In a locked-down world where we’ve been forced to constantly shift focus between work and personal lives, we’ve all had the opportunity to reflect on what’s really important to us. Our view of the world has become much smaller, much closer to home.

The truth is that time is the most important currency we have: time with our families, loved ones; and the realisation that making time for ourselves is fundamental to our mental health. Knowing this, we’re now compelled to make fundamental changes in order to protect that way of life.

As humans, we’re social animals – the need to connect and interact is in our DNA. In a post-pandemic world, there’s no doubt that the experience economy will continue to thrive; in fact, people may well value experiences even more than material things. However, those experiences will have to work much harder to command attention; to warrant people committing time to them. With a renewed focus on the value of their time, audiences will simply expect more.

Time’s up on complacency; on doing the same things we always did – it just won’t cut it. Headline sponsorships of sporting events or industry conferences, hoping that someone will remember your brand? Nope. Trade show environments built around commercial viability for the organiser, with everyone fighting for attention from the wrong crowd? Don’t think so. That company conference that preaches a brand promise so different to the reality on the office floor? You get the picture.

If a brand wants their audience to come on a journey with them, to engage and buy into what they’re doing, they have to be tuned into that audience. To understand that, in their world, time is the most valuable thing all of us have.

So – what can brands do about it?

Here’s something to get you thinking:

  • Challenge everything about how you communicate – the purpose, the value, the alternatives – nothing is off the table
  • Ask difficult questions – Do we even know the value we’re getting from our current strategy?
  • Know everything you can about your audience – what are they really thinking and feeling
  • Great experiences make change happen because they’re memorable. If it won’t be remembered – don’t do it

Now is the opportunity for brands to make the time to reframe their view on audience engagement. Those that do will be the ones who’ll see the most sustained impact