Our Clients Know How the Pandemic Has Changed Demand for their Products

Do You?

Throughout the last two years, we have been helping clients to understand how the pandemic has affected their business.  We’ve accomplished this by interviewing their customers – from their own lists and from national samples of those who have recently purchased in their product categories – about how the pandemic has changed their behaviors.  Our clients have been able to adjust their product offerings and their product development schedules accordingly and they have thrived. 

You might be thinking, “our business is up, so we’re in good shape” or “everyone is up and we all know that.”  That’s true, but it’s also the problem.  Those who are up because they were lifted by the rising tide may not be up for long.  Those who are up because they have carefully analyzed their business are well-positioned for what comes next – continued good economic weather or storms. 

We’re all aware of the major economic and demographic trends the pandemic has brought.    There has been a major shift toward the home from increased home buying to minor to major remodeling.  Durable goods sales are up as is interest in home activities such as cooking, decorating and arts and crafts.  What does this mean for suppliers?  Here are some of the implications we see:

Grow Your Brand  In the short term, due primarily to failures in the supply chain, it is possible that some suppliers may see atypical sales growth.  They may not be strong brands or first choices, but if you can fill a need that is otherwise unfilled by competition, you may see benefits.  This is a great time to make moves to leverage your brand name so that new customers become permanent customers.  Make sure your customer service does a great job.  This could develop into new relationships.  Go for it!  Do everything right!

Back to Basics  In the immediate future, due primarily to the chip shortage (which is a problem unto itself, not just an artifact of the general distribution backlogs), it may be difficult to get products that rely on chips for controls.  There may be an opportunity to jump in and take share with simple products that just use switches.  Think back to basics. 

Simpler, smaller products for smaller spaces   Rental households are at an all-time high and, for many areas of the country where housing prices are beyond reach, rentals are likely to stay for a long time.  Consumers don’t invest in rentals.  They don’t have as much space.  They don’t purchase fixtures.  They don’t decorate to the same extent.  Renters want the same things as homeowners though.  Provide this market with scaled down versions of your products.   What one bedroom apartment needs a 12 cup coffee maker?  Provide this market with décor items that satisfy decorating needs with right-sized products. 

Eating and Meeting Outside   We’re all tired of the pandemic already but it keeps coming back.  For some with health risks, it’s a source of permanent fear which has led to outdoor gatherings to minimize risks.  Do your products lend themselves to outdoor use?  Is there an opportunity to adjust them accordingly? 

Heightened interest in cleaning   Nothing like a pandemic to increase desire for a sanitary home.  You don’t have to sell cleaning products to provide products that lend themselves to clean living.  Are your products easily cleaned?  Can you pack product-friendly cleaning goods in with them?   How about cleaning instructions? 

No matter what you sell, there are opportunities to take advantage of current challenges.  Listen to your consumers through research, through customer service and through your retailers.  Responding to customer needs has always been...and still is the path to grow sales and profits...in this and all environments. 

Call us to find out more about listening and understanding your customers and the current trends in your product categories' marketplace.   609.896.1108    Rick@Designres.com