Why brands need to be bolder and braver than ever

The world doesn’t want to spend less money; it just wants to spend it better, says Paul Austin, Director and Founding Partner of Made Thought. Here he expounds on how the brands that can deliver bold experiences will be the ones that succeed

A big challenge that many retailers are facing right now is that consumption has a negative spotlight on it. How do brands encourage people to shop and spend in a world with increasingly urgent concerns about over-consumption and sustainability? For a start, they need to be much bolder and braver in how they bring the brand experience to life for consumers to give them a compelling reason to invest in them.

The reality is we still want to shop and we still want to consume, we’re just recalibrating how we do it. Consumers are making more considered choices. Making higher investments, less frequently. Making purchasing decisions that really feel right, not just look right. Investing in brands that give them something more than a new possession. We see this as a shift of focus in the mindset of the modern consumer from ‘belongings’ to ‘belonging’ – they are turning their back on brands that just make ‘stuff’ and are instead seeking out brands they feel they can belong to.

This is why, in retail environments, notions of sustainability, ethics, quality and real human values need to be hard-baked into the experiences brands are providing, not layered on top. This might seem like a huge challenge, but if you flip it around it’s also a golden opportunity. After all, the world doesn’t want to spend less money; it just wants to spend it better. And if it means buying something of higher quality or that’s been made more sustainably, people might even pay more for it. Brands who can deliver experiences shaped around this shifting mindset will be the ones who succeed in increasing their market-share.