How are people feeling about the lifted lockdown restrictions?
During our time in isolation, we experienced an overwhelming sense of community and compassion. We expressed support for key workers and those affected by the virus. There has been time to reflect, get back to nature, and reconnect with the things we forgot were important. This pandemic has raised a lot of questions about our future. And as we transition to a “new normal”, I consider what that future might look like. Hopefully, it will have a better haircut.
Expectedly, we have pretty mixed views on getting out and about again. Media outlets spark more fear and anxiety, but some people remain optimistic or even excited. However, research suggests we’re all worried about where we can go, what we can do, and how far apart we can sit, stand, walk, talk, shop, drink, or eat. Which raises more concerns about our social lives and a second wave of the virus.
How are businesses reacting to the lift in restrictions?
Despite public concern, businesses are reopening with some success, but there are still limitations to the services they are able to provide. Nether the less, businesses are rising to the occasion and pulling out all the stops to get customer’s through the door.
For example, Selfridges have tried to offer a ‘joyful experience’ to their customers through personal shopping. They also hired a DJ who played for queuing customers, helping them feel relaxed, giving them the impression that time passed quicker, and encouraging people to join the queue. It’s this sort of added detail that could get businesses ahead in a post-lockdown landscape.
How different will our retail and hospitality experiences be?
The economy is in the midst of an operational and creative overhaul. Under these circumstances, those who don’t adapt, will fall short in a competitive market. There are currently too many unknowns to make forecasts or predictions of how retail and hospitality spaces are going to change. What is clear, is the lengths to which brands will have to go to attract customers.
Restauranteurs are challenged with providing unique atmospheres to customers, all the while knowing that their space poses a threat of exposure to its guests (how relaxing). Safety and hygiene will be the priority for businesses moving forward, and we will see more processes in place to manage this issue.
How could the use of sound help brands get back on-track post-lockdown?
Sound is an important component in any unified brand strategy. Change has been thrust upon us, giving businesses an opportunity to rethink their interior strategies. Brands will need to deliver fully sensory experiences to customers, while making them feel safe and comfortable.
In the case of sound, its affect on our emotions can be subconscious. Sound has the power to elevate our experience of spaces without us even realising. It is a remarkable asset, especially at times like these. The strange this is, I have spoken to brands who don’t utilise sound effectively. It is very easy for brands to focus only on the visual. Which often means their brand story isn’t complete, and will be less engaging for their audiences.
Get used to using sound as a tool for your business strategy
Brands need to be sensitive to what people are hearing, as well as the sensations they are seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling. The conscious choices brands make, could be the difference between a customer walking out, or getting involved in a new sensory experience, being offered by brands post-lockdown.