Now more than ever, this global Pandemic has given consumers worldwide full control; it’s the act that has fully shifted the authority to the recipient: The consumer. The consumer is on the wheel and is in full control. 

‘Living in the time of Corona’ made humans adapt to new ways of living, everything that was done with people or  outside the house (as humans have been used to since forever), has now shifted to being done in isolation and in the house: total brain makeover. That’s what the consumer has become faced with…but the solutions were fast

From physical training, to conference meetings, to entertainment, to school education, to shopping: every single human behavior was shifted in short period of time. Another behavior also started to emerge: creating content has become more popular than ever.

The  Egyptian consumer in specific  lived through turbulent times, back in 2011 that was the unveiling of the ‘vast World of Social Media’ they discovered that there are ways and platforms to express themselves;  come March 2020, they were just looking for what’s new and they were ready with what they wanted to say/do/sing…

The consumer is now ahead of the game, and since the events are fast, strategist need to be on top of these events. Trends are now very easily tracked and observed, insights are right in front of our faces, its basic human psychology:  consumers are looking for info: for survival;  watching much content:  counter boredom;  learning skills: to feel non redundant; and creating content themselves: to feel like they are contributing: basic human psychology. 

The equation is agility, speed and open mindedness; agility to move across platforms shifting campaign to different relatable mediums and tweaking the message. Speed to act now (trends now emerge almost on a daily base), and open mindedness to accept the fact that they are now reacting to consumers demands and not vice versa.

A brand that has succeeded in adapting fast was ‘Lifebuoy’. ‘Lifebuoy’ is Unilever’s hygiene soap, which meant that 2020 is the time for it

At the beginning of the Corona outbreak, the brand started a public service campaign to educate consumers on Corona using social media digital to give health and hygiene tips relevant to Corona. As the issue started getting bigger and spreading worldwide, the brand started acting as well.

The brand was interested in the greater good, LifeBuoy was promoting hand wash for themselves and for other brands, as long as consumers wash their hands everyone is a winner. A TVC was locally adapted to air on TV, with a message that said that encouraged consumers to use any type of soap, not specifically Lifebuoy, it was conceived as a public health service announcement 

The reception on social media was very positive, people felt the genuine tone of the brand and stared sharing, engaging and commenting about the copy that was also on social media…

The brand then started riding on the popular platforms, for the first time, TikTok was used. 

Since it’s a user generated platform, it was the perfect medium to get consumers in on the game. 

A brand page was created, a catchy jingle was produced, empathizing on the brand usage, and using TikTok influencers challenge the campaign launched. Three days into the campaign, the challenge as picked up by regular people and celebrities:    serving the campaign to the core.

How will things progress, no one can assertively say, but based on what’s happening currently we can predict how things can go for some categories: E-commerce is for sure the witnessing the biggest migration so far, especially for FMCG’s. The mandatory stay-at-home reality contributed to the huge increase of online sales, to the extent that the current suppliers at the beginning of the quarantine and the curfew couldn’t keep up with the demand. 

FMCG’s was the biggest contributor, followed by home equipment and stationary. FMCG’s will probably continue to be purchased online, becoming a habit and that will almost for sure result in more suppliers investing in their online platforms or even more new names appearing in the market. 

So the secret is, there is no secret. We just need to give in to the consumers, and listen to what they want, because their actions and demands are loud and clear…