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Winning back the future

Tim Williams

For anyone hailing from west of the Severn Bridge, hiraeth is a powerfully evocative word with no direct English translation. Used to describe a combination of emotions evoking melancholy, homesickness and a nostalgia for a golden past that never existed quite as we remember, it describes feelings that have always inspired story-tellers. It encapsulates the state of mind of Odysseus: the exile and wanderer yearning for solidity in a world in flux; seeking to return to the past.

So, it’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year in which all of us, both as individuals and as businesses, have become uncomfortably familiar with an emotion for which we now have a word.

 

Winning, growing and keeping customers is challenging enough at the best of times, but today we’re faced with a whole new level of uncertainty and therefore anxiety. This is mirrored in your customer’s lives. They’re probably experiencing a maelstrom of emotions: confusion, anger, frustration…fear. These all serve to cause stress, and stress is never a good lifestyle choice.

 

But, perhaps the most widely held emotion at the moment is a sense of loss. This doesn’t simply mean we want our old life back. What we really want back is our future life. We want to return to a better future, to feel confident about it, to be able to plan for it. To be able to see it.

 

Which is where an intriguing possibility now exists for brands and customers to help each other. To help both win back their futures by giving the latter a renewed sense of trust in the former.

 

Trust comes in many forms and it’s essential first to understand what it is your customers want to trust you for. But, it’s worth the effort to find out because your customers have probably never been as hungry for brands they can trust as they are right now.