A recurring insight

The ‘best of both’ insight has underpinned change in so many categories.  Do you want the enjoyment, taste and social inclusivity of a pint but still want to be able to drive home at the end of the night? Here’s low alcohol beer. You want the wholesome goodness of brown bread but can’t face anything other than a soft white sliced bread to envelop your bacon sarnie? Here’s ‘Best of Both’ bread.  

Change is good

We all know that Covid has changed our working lives forever. But in true ‘best of both’ style, for us that change has been overwhelmingly positive.

Some people enjoy commuting. Most people hate it. However, most prefer a hybrid to get the best of both – some head down alone time working from home to be super-productive and some interacting social time in the office to bond, share and build ideas. What’s clear is that we’ve proved working online, for the most part, works. So, we’re not going back to how things were. We’re adapting to have the best of both.

A friend of mine owns a computer games company. When Covid arrived he made a simple announcement, “The time has come for you to chase some dreams and live and work wherever you want to live and work in the world.  All I ask is for you to have a good internet connection.”

Even if you do choose to commute into the office, will there be an office to commute to? Large companies are already seeing the cost benefits of dramatically reducing their office space. Teams can rotate between themselves when they want to be in so the chairs, desks and meeting rooms are more fully utilised.  The best of both.

Mingle is embracing ‘Best of Both’

Before it was 100% physical. In lockdown it was 100% virtual. Our new ways of working will be a hybrid model where we can choose the best of both.

For example, we recently developed a proposal for the central team of a global business who were interested in getting under the skin of consumers in several Central and Eastern European Countries. In the old world this could easily have involved an elaborate ‘road trip’ approach with the central team travelling market to market, connecting with consumers working with local teams to interpret the findings then moving on.

The confidence our lockdown experience gave us with virtual connection actually prompted a very different approach. Our tech is allowing the local teams to still get out there and physically meet with consumers but to be accompanied virtually by a colleague from the central team. Not only to observe the conversation (as you would in a virtual focus group) but also to get involved, interact and be part of the discussion.  The central team can then get an experience across multiple markets and our final, virtual, consolidation and crystallisation workshops allow all participants to come together and work through what they have learnt.

 It’s a sensible and practical way of working that avoids travel and hotel costs. But not an idea we would have fully embraced or suggested pre-Covid. In fact, a completely virtual meeting would have been thought a bit odd. Not anymore.

It’s heartening to see a return to the physical. We cannot live completely virtual working lives. A hybrid way of working clearly delivers benefits for everyone. The best of both.

And, of course, it’s not over yet. We don’t know Covid’s full impact on how we work, yet. On how brands will continue to change and adapt. But we do know that we need to continue to connect with consumers and customers both virtually and in person so we understand them.

Get out and Mingle – be better connected.

Image courtesy of Lucrezia Carmelos on Unsplash.

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