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A social distancing teapot and Spotify says there is more to life than music.

Are extra-long spouts the answer to today’s “Office Tea Break?” Will card payments be a thing of the past? And, will our Spotify playlists contain more than just music?

Let’s find out, shall we? All in today’s Ecrubox Take.

The Story.

As people across the UK return back to the workplace, companies face new challenges as they aim to keep their employees safe. So how does marketing fit into this transition? Well, think about all of the brands that are ingrained into our daily “old” office routines. The companies that used to market themselves as bringing colleagues together now have to reinvent what it means to be used in a socially distancing world… for starters, let’s consider the tea break!

The Trend. 

The office tea round is something that traditionally brings people together. Here at Ecrubox, we are true believers in a “tea break and a natter over some biscuits” but how do we continue the ritual and keep colleagues safe? 

Yorkshire Tea’s new tongue-in-cheek spot focuses on one potential solution; a teapot that helps maintain a safe distance between pourer and recipient. 

Our Take:

Even though the piece is lighthearted and fun, underlining there is no substitute for maintaining a safe distance, particularly in shared areas, the ad ends with the VO: “Ok, this probably isn’t the answer, but please enjoy your proper brew safely when you’re back at work.” 

Creating video content to help promote your brand is an important part of your marketing strategy. More and more companies are opting against traditional ads and instead, creating content that is far from “salesy” and more short form entertainment. Yorkshire Tea is a perfect example of how to produce branded content that is relevant to today’s customers. We are living in a time whereby marketing has to be more empathetic than ever; showing your audience that you understand the current climate but at the same time, engaging with them in a light and humorous way. The companies who will be crowned content kings and queens are the ones who become a “friend” to the customer. Creating messages that say, “Hey, we get it. We know how you feel, we are going through it too, but here’s something to think about..” Realistic positivity and optimism go along way. 

The Story:

Get ready for some payment shock factor. We would like to refer to this as the digital acceleration no one saw coming. Consider how we all buy now. Curbside and buy online, pick-up in-store programs are becoming the norm. Yes, they are great solutions for the current times, but this means that the typical cash and card payment methods will be harder to maintain. Merchants are going to have to start to offer e-commerce, and implement digital payment options at checkout. 

The Trend: 

Recent data shows up to 80% of shoppers across Europe’s three largest markets will now make at least half of their purchases online. This accelerated push towards digital causes retailers to have to make some big decisions. And fast. A failure to offer a variety of digital payment methods can severely limit their customer pool. 

COVID-19 will eventually lead to a race to create the best possible online experience. The merchants that understand this and make the checkout experience a top priority will succeed and those who stick to their old ways will be left behind.

Our Take:

While the pandemic has put a large strain on economies worldwide, it has also seen a spike of new-age innovation. Offerings like the rise of Facebook-owned, WhatsApp payment features, or PayPal and Venmo enabled QR code checkout are proving the demand for these forms of digital payment solutions. Financial technology is helping to keep us connected and provide access to the goods and services that we all want and need. We don’t believe this to be a seasonal trend, if anything, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for one fast digital ride. As a brand, it may be time to start considering other payment options if you want to keep your customers. 

The Story:

Spotify this month introduced its first global campaign of the year to highlight how its music and podcasts help to inspire and connect people. The “Music, Meet Podcasts” campaign will run across social, digital, and out-of-home, and is part of the release of its “Listening Is Everything” platform for brands.

It’s interesting how brands step up and take on new forms of creativity and messaging when the pressure heats up a little from competitors. You see, the campaign comes as Amazon announced it was adding podcasts to Amazon Music, the e-commerce giant’s streaming audio platform.

The Trend:

We’ve spoken about the power of audio before, and we are going there again. As the streaming audio wars continue, even though Spotify’s user base is growing, the business model is facing some challenges as advertising took a hit during the pandemic. Now, the platform is opening up to show brands how they can with them, as opposed to work for them. The company is showcasing a variety of original content that people can find on its platform, which includes exclusive series’.

Marketers are taking notice, with spending on podcast advertising next year forecast to grow 45% to $1.13 billion in the U.S., surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time, researcher eMarketer estimated last month.

Our Take:

It’s time to share your brand’s voice. If podcasts are forecasted to grow at such a rapid pace, it’s time to truly take notice of this as a marketing tool. Whether you are advertising on podcasts, partnering with brands that create audio content, or producing your own, podcasts are a piece of content that consumers are engaging heavily with and it would be foolish to pass up on the audio opportunity of branding. 

That’s all from us. Remember to subscribe to the blog to stay in the know and have access to all of the latest digital marketing guides created by our very own team of experts here at Ecrubox.

And before we sign off, A big Happy birthday to our Social and Content Executive Jess!

In- house Content Strategist, Fashion and Food Enthusiast.