Marketing Society: Community Circle Sign of the Times with B&A

Sign of the Times

Marketing Society Community Circle Series: Sign of The Times


The Marketing Society of Ireland together with B&A recently hosted a session entitled ‘Life on Lockdown’ as part of the society’s Community Circle virtual event series to support members during these difficult times.  Luke Reaper and Maggie Matthews of B&A, presented an overview of their ‘Sign of the Times 2020’ report as well as insights from the recent’ Life on Lockdown’ research. The discussion examined the values in society, technology use, attitudes to climate/sustainability and there potential implications for brands.

It is through this reflection that brands can truly realise the adjustments that need to be made, and those that fail to do this could be left behind as consumers connect with brands that not only meet/understand their new needs but are seen to be leading the change.



1. Reflection: It is essential that brands take the time to reflect on the new normal and in turn the changing needs of consumers and society.

2. The Basics: Brands must remember the importance of getting the basics right during times of turmoil, a crucial building block that can be too quickly overlooked.

3. Tone: Try to be serious without catastrophising, authoritative but empathetic and always highly informed.

4. Lessons Learned: Take lessons from the last downturn. Although, the current crisis is very different, brands that actively supported consumers in tough times, maintained that support and grew share as the economy recovered. Brands that support customers when times are tough will be rewarded with loyalty in the long term.

5. Be nimble in the Community: The most notable brands thus far have been those who have been nimble in the community and used their expertise to genuinely help the vulnerable and the front line. An Post, utilising their networks to check on the vulnerable,  beauty brands switching to hand sanitiser production, O’Neill’s sportswear making hospital scrubs, GAA looking after their local communities.

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