Compassion, Continuity, and Context: The 3 Dots to Connect to Drive Commerce During COVID

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There’s no question that COVID-19 has been a major catalyst for our reliance on digital technologies. Adobe Analytics reports an additional $107 billion spent online since the pandemic began.

But let’s look past the dollar signs to make a more valuable connection. What some might see as a trend, Accenture says, is a bonafide consumer behavior shift:

“To manage isolation, consumers are using digital to connect, learn and play — and they will continue to.”

Showing up across digital channels as personable, meaningful, and helpful is the fastest, most direct way for a brand to give its customers some love. This isn’t just a smart strategy but a must-do in our post-COVID world.

I’ve seen this play out firsthand with innovative movement and wellness brand Naboso, whom we had the pleasure of partnering with just as the pandemic hit. Their line of insoles, mats, and flooring is made out of a patented proprioceptive technology that activates the nervous system and enhances movement.

COVID-19 made it exceptionally challenging to reach their core audiences — which range from neurologically compromised individuals to performance-driven athletes — as the usual sales channels like doctors’ offices, gyms, and physical retailers were unavailable. We helped Naboso quickly pivot to be DTC-first to capitalize on this shift in consumer behavior.

By connecting the dots between their key cohorts and core value proposition — better movement for a better life — we delivered 200% ROAS on a rebranding campaign and a 2.7x increase in monthly revenue over three months.

How we did it was by connecting the three main dots of customer experience: compassion, continuity, and context.

Creating a connected brand experience begins with stepping into your buyers’ shoes to understand their journey. You’ve got to understand their “why.” What motivates them? And what are their desires, pain points, and challenges?

Ultimately, the “why” of your customers is the “why” of your brand. (This may sound trite, but it’s amazing how often brands skip this initial inquisitive phase. Why? I really don’t know…)

In Naboso’s case, the universal truth is that life is sensory, and movement is life. The better you move, the better you feel. This especially resonates with the people whom Naboso counts among its biggest fans:

  • The senior citizen who has neuropathy in her feet and doesn’t want to fall.
  • The pro athlete who’s focused on peak performance.
  • Workers, including military personnel, who spend all day on their feet.

Now, up-level that empathetic POV to compassion, which adds in the desire to help.

This is undoubtedly a driving force for Naboso founder Dr. Emily Splichal. Her journey as a podiatrist and human movement specialist who’s worked with thousands of patients and colleagues worldwide has led her to make profound personal connections. Through her videos, product reviews, and customer conversations, we saw compassion in action.

In this case, the connection between the founder’s vision, the products she pioneered, and her audience’s needs are clear and true. And this is the perfect foundation to build a connected brand experience upon.

From there, the challenge is to ensure that every expression and articulation of the brand is consistent. Each touchpoint must be aligned from a visual and messaging perspective, from the eCommerce site to the product packaging, ads, social posts, and shipping packaging and the unboxing experience.

Keep in mind that brand design isn’t just about graphics or colors; it’s also about continually reinforcing your connections with the customer and all the ways you make their lives better.

So by “continuity,” I’m talking about how your brand shows up. It’s not just about channels and tactics — it’s also about making sure that the core of your brand continuously connects with the heart and soul of your audience. By providing solutions, responding quickly to customers, and offering inspiration, the micro-moments turn into a macro brand experience.

In a sense, smart marketers are, therefore, matchmakers, because it’s a relentless, ongoing pursuit of pairing the right people with what they desire most — enhanced movement, in this case.

The third critical brand experience dot to connect is context. I believe that’s the linchpin in your quest to capture the hearts, minds, and wallets of your customers. By understanding where they’re at, you’ll be better able to guide them through their journey with your brand in a connected way.

So, for example, we’re currently in a situation where people are looking for easy ways to improve their quality of life while they’re trapped at home during COVID-19. By educating people about the everyday benefits of optimized movement and making online ordering and contactless delivery simple, we connected with the core cohorts.

Now, bring together the three main dots of connected brand experience to reveal the most vital point of all: the intersect.

With compassion for your audience, along with a drive to show up continuously and in a context that matters to them, you’ll be able to plot out the deliverables necessary to deliver a connected brand experience.

If you’re interested in hearing more from Dr. Emily and me on how we created a connected brand experience for Naboso, check out our 4:4:4 conversation.

What moves your brand experience forward? I’m interested to hear how you’ve put ideas into action, so hit me up in the comments.

Founder and Force-multiplier @digitalsurgeons. &

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