Experience in a Time of Crisis

Morgan Holt, Chief Strategy Officer at FITCH

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Photo by Simon John-McHaffie on Unsplash

When we look back on this time, which brands will have done their duty, which held their courage, and which simply made us feel good?

During this global crisis we’ve all experienced moments of comfort that suggest there is a more meaningful world out there, if only we want to make it happen.

Every crisis signals change. The origin of the word ‘crisis’ isn’t simply about foreboding and doom, but points to the intense moment of uncertainty where one road leads to bad and the other to good.

And there are plenty of brands out there doing good right now. Like Depop, which is keeping its customers creative, or TikTok which is keeping fans entertained and speedily dialling up its charity collaborations.

Positive brands will build reputation and emerge stronger from this crisis when they double down on their Experience Signature. This is the unique and intentional way that a brand addresses people’s most fundamental needs. It can be measured using FITCH’s Experience Themes framework, which shows the changing expectations of global consumers.

So which brands are putting their signature in service of this unusual crisis?

Nike

Nike’s purpose of inspiration is brought to life through a unique experience signature made from the themes of achievement, leadership, exploration and transformation.

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FITCH Experience Themes data

When Nike brings people together, it shows them how to be proud in setting their own goals:

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And gives people options for them to find their own way:

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BrewDog

BrewDog is another brand with a progress-oriented signature, and is made up of themes that help the brand be both light-hearted and unconventional.

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FITCH Experience Themes data
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As well as to entertain and be playful in these serious times:

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Dyson

Dyson’s experience signature is a combination of exploring, transforming and leading the world. So it’s no surprise when the brand designs a new ventilator in 10 days.

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FITCH Experience Themes data
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Zoom

Zoom, the videoconference service that emerged out of nowhere, uses its signature of entertainment and rule-breaking to create a highly engaging product as well as communications that understands people and makes them smile.

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FITCH Experience Themes data
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While other brands follow the herd or try a bit of everything, the brands that will thrive on the other side are those that recognise their strengths and turn their signature into a unique experience. Some more below.

Havaianas: supporting local healthcare workers

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Amazon Kindle: feeding imaginations during lockdown

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Credit: Gizmodo UK

Bleach London: inspiring and bringing its community together

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3M: Activating meaningful partnerships

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TikTok: positive content focused on wellbeing and entertainment

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Budweiser: breaking the rules without doing it wrong

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Netflix: using entertainment to create a sense of belonging

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Credit: Netflix Party

With contribution from Kate Walmsley and Chirag Grover

Follow Morgan Holt and FITCH on LinkedIn

Want to hear more about Experience Themes? Get in touch: hello@fitch.com

*unless stated otherwise, all supporting imagery in this article has been sourced from official brand channels*

Written by

FITCH is a global design consultancy. Designing the Future. Online, offline and in person.

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