Due to a lack of foresight, leadership, and national commitment, unfortunately, the coronavirus and its consequences will be with us for a long time. What does this mean for business and more specifically, how your brand is perceived? Simply, is it viewed as a necessity or as just a non-essential option? The brands that can sell themselves as practical, necessary, and relevant will not only survive, but grow!
And what exactly is essential these days? Basically anything that can keep you fed, safe, medicated, clean, healthy, entertained, and somehow earning a living from home are essential! Safety seems to be at the top of the list especially with the premature reopening of the economy. And as we begin to experience the second wave, safety will be top priority.
Let’s looks at the terms and categories that will drive brand building during the next few years or until we have a widely accessible vaccine. How does your brand address these essentials:
- Safety Supplies
How can you protect yourself in public? How can you protect yourself at home? What behaviors will change and what products and services will be required? And how does your product address those issues? Many people are reorganizing their homes now and discovering what it really takes to keep their home in order. How can you help?
- Cleaning Supplies
How does your product help keep homes and businesses clean and disinfected? How does it make that job easier? With so many of us sheltering in place, our homes are feeling the impact of increased traffic. Is your product faster, cheaper, more effective, or in a larger size for convenience? Economy size everything is coming back!
People will be more likely to buy locally produced food products as the distribution system is not designed for social distancing. Just the opposite, it is designed for efficiency, and efficiency means tight spaces for the most part. Alternatives to meat protein will be in demand, as will packaged goods of all kinds, but again, in the economy size and delivered to our door. Packaging will have an even bigger challenge; it must be germ free and compostable or recyclable.
For those who are fortunate enough to have gardens, they will want seeds and all sorts of growing materials and supplies.
No that people can just go to the doctor for anything, they will be taking more responsibility for their own health. That means healthier foods and supplements.
Alcohol beverage sales will continue to be strong and may even increase. Demand for healthy non-alcohol beverages will also increase. So will water purifiers as people begin to cut back on bottled water, not so much to save the oceans from plastic but because of the weight which translates into additional costs and trips.
- Survival Equipment
Climate change is going to continue to exact increasing hardships on the population. Folks will be subject to evacuation, smoke inhalation, flooding, heatwaves, mega fires, and the rest! What can you sell them that will help them survive in these emergencies? Better power storage? Local power production, better camping equipment, lighting, or other supplies?
- Direct to Consumer
Can your service or product be delivered or at least ordered online? If it can, it will have a huge advantage over products and services that involve venturing out and potentially exposing folks and their families. Direct-to-consumer sales will explode with new fulfillment companies popping up to satisfy new products that Amazon won’t carry or promote.
- Communication Solutions
New communications platforms and enhancements to existing one will be in demand. Do you have a solution to some of the problems that are becoming more obvious as the mainstream goes online, all at the same time? Two problems we see now in virtual conferences are the inability of speakers to get audience response while they are speaking (such as laughing, applauding, leaning in, etc.), and inability of attendees to circulate for networking purposes.
We also see a collision in values between the younger generation that uses text for communicating uncomfortable topics and the older generation that feels that it shows more respect to do this in person or at least video or email. Do you have a solution for the communication style differences between the generations?
There is already a demand for washable, attractive, and comfortable low-maintenance clothing. Clothing that requires dry cleaning services will be in less demand since it involves trips. Natural fibers will increasingly be in demand.
Do you sell products or services that train, educate, or provide skillsets that can be offered from home? The holy grail of this pandemic experience is income from home. Whether it’s starting your own business, or working for someone else from home, the demand is soaring. Does your company help people telecommute or start their new business from home? Do you offer distribution alternatives whose time has come? If so, you will be in demand going forward.
Of course there are many more opportunities that are presenting themselves every day. But the bottom line is: does your brand address any of them? Can you say, “You need this now!”?