Brands – as signposts of the (new) everyday life


The Corona crisis challenges brands to reposition themselves and make intelligent use of the dynamic environment. This is not only a matter of sounding out changing consumer needs, but also of actively making new offers. “Covid-19 has changed people’s lives, our autopilot is out of step, many of the things we take for granted are being questioned,” says rheingold psychologist Judith Behmer. For people, she says, this has not only caused uncertainty, but also a highly productive search for new ways of coping and dealing with the changed reality. In this phase of transformation, brands can point the way like a GPS transmitter and make meaningful offers for the new everyday life.

“Products unconsciously structure everyday life to a high degree,” says Behmer – and often in a very profound way. If you look at people’s daily lives, you notice how products and brands play an enormous role in shaping every single phase of the day. This becomes particularly clear in the morning after waking up, when you wake up from archaic sleep and dream worlds and have to undergo a small evolution every day towards becoming a cultivated professional. From breakfast cereals and coffee to Smartwatch and shower gel, brands provide role models and orientation aids and make this transition possible – beyond the purely physiological needs.

Brand stories must depict what is familiar and develop narratives


Traditional brands in particular are currently benefiting from this period of change, accompanying the departure into a new world with the comfort of what is familiar and implying security. But this effect is not a foregone conclusion: “Consumers as well as brands are currently in a gigantic experimental phase,” says Behmer. Even if many things seem normal again, the context has changed permanently. From this perspective, brand stories must not only depict familiar things, but also develop new narratives. For the communication of brands this means that they must both tie in with the familiar as well as take up the new situation – like Coca-Cola, for example, with its ‘open as never before’ campaign. Consumers have a heightened awareness of how brands are responding to the changes and what answers they are giving.

The more people regain confidence, the more open they are to innovative offers – “we are currently observing a newly awakened zest for life in our research,” says Behmer. Driven by the dynamics of social change, the opportunities for brands are greater than ever before to constructively accompany consumers in their search, to develop innovations along the brand core and thus create new forms of cultivation in the long term. “Brands structure our everyday life much more than we are aware of,” says the psychologist. For the psyche, the products of everyday life are definitely relevant to the system and can therefore act courageously: “Especially now brands should be inventive!”

According to Behmer, the first McDrives for cyclists in three restaurants in Munich, Berlin and Cologne are also a positive example of the arrival of the changed reality and the response of a brand with new services. Without getting off the bike, the burger can be ordered, paid for and received contactlessly via the McDonald’s app. What sounds like a funny marketing gag is psychologically a highly intelligent reaction to the crisis, which has demonstrably triggered a cycling boom and forced people to take a fresh look at the topics of exercise and health.

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Judith Behmer


Judith Behmer is a certified psychologist and member of the management at rheingold. Tel .: +49 221-912 777-64 E-Mail: behmer@rheingold-online.de