The current pandemic has rocked most businesses all over the world, but this is only because itís changed what life looks like for the common people. Society as a whole has undergone a drastic change, especially when the relatively narrow six-month window in which all these changes occurred is considered.
We think itís valuable to take stock of some of these societal changes, some directly linked to business and others more indirectly linked. In this piece, weíll look at several, more social aspects of life that have adapted to the current crisis and are likely to linger once the crisis has been dealt with.
With that said, if you are a business owner in need of something to read about the coming financial hardships that the economy may face, and what entrepreneurs can do about it, weíd suggest this article from Javad Marandi.
A Return to Luxury
As evidenced in some luxury retailers in China, there seems to be a contingent of the population that are chomping at the bit to get back out there and experience the small things that they have been deprived of for the last six months. This phenomenon has led many to assume that the same trend will be seen worldwide, and we canít blame them. After all, if a more strictly regulated society like China sees an uptick in luxury purchases after their lockdowns ended, it stands to reason that more capitalistic Western countries should see exactly the same reaction, if not more.
Brands should work on triggering impulses since thatíll be the main motivator for luxury, relatively unnecessary purchases. Weíre talking items like coffee house purchases and pretty much anything laid in a shop window to catch peopleís attention. Thereíll be a sense of ďwhy not?Ē after the pandemic that should see a group of people spending much more freely than before.
Increased Bodily Awareness
There is nothing like a virus to make people more aware of their health, both in terms of bacterial/viral hygiene and general healthiness to ensure that a health crisis poses the least possible threat to the individual.
Expect a sizeable group of people to take their health more seriously, whether that takes the form of more gym activity and an increased market interest in vitamins and healthy eating.
In the same vein, people have become more self-sufficient during the pandemic and its resulting lockdowns. This is because isolation brings with it the need to solve our own problems, especially with services that couldnít be delegated to businesses like fixing items around the house and cooking your own food instead of eating out regularly.
This self-sufficiency and independence will result in a more confident consumer base, which in business will mean that communications to potential customers should be done more at eye level instead of copy that could be read as being patronizing and assumptive of the inability of customers to do things themselves. Instead, take a more helpful stance when putting ads out.
More Community Collaboration
This is to be expected in any moment of crisis, and itís the silver lining of the misfire of a year that is 2020, but the pandemic will inspire some to come together more. Community has been something thatís lacking in recent years, but the lockdown has seen people coming together, hosting street bingo parties and other isolated yet communal events. The sense of community will hopefully last after the pandemic for as long as the memories of 2020 and the lockdown are fresh.
So, what does this mean for businesses? Everybody took a hit by the pandemic and its economic ramifications, so businesses that support their employees with meaningful contributions to the local community will be much appreciated and looked upon as if you were a localized social enterprise. This works well because of the positive environment thatís reinforcing quid pro quo tendencies and, when capitalized on by businesses, can create a very loyal customer base.
Businesses Go Local
Speaking of going local, the severing of many global logistics and supply chains has changed how businesses conduct themselves. Dependence on global markets was a contributing factor to the initial crisis, so businesses will surely stick with local supply networks to keep chains simple and future-proofed.
What constitutes local will depend on the size of the company weíre talking about, but certainly expect small and mid-level businesses will take a more active presence in the community whilst larger corporations are looking to at least ensure their manufacturing is coming from the same hemisphere.
Social Media Booms
Social distancing has made the larger public embrace the internet in ways that they hadnít considered before, particularly for work, conferencing, education, and even hobbies. Applications like Zoom have seen unprecedented popularity and a very wide swathe of people have suddenly become more literate to the internet and online communication apps, like social media.
Donít think that this boom in social media is necessarily the same manufactured content that trended pre-pandemic too, as the lockdown has resulted in authentic at-home content on every major social media site. This appreciation may or may not last since the online landscape, and particularly social media, changes so often and so fast. Wherever the online culture goes in regards to the pandemic, it certainly canít be said that people will forget the events of 2020 any time soon.
It may come as no surprise, then, that businesses need to digitize. People were sounding the alarm on this for a long time before COVID hit, so you canít say you werenít warned if your business not being online has been an issue in the last six months. Itís not too late, though, so if you are a business owner, even a small one, you can get an online presence at relatively little cost to yourself.
As for the messaging behind your online presence, thatís up to you and entirely dependent on the nature of your business. If applicable, it may be handier to just be authentic and up-front instead of putting forward a carefully crafted company image.