commitment to spend an additional $350 billion on U.S,-made products, and support an 750,000 new jobs.Toy brand's online quiz teaches digital skills and online empathy
Partnering with educational think tank DQ Institute, Lego has created an online quiz for children to empower them to be good digital citizens, and develop their own online empathy skills. Within the quiz, kids follow Lego character Captain Safety through a series of scenarios meant to help them understand how online bullying and misinformation spread works. Players are rewarded for standing up to “meanies'' with the game or for comforting a Lego character that has been harassed online. Players are also asked to think about a time they may have been a bully, and are provided with prompts on how to apologize when that occurs. At the end of the quiz, each player is revealed to be one of four Lego heros they’re most like, Sir Hug A Lot, AeroVision, Butterclops, or Admiral High Five.Starburst offers limited-edition at-home self-care kit
Mars Wrigley-owned brand Starburst designed an at-home self-care kit to coincide with National Self-Care day on July 24th. The box’s theme was designed around the brand’s best-selling flavor, Pink, and included a gratitude journal, a succulent, a yoga towel, a jade roller, sleep mask, all in shades of pink, as well as Pink Starbursts.