Two really big numbers were announced today, with a poetic mirror quality to them.
12 and 21.
12 – the day of April that retail can reopen again, and 21 – the day in June when all restrictions could well be over in the UK.
The government’s announcements today have been welcome news for many, but in particular, those sectors that we work with at iD most – retailers and marketeers.
So two really big numbers – but what now? If you are a retailer or a brand marketer, what do you actually need to do next to get ready for a return to normality?
We’ve spent a long time at iD thinking about this (about a year, actually!), so here are a few things we know are super important to keep in mind.
1. Plan Now – You’re Already Late!
Consumers and your competition are already awake to the changes that are coming very swiftly down the track, and if you aren’t ready to press go now, you’re behind!
Announcing that 21st June means the end of all restrictions, your options for retail activation are going to get limited – and fast.
The great gold rush is on – brands want to be at festivals, in outdoor pub settings, at events, in supermarket car parks, popping up on high streets, and on the beaches.
Expect a “Gold Rush” for premium activation spaces and creative mechanics to capitalise on consumers enjoying their freedom.
2. F&B is Where Its At!
After the Great Depression in the 1930s, something curious and fantastic happened. Consumers had squirreled away all their disposal income, for fear of that rainy day. As economies opened up again, people cautiously wanted to spend more.
We’ll see the same this summer (even the Bank of England agrees!) and we know where that spend is likely to go.
Consumers won’t be investing in big new TVs or home improvements – we’ve done that! Instead, significant research points to an expected influx in food and beverage spend.
This might seem logical enough – the thing we all miss the most is pubs and restaurants! So what does that mean for your brand?
Its time to root your retail and marketing experiences in dining and drinking experiences – create concepts that tap into what people will want to enjoy more than anything this year!
3. The Rebirth of The High Street
One final and very significant feature of 2021 will be the rebirth of the high street. Retail failures of 2020 have been very high profile, but two important features that are forecast to endure should not be overlooked. Firstly, localism. KPMG, McKinsey, and several others have conducted significant research indicating that the 5-day-a-week commute is over; that consumers have come to appreciate and love their local retail offers like never before, and that 65% of said consumers believe that it’s shopping local that is likely to be their most permanently changed habit. In 2021, retail brands should already be thinking about how to get lean, agile pop-up activations on local high streets. (And by the way, we’ve done this with some of our retail partners already and the results have been unbelievable)
Secondly, an influx of available space and the expected continued relief of business rates make this an ideal time to test out a retail concept, in the right place – the commercials, and the opportunity, have never been better.
In summary - our top tips:
1. Plan now for 12 and 21; you’re already behind!
2. Seize the moment – it’s the perfect time to capture consumers
3. Be bold – the opportunities are so exciting!