How do these changes impact expectations on brands?
New research shows how the pandemic impacts core human needs – and what this means for brands.
The study has been conducted by Firefish, an insight agency I know from my time at Tate in the past. The research gives some relevant and interesting insights into what people across different generations are looking for in this time and how brands can help meet some of those needs. While done in the US, I think a lot of this is relevant here and applicable to cultural organisations.
Unsurprisingly the research reflects how dramatically life has changed across most aspects and for all generations. The basic human need of safety dominates currently, followed by Wellbeing.
The re-priorisation of needs leads to expectations people have from brands and these might influence a company’s reputation in the longterm. People see through marketing and how organisations act in a crisis can reveal how much they actually live up to their values.
People have expectations of brands, the research shows that in the main, people expect brands to:
step up and do something – this can be either helping directly or, if that’s not possible, providing a platform for help
show compassion, starting with staff
contribute to lightening the conversation
The report finishes with a more detailed and practical summary of ‘where brands can help to meet evolving needs’. It seems to me that most of these findings can easily be interpreted for arts organisations (and many organisations have already provided activities in some of these areas).
What do you think? Does your experience in recent weeks correspond with these findings?
Bring everyone to the same level of understanding;
Incorporate data into all planning processes (not just marketing);
Develop measurable objectives and metrics for success;
Continuously gather market data and update plans accordingly;
Take advantage of the predictive power of data;
Look at market research as an investment rather than a cost; and
Are actively shifting the organization’s culture
For me no7 is bringing it all together – a culture change. This is about attitudes to data, but I think behind this needs to be a positive attitude and approach to people – eventually it is not about data, but about our visitors, audience, customers, whatever we choose to call them, and about understanding them and showing empathy.
BTW, I realise I didn’t post Colleen’s third blog, here it is if you want to complete the series and hear about common cognitive biases to data: Accepting Data Can Be Hard
2/4 of Colleen Dilenschneider’s steps to a data informed cultural organisation
Here is step 2 of Colleen Dilenschneider’s path to becoming a data informed cultural organisation: Data interpretation.
From my experience working at Tate, I support the suggested need for data advocates 100%. Research and data alone are not enough to become data informed, you need to bring the data to life. It requires a lot activation to get people to understand, embrace and eventually act on research findings.
Investing in insight is great, but investing in its activation will get you the return.
As Colleen suggests, data needs:
an insider, who knows what the findings mean
a storyteller, who shares the story that the data tells
Museums Aotearoa released a new report that brings together academic research with data collected from New Zealand museums and their visitors to answer the question “What value do museums, art galleries and heritage properties contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand?”.
Drawing on draws on a decade of visitor surveys at New Zealand’s museums and referencing international research, it shows how cultural institutions are making an active contribution to cultural well-being, social cohesion and the economy in addition to their vital role as kaitiaki of knowledge and tāonga.
A diverse audience is a much proclaimed goal for many cultural organisations, and rightly so. Public arts organisations need to be relevant to a broad population in order to be sustainable and funded long term. This means striving for an audience that is representative of the population.
The upcoming NZ census will tell us more about the ever-increasing diversity of the NZ population and with the update of the Audience Atlas by MHM and Creative NZ due in a few months, we will be able to compare cultural audiences with the population and understand the opportunities and challenges.