2020 has made us reflect on what really matters. So what have supermarket deliveries taught us about our relationship with brands?
Supermarket deliveries have never been so vital. They were always there, churning away in the background. But between shielding, 14 day isolations, and tier 5 lockdowns they’ve taken on many new roles.
For a start, they have become the only point of social contact for many. They’re not just a friendly face, they’re a social barometer. Finally you can ask someone, what’s going on beyond my street? How’s it going for you? How busy are you? How’s the food supply chain? My preschooler kept inviting ours in for imaginary birthday parties, which they declined so kindly it was incredible. Next up, they delivered the food to our doorstep and stepped back. Amazing. Sustenance. Sanitation.
An interesting thing started to happen between the supermarket app and the doorstep drop. The connection between which brand of yoghurt we clicked, and which brand of yoghurt we ate dropped away. It didn’t matter. It was the yoghurt button. Philadelphia or Sainsbury’s soft cheese? Gordon’s pink G&T cans or Tesco slimline G&T cans? Kellogg’s Rice Crispies or Morrisons Rice Pops? Dove soap bars or something I’ve never heard of?
That was if you were lucky. Silken Tofu? No, but you got your canned pulses. Chicken breasts? No but you got your sausages. Flour? No, no flour. You needed to know someone with a connection for that kind of stuff. It was a lesson in being grateful for what you get. What you can afford. What’s out there usually. It was an eye opening experience in the context of our consumer culture, and what it takes to make it operate.
For the first time in my life, I appreciated what it felt like not to have whatever you wanted at your fingertips (if you have the money). But it made me wonder a few things. Did you feel upset when a different brand of mild cheddar cheese arrived? Did you feel warm and cosy when your favourite brand of ground coffee got delivered? Did having choice increase or decrease your inner wellbeing in a time of uncertainty?
If people’s brand loyalty fell away over issues like food and cleaning products, did the love increase elsewhere? For social media platforms? For entertainment networks? For local community platforms? Where does the love flow? What would have to happen for us not to care about which social media brand we use? Or which entertainment channel we watch? What can we learn from this experience?
Ultimately, brands will learn that managing people’s expectations is still important. That kindness prevails and wins hearts more than ever. That we need to give more than we take. There’s lots for brands to learn right now, even if they’re not on the top of everyone’s shopping lists.