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EDITORIAL Retailers adjust to the new rules of engagement

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Engagement has never been more important. With everyone shopping online, attracting shoppers is now crucial. However, how brands are doing it has, like everything else at this time, changed.

With more people stuck at home, the rules of engagement have changed. Shoppers are sharing how they are dressing for work at home; they are showing off their newly created home working environment; they are swapping ideas and tips with making this new way of life work.

And they are increasingly doing it using brand apps.

Brands are responding by soaking up all this goodness and using it to help. Brands are offering advice and tutorials, tips and tricks around all the things their customers want to do.

For example, BeUnique is offering advice on the best facemasks to buy if you have dry skin. Many beauty retailers are plugging the best handcreams and moisturisers for dealing with ‘sanitiser hand’. Others are showing how to dress for the new home office, how to create the right working environment, how to exercise (and what to wear when doing that) and how to relax.

Consumers are responding in kind, being drawn to those brands to tell their stories. It’s like social media out there, only it’s on brand apps.

At the same time, shoppers are being attracted to interact with brands that are doing similarly good works for the community at large. Those that have given up money or time to help healthcare workers, or are making hand sanitiser or other essentials, those that are giving to charity and more are all attracting positive attention.

Brand marketing in the consumer age is now very much about the brands that do right by both their customers and by the community at large.

This is a wholly positive step and one that is likely to linger long after the current pandemic is over.

Much as we see more people than ever heading to ecommerce and unlikely to go back post-Corona, so we see brand marketing, the use of apps and app engagement likely to remain a key way for interacting with consumers.

As we settle into the strange new rhythm of life in lockdown, being ready to leverage how things have changed for the better is soon going to be the order of the day.

It may seem like the ‘end’ is a long way off, but end it will and already we are starting to see how different the world may look when that happens. Time to get ready.

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