How Brands and Businesses can move on - the CoVid pandemic has locked us in our homes, closed businesses, stopped travel and given us all an awful lot of thinking to do.
Way before the news out of Wuhan of the coming jeopardy we’d been talking over the last ten years about the disrupted nature of the business environment - digital disruptors coming to market with new ways of delivering services, e-commerce threatening the high street, the need to move to a zero carbon world, new technologies accelerating the pace of change to a degree with which it's almost impossible to keep pace. We were already in a world of threat. And now CoVid.
The most profound, most disruptive shock to our system so far, threatening businesses, health systems and lives. How do we ensure business continuity? How will we be more resilient so that the next time we manage ourselves differently? What learnings for brands and businesses will we take forward after the lockdown? How can we use it as a portal from a broken world into a new one full of opportunity?
Digital technologies are enablers
Mining the potential of tech will ensure business futures. From the simple enablement of remote working, schooling and socialising via the web, to the empowerment of the logistics of delivery and the data crunching which has driven our understanding of the spread of the virus, digital technologies have come into their own. The shock to the business system will require us to further mine that potential.
Businesses who have yet to transform digitally will need to start, or die, those who are in the process will need to speed up their change and refocus their efforts on optimising their customer channels, understanding their customers through the power of the data they currently under utilise and then seeing that data itself monetised.
Digital transformation is not on the wish list any more. It’s mission critical.
Creativity is the best partner for technology
Crafting digital solutions in a vacuum or boilerplating on top of an off the shelf platform is not going to wash any more. The more cleverly, creatively and with true consideration of the end user, that technology is - the more successful it will be.
How can we understand newly developed online behaviours and deliver better experiences for the user? If I can’t buy a car through a dealership anymore, how can I be given the confidence to buy online? If my real world retail store no longer seems viable, how can I deliver similar personalised experiences on the web?
The power of creative UX led by data will provide the solution and deliver the ultimate tailored customer experiences, solidifying those retail customer channels to ensure business continuity.
Data is the driving force
Daily government news conferences led by scientists have brought the importance of data (and predictions based on that data) to the fore. We have all become aware that complex predictive modelling is shaping our response to the virus, driving deeper understanding of the world that lies ahead. That ability to mine for and deploy data learnings will be central to the way business comes back, stabilises and builds a future. To make sense of it all and to make our businesses robust and agile, we’ll need to up our Ai game - bringing machine learning to processes, and to data based predictive models to fast track our futures.
A new distributed workforce
Working from home is the new norm - and certainly many home furniture manufacturers saw the opportunity to drive us to their home office equipment!
No longer is there a need to have all your people in one office. Remote working will be the new norm with many more people choosing to work for companies where that’s a mandate not a benefit. This will in turn enable us to recruit from further afield and to accept that the physical presence of an employee in your central office hub is no longer a given.
Purpose is golden
The brands who have shown their values and pinned them to the mast have been the winners. As social media has come of age with the lock down, your consumers have an increased need to believe and to trust in you. A simple CSR programme is not enough. Living your purpose will be no less critical than your enhanced customer experience and those brands who have a clear purpose will be the ones who thrive.
None of the above is radically new but what has clearly happened to us all is that we’ve received a massive shock. That shock will be challenging us all in the months and years to come, and it will drive change, and accelerate it. The agile, the purposeful and the customer focused will win through.