Reply To: As a sports/school/corporate apparel supplier, how do we attack these early days of trying to get people buying again when they, alot of them like us, are also not going to have the spare income to spend. How do we start the chain that will enable us all to free ourselves of our fear? Especially when there is still so much of the “unknown”?Thank you all so much for your help, love and sharing of expertise. Grant

Hi Grant,

The ideas above are an excellent round up of new considerations so I’ll come at this from another angle.

The thoughts below are a couple of practical tools to help you and your team collaborate, generate ideas and push the business to consider new ways to drive the business forward.

Firstly, have a crack at an empathy map for each segment of your customer base. ( https://miro.com/templates/empathy-map/ )

An empathy map gives you the head space to really consider what your customers are thinking, feeling, hearing, saying and doing at this time. As much as this will be an assumed exercise, i.e you’ll not have conducted qualitative research, it might provide you with a different perspective, territories to explore and raise some key questions.

Cluster these questions into a series of how might we (HMW) statements. We call these statement starters. e.g HMW offer businesses that are ‘thrivers’ at this time with branded apparel? (See Andy’s LinkedIn article describing the thriver segment – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-response-some-thoughts-how-business-economy-can-hamilton )

I recently helped Snap rentals pivot to Snap Delivery; a same day, personal shopper, grocery delivery service starting with Farro but expanding nationwide. If they grow the way we expect they will then they’ll need thousands of t-shirts, caps, name tags etc.

Consider these types of businesses and target them with fresh thinking, a fresh perspective and a fresh pricing strategy.

That’s just one HMW. Come up with 5-6 per customer segment. Once you’ve created your HMW statements get your team together on a call and using collaboration tools such as Miro come up with as many ideas as you can for each HMW. As a rule articulate your idea as a single sentence. Run these as 5-10 minute sessions with your team. You could use Google Sheets which we’ve found can work just as well as Miro for live ideation.

After each session you’ll have generated a significant volume of ideas. Now refine them.

As a group discuss the ideas and vote on the top 3 per segment you’d like to take forward.

These are a couple of simple tools to help you to think differently and generate fresh thinking.

Once you’ve got your refined list of ideas you can explore ways to bring them to life with your team, generate simple storyboards or prototypes of your ideas and test them with customers in your current segments and perhaps some new segments you’ve identified. See what gets a nibble and iterate your thinking until you hit on an idea(s) that gets your customer buying again.

All the very best of luck.