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Talk Social: 28 April, 2020

More brands make plans to reopen stores

Following B&Q’s decision to open a limited number of its stores from last week, several retailers have put forward plans to reopen stores despite the lockdown.

Bakery chain Greggs has said it plans to open a small number of stores for takeaway and delivery from next week as part of a controlled trial, while John Lewis has said it hopes to open all of its stores next month.

Other food retailers such as Burger King, Pret a Manger and KFC have already reopened a small number of sites for takeaway and delivery.

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The long term effects of lockdown on consumer behaviour

The short term effects of the COVID-19 on buying behaviour were easily apparent – increased panic buying, supermarkets selling out of toilet roll, home gym equipment on the rise, etc… Over the following weeks of lockdown, we have seen these reactions evolve into trends which may influence consumer behaviour in the long term.

Research from insights platform Persky, looking at how the lockdown has impacted consumer behaviour, found 80 per cent Millennials and Gen Z report switching from their regular brands due to availability and 35 per cent have switched due to cost-saving

Of all of those, 42 per cent said they plan to continue buying these new brands after the pandemic has passed. Those who said cost was the main reason for switching were the most likely to stick with the new brand.

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Just seven per cent of brands invest more in marketing during COVID-19

Research from Marketing Week has found that just seven per cent of UK marketers say their brands are taking a strategic approach to invest more in marketing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The vast majority plan to, or have been forced, to maintain or reduce spending in the face the disruption. 29 per cent of marketers say their plan is to ‘stay the course’ by maintaining budgets. Half say they are making cuts so they can ‘live to fight another today’. A further 14 per cent say it is too early to know what their strategic response to marketing will be. 

While this suggests a difficult period for many marketers, there are some positive signs coming out of new ways of working. 43 per cent say they have made use of innovations in marketing messaging and branding that they might use post-outbreak

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More brands look to digital solutions to connect to their customers

As more and more annual events across the country are cancelled and postponed, several brands have looked to digital solutions to bring experiences to their fans.

Included in this is the next London fashion week. The week of events will now be held entirely digitally through a multimedia rollout, including live-streamed interviews, podcasts and digital showrooms.   

Likewise, Everton Football Club has been implementing a strategy underpinned by technology designed to maintain contact with its supporters. More than 24.5 million fans have been tuning into content from first-team players, including bedtime stories read by the likes of Lucas Digne and Simone Magill. Other videos have included exercise and mindfulness sessions, cookery demonstrations and home-learning educational resources.

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Keeping yourself entertained

With so many of us stuck at home right now, we thought we’d use our last point today to showcase some of the creative responses people have made to make lockdown a bit more bearable.

ZoomerBackgrounds has taken off as the source of virtual backgrounds for video conferencing. Perfect for those who’d rather be working from a tropical beach or the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

Want to experience how the streets used to look pre-lockdown? Drive and Listen lets you experience a taxi ride through the busy streets of one of 27 cities from around the world and even tune into local radio stations. For a source of activities to pass the time, Fix My Quarantine collates a list of things to watch, read and learn about, which updates each day.

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