For the second appointment of our Human Discussions, our founder Kate Nightingale has met Tracey Woodward to discuss the new playbook necessary for consumers brands in order to inspire their teams, communicate with their customers and build strong relationships.

Tracey Woodward is a highly respected and renowned leader in the beauty industry, currently in the role of Executive Board Member at CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women). Thanks to her 30 years long career, she has managed to help brands in building lasting success and engaged teams. Her leadership has revamped and strengthened brands like Urban Retreats, Aromatherapy Associates and Marks & Spenser Beauty.

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the way of living, leading to a profound change of consumers’ needs and desires alongside with their consumption habits.  As a consequence to this, the previous ways of doing businesses must be reframed and consumers’ brands must employ a new playbook in order to satisfy their customers. Following this, Tracey Woodward has highlighted several aspects, fundamental for the success of a business in the current times.

The current pandemic has brought individuals to emotional stress, fear and a general lack of control and safety in their lives. The concepts of health and wellness have taken a new meaning and a sense of belonging is what the consumers are now longing for. As highlighted by Woodward, consumers are now looking for a community, they want to belong more than ever to a tribe and that is exactly what brands must create. Brands must be able to create a tribe-looking community where authenticity and human connection are at the core. Honesty and mutual respect play a fundamental role and these elements are also essential in the organisations itself.

In fact, to create an optimal community for the consumers, leaders must be able to create an organisation that also look like a tribe, where honesty, respect and authenticity are central. As explained by Woodward, it is all about the energy of the organisation in terms of what the organisation stands for or the way it manages to complete the tasks required. The team members and employees must also belong to the brand and feel connected to it. In the current times, it is even more important to create such sense of belonging among the employees as people do not want to work in fear. Brands must understand that employees are their first customers and building a great brand is like building a great puzzle where employees, are a fundamental puzzle piece.

The construction of a great community is not an easy task, but it is definitely essential to acknowledge who the consumers are. As also suggested by Woodward, if the consumers are seen only as demographics, brands will never be able to build an authentic and real community. It is fundamental to understand the values, the beliefs and more generally the psychographics of the consumers. Moreover, great attention must be given to the way the brand communicates. To create a sense of intimacy and emotional connection, brands must focus on their use of language and their communication style. Intimacy and emotional connection are the result of repetition, more generally created through language. Following this, therefore, brands must also give great attention to the words used and the way they represent themselves.

In this time, creating a strong community will result extremely beneficial also due to the new spiritual awareness and energetic change that has occurred following the rise of the pandemic. Such awareness and energetic change have brought consumers to more responsible behaviours and to a new desire for sustainable and responsible brands. This is the perfect moment for brands to change, to become more responsible. To do so, brands must be authentic and must be transparent about their work. Authenticity is going to be extremely important for the future success of a brand.

Tracey Woodward has given great importance to the creation of a community due to the consumers need to belong. However, far more insights have been given. Watch the full seminar to know more and as Tracey correctly said, remember that:” Great change always come from courageous conversations”

Watch the full discussion with Tracey here.

Listen to the whole talk here: