Remembering Brands — A short note.

Phillip J. Clayton
4 min readJun 27, 2021

Some friends of mine have experienced some disappointing services in delivery — Not necessarily because of Covid-19 — simple customer service communication, things that have existed before this shit storm arrived.

Brands and various services will be remembered after Covid-19 for good and bad experiences. The consumer is now looking for those who will help and they are willing to pay for it, they are not necessarily looking for who is cheaper, that’s secondary. Businesses that are not currently digital will try to be soon enough, and it won’t all happen at once and everywhere…but it will.

The consumer is no longer foot traffic or called consumers, they are being recognized as people, and businesses are responding to them as people. Help and words like assistance will mean something different, no one wants to see generic emails or sale pitches, they want convenience and they will select the easiest or less risky option, they always did.

A local bank in Jamaica prior to Covid-19 had already started offering mobile payment processes that give even a small street-side business the ability to accept payments digitally.

Everything is there for the taking, education is going to change, even if it goes back to the classroom, the experience will be different and perhaps the classroom will eventually be utilized differently. Again not immediately, the aim will be there.

However, this conversation is not new, I am merely observing the inevitable take place.

The argument has always been that places like Jamaica are 10 years behind, which is impossible with today’s technology and communication abilities, which we have. That was not never the problem, it’s happening now, the problem has always been the mindset and holding to traditional thinking, anywhere. We don’t live in that world anymore.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

I remember talking about changing from plastic to paper and more sustainable packaging, well, that did not happen until the government said it must be so, and of course, we did change. We started that process with a great complaint, but here we are. A virus is what has induced this new thinking, and I am not celebrating that, but seeing what is happening does come with one question, “What were you waiting on all this time?” — I may get an answer centred around policies, manufacturing ties to political parties, jobs and then some…

You don’t necessarily have to create jobs to hire people, perhaps you start hiring people to create jobs, hire people to induce change through R&D. Going forward, research and development will be the best friend you want to invest in.

Emerging or new businesses will start differently, they will now think about how to be digital before they even open a storefront, they will want to know how they can be part of the club.

I am not saying all this will be immediate and not everyone will be able to right away, there will be some rethinking, and investments to think about.

I am also not saying all this as some guru, or someone with unique insights into industries and markets. I am also no professing to be something sent from a deity with a message, I am not trying to tell a fantastic story or insight some kind of fanatic scheme into making tons of money…I am not that guy.

I am merely thinking out loud and doing my own observation and research, we all know this stuff already. Many simply lack a defined purpose, but even in the art world we see the benefits of VR technology, and it won’t end there. Many have lost jobs, and to those, I say endure, and be patient, do deep research and see what aligns with your skillsets, don’t respond in desperation.

Traditional skills are still useful, the aim now is to simply align and streamline effective processing with the physical and digital space, we will still live between both worlds.

The idea that good design means it looks pretty is a disconnect between function and aesthetics, or how the experience from using a design made you feel. Absolutely, beauty is one aspect of good design, the aim is to have something that looks good in finished aesthetics or packaging, but design goes beyond the status quo of beautiful. That being said, good design is perceived as both functional and beautiful, but can sometimes be great functionally and well, “ugly” in its appearance.

Good design is not necessarily bold, but it must be seamless and function great, this will be a defining factor in the digital space, but even in this space there will be people behind it, and if people do not merge well with the design then it will be perceived as “ugly”, aka, a horrible experience.



Phillip J. Clayton

Brand consultant | Strategic advisor | International brand & marketing design judge: | Writer | Creative director