Plan B:

Navigating a world of change

What we’re hearing from customers

Staying close to customers has never been more important. We know that the companies that navigate disruptions better often succeed because they invest in their customer – and they’re able to anticipate key segment needs. But what’s on the minds of customers right now? Each week, we’ll be exploring how customer sentiment and behaviors are changing across the United States.

Grocery Stores: The Fourth Emergency Service

SOPHIE GASKILL
MARCH 23

The coronavirus is shifting everything that we’ve come to consider as normal. To track the change now, in real time, we have tapped into our community of customers to explore what’s changing in their world: the way they shop, communicate, work and socialize.

The first week has been fascinating and thought-provoking – what’s emerging is a collective need for community and solidarity.

We’re All ‘Preppers’ Now: How customers are adapting their routines, following the outbreak of COVID-19

AIDAN BORER
MARCH 18

Prepping – hoarding, or just stocking up for a potential long period of isolation – has suddenly gone from an odd niche enthusiasm to a common behavior. We dug into our consumer insights to find out what that means to people right now, and what it might point to in the future.

Our research shows that the most pressing concern on the minds of US consumers is proximity. Of those who stated that they wished they had more information (50% of our sample), more than half were interested in the spread of the virus. US respondents want to know how to avoid COVID-19. But is real time GPS tracking in everyone’s best interests?

Demand Shock: Some companies are set up to manage disruption much better than others

Businesses across the world are bracing for a “demand shock”. For business, this is not only hard to manage and bad for sales – as the photos of empty shelves in supermarkets and online recipes for DIY hand sanitizer are starting to show. The bigger risk is that the customers you lose may never return, limiting your future growth potential.

What we’re thinking about with our clients

Many of us are experiencing similar changes to our habits, routines, behaviours and our ways of working. We wanted to share insights from the different conversations we’ve been having here at C Space – with our colleagues and with our clients too.

What to do when your tracker won’t cut it

LAURENT MANES + ZOE BISHOP
MARCH 25

The two key business skills at this unique time are understanding today and anticipating tomorrow. What’s happening now – and what will happen next as a result of it? Here’s our perspective on how to gain those essential insights.

Every year, C Space clients Skillsoft and SumTotal have held a highly respected, well-attended, face-to-face global event for learning, talent and business leaders: Perspectives. But this year, they were suddenly faced with a major problem – COVID-19 – and we’re proud we could help them solve it.

Four Principles for engaging your customers, when you can’t meet them face to face

KATHRYN BLANSHARD
MARCH 12

Many of our clients are under pressure to quickly identify changing customer behaviour, whilst simultaneously having to iterate tried and tested methodologies. In the cases where face-to-face research isn’t currently an option and you’re exploring other remote ways to connect with your customers, we’ve developed some principles to ensure your remote groups are a success

Is the world ready for remote working?

CHRIS NURKO
MARCH 4

We know that temporary confinement can drive the conditions that foster creative and innovative market solutions. The concept of remote working is nothing new but the outbreak of COVID-19 creates the unique conditions that we think will force new behaviors, at unprecedented scale.

The best of what's around

The brands making customer inspired moves in the market

In a fast-moving global crisis such as the current coronavirus outbreak, brands have an important role to play. Staying true to their ambition creates a perception of integrity. Reputations can be made by activating brand purpose during a crisis – and just as quickly lost by perceived opportunism. Moves that create value for communities, customers and employees are both bold and smart. Bold, because they may come at a short term cost to profit or margin. A tough call – but consider the cost of a damaged reputation.

We’re tracking the notable brand moves & highlighting the companies who are tackling this challenge successfully

What we’re reading

In this time of unexpected volatility, we’re all learning at speed. We wanted to share the articles that we have found useful to frame our perspectives and inform our thinking. We hope that you find them useful too.

Customer Inside: A Practitioners Guide to Online Communities

When we were pioneering online communities twenty years ago, the landscape was unrecognizable from today. At that time, insight was simply a way for a business to validate its own ideas and hypotheses. Today, it’s a critical lever as business looks to rebuild itself from the bottom up. We’re proud to have partnered with the MRS, the world’s leading research association – and over 130 industry professionals working across insight, marketing and innovation functions in a broad range of categories and sectors, to produce this report. We hope you find it useful during these unprecedented times.