Not that we are out of the Covid era — perhaps we will never — but as the pandemic world enters its second year, we are coming to understand how our world is different and which of those differences are going to be part of our existence going forward for at least the foreseeable future.
I see five factors that will come out of all of this and are likely to represent significant changes in the status quo:
- Home is Important: Eventually as we all start to venture out again, our focus on the places where we live will subside. But a seminal change in the value we place on our homes has occurred and that will be with us for quite some time.
- Health, Wellness, Et Al: Again, as we stop incessant hand washing and the masks go into the back of dresser drawers, we will have an ongoing concern with our general personal welfare. It’s a major dynamic…and also a major business opportunity to companies that can address this.
- Buying Bye-Bye: How we make our purchases will never be the same but it’s not all going online. Stores and physical locations will continue to be in the mix, but their role and place in the process will be changed. Those that figure it out will prosper. Those that don’t will perish.
- Sustainability is Sustainable: Tied in with personal wellness is the wellness of the planet and shoppers will place a greater value on a brand’s environmental credibility. We’re not going all-green — let’s remember the original Earth Day Baby Boomers turned into serious conspicuous consumpters — but this is not a blip that will disappear with the calendar pages turning.
- Cities are Not Dead: There’s a move to the suburbs, sure, but it was going to happen naturally as the Millennials started families and needed to take the kids to soccer practice. But the next generation will come along and they will want all that cities deliver. It’s the inevitable ebb and flow of demographics, so don’t dump your Manhattan condo just quite yet.
Lots more things will change…but just as many won’t.
Award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the retailing and home furnishings industries with extensive business media experience in both fields.