The words that best sums up the times we live in would be ‘unprecedented’. No one knows what’s around the next corner, and it remains difficult for small brands and businesses to plan for this. If we look to the wider picture, we see a trend of businesses and products spiralling from interest on social media, entrepreneurs capitalising on unexpected online momentum. Can small brands learn from this, and which direction should we be investing our time and money into?
It’s safe to say that consumers are still willing to spend the big bucks, it’s just different product categories that are getting the attention. Consuming itself is now more centered around the home than ever before, what with spending increasing amounts of time at home and previous big purchases now seeming unnecessary. As people continue to work from their living rooms, it will be a while before a professional wardrobe is needed, with the majority of remote work looking to continue on a permanent basis. This in turn changes the kinds of wardrobe we will have, what we will be willing to spend on. What we don’t spend on high-end workwear could be spent upgrading our casual comfies to a higher, more expensive quality. Homeware itself is looking to see this same spike, both due to consumers wanting their environment to be as nice as possible, but also spending enough time there to start being ‘bothered’ by things to make new purchases. Brands now needs to be able to be flexible across a variety of product categories in favour of the improved home experience.
Coupled with this are growing needs to shop locally, as well as brands embodying a call to social justice. The global pandemic and ongoing socio-economic crises have indefinitely changed the way we live, and through that has reframed our priorities. Communication will continue to be the most essential tool in the box, allowing room for growth and adaptation while being able to leverage on what resonates with consumers the most. It now does the most damage to remain silent, so small and independent brands must take steps to be responsive in more ways than one. The idea to cast your business net as wide-reaching as possible might seem like a stretch, but different category pairings don’t automatically mean they won’t work as a cohesive whole. As long as your brand maintains a solid, transparent voice while taking the twists and turns of consumer needs into your stride, the world of unexpected momentum can be your oyster.
Photo source: https://www.pexels.com/@vlada-karpovich