We aren’t out of January yet, but it already seems that 2021 won’t be quite the year we’d hoped for. The limitations and effects of the pandemic still make the positives of the vaccine roll-out seem some distance away.
For businesses and brands the situation only seems to speed up some of the changes we’ve witnessed. While some marketing experts talk about the Great Dispersion others are talking about the Great Acceleration, and they sit well together: the move away from traditional consumer channels and the changes in attitudes is gathering even more pace.
Experiential is something that also looks like it won’t be having the year we’d hoped for, and the cancellation of Glastonbury again was another unavoidable reminder. While physical experience opportunities fall away again there are still opportunities for brands to connect, it just demands an even bigger change of perspective.
Brands can respond to these changes in how people are living and want to live in the future, particularly in work, shopping, and socialising. Our home spaces are changing from safe spaces to main spaces, workplaces will become incredibly fluid, more connective routes to consumer will dominate over legacy channels and people want more controlled, intimate, and safe spaces to connect with people when they are able to again.
Balancing uncertainty, control, and intimacy with legacy models of experiential is both the challenge and opportunity that brands must grasp, now and beyond 2021. The winning brands will be the ones who truly understand this and use it to re-define experiential, then act on it quickly, as always.