Once upon a time, many lifetimes ago, there was nothing to do on a Sunday. Life quite literally came to a screeching halt as the country observed the sanctity of the Sabbath and shops closed entirely, even starting on Saturday afternoon. While it sounds like a horrific notion to an always on generation, what it did force was certain behavioral traits. It made you hang out with your family and enjoy the home unit.
However, time passed and the power shifted from retailer to consumer, and now it’s customers who determine what retailers do as brands continually run to catch up with the latest shopper habits. Our obsession with our phones ensured that brands were mobile optimized and launched specific campaigns that were mobile friendly, designed to target us in our pockets. Our desire to be constantly connected gave way to omni-channel marketing and our incessant need for instant gratification meant next day delivery became part of our lives. Consumers are forcing the hands of brands and considering we live in an increasingly secular society, it’s no wonder they’ve forced shops to stay open on Sundays and extend the traditional trading laws.
Naturally the internet is overflowing with opinions on whether the death of Sunday trading hours is positive or negative, and we could argue it all day. Of course, we’re not going to because that would be terribly dull, but what if brands could force habit changes in consumers instead of the other way around? What if shops agreed to close for one Sunday a month? A collective agreement that on this particular day, shops, grocery stores and all consumer outlets came to a grinding halt. Would we somehow manage to change the fabric of our society? Would our personal relationships change or would we drive consumers to find new ways of, well, consuming.
We don’t have any of the answers to any of these questions by the way, we just like to re-imagine different worlds and how they would change our brand behaviours, as well as how we work with our clients. Because maybe the day is coming when we all get tired of the endless consumption and maybe, just maybe, we’ll actually want a day off from it all.