The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
In a world post-lockdown where the rules of the game are set to change, or rather have already changed, the way forward for furniture brands is also entering an unknown road.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted with unlock 1.0 and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown.
In this story of Medianews4u’s super successful brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Rajat Mathur, Business Head, Script by Godrej & Boyce.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on your Script by Godrej & Boyce? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
The Covid-19 pandemic is indeed an unforeseen and unprecedented event. Recalibrating strategies while taking into account the consumer sensitivities and the changing consumer behaviour in a post-COVID’ world is the need of the hour.
Having said this, we are now presented with an opportunity to un-learn, re-learn and re-invent ourselves to stay ahead and aligned with the new-normal and more importantly, the new consumer personality. Taking this ethos forward, Script has gone back to the drawing board to identify solutions to Restart business once the lockdown is lifted, Reset ourselves to cater to the new normal, Re-imagine the new normal and come up with disruptions in our existing business model to adapt effectively and Refocus by training ourselves to deliver faster results to be able to make up the lost ground.
As a brand, we are in this together with our stakeholders and clients and are taking this situation within our stride with our chins held high.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to Script by Godrej & Boyce?
The industry has seen one of the biggest paradigm shifts in consumer behaviour in history. As I mentioned earlier, it is about unlearning, re-learning, and, re-inventing the communication wheel. Two things come to mind in this regard.
One, furniture as a category solicits physical touch and it is to be seen how buying patterns will evolve with the new social distancing norms. With the work-from-home culture being the new way of things, it presents a great opportunity for us to educate consumers on why furniture is an important essential now more than ever before. From the beauty of smart, multifunctional homes, to pieces that create more space, to the science of ergonomics, we are working towards creating invaluable assets and a greater omnichannel experience for our customers to showcase how Script can partner them in this new journey. While consumers prefer an in-store experience with touch and feel, we are in the process of designing ways to enable consumers to explore our products online to optimize and reduce their in-store time through technology.
Secondly, the lockdown period has given people an opportunity to spend more time with their family at home. Working from home, taking care of the household chores, and discovering surrogate ways to entertain themselves is becoming new normal.It gives us an opportunity to design an empathetic fluid solution.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
The resumption of business will strictly be based on the guidelines issued by the MHA, State govt. and other concerned authorities. We have opened up our stores in Delhi NCR & Bengaluru and are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our customers as well as our employees. We have put out communication for our consumers through our social media page to inform them of the best practices during this time and our expectations from them as responsible patrons.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? Understandably, bringing customers back to you would be difficult… What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
As people are trying to adapt to the new normal, our focus is on reassurance and empathy while driving education around topics like ergonomics, work from home tips, and wellness. Post lockdown, consumers will seek design-led solutions. Given the amount of time spent at home, fluid, intuitive, and functional solutions will resonate with consumers more than ever before as it gives them freedom of living matched with their social lifestyle. This has been our core communication, which will continue post lockdown.
How did you keep the morale of the employees up during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
We are quite fortunate to have a self-driven team who rise to the occasion and go beyond their role whenever the situation demands. Their health, safety & wellbeing is our topmost priority. The lockdown period has been leveraged to enable them to upskill by facilitating various programs and amenities ensuring productivity as well as a good work-life balance at home. We have also been utilizing this time to re-look at every process and mapping them to the new normal. Wherever required, we are rewiring or modifying the processes to adapt to the times ahead.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
We have to wait and watch how consumers adopt and adapt. At Script, we are in the process of realigning our approach considering the new:
Shopping behaviour: More emphasis on using digital tools to give customers virtual tours of the store and provide them with all possible information on the brand and specific products they are looking for. This may help in facilitating buying decision without coming to the store.
Media Consumption habits: A stronger focus on communication through digital, social media, and television rather than using the more traditional print and outdoor mediums.
Convergence of home &office: Amplify design-led solutions by Script to cater to new consumer needs and patterns like WFH, home entertainment, etc. with a fluid approach.
Positive motivations: Communication to be focused on instilling a sense of social responsibility, togetherness and national pride.