How are businesses reinventing themselves post Covid-19?

How are businesses reinventing themselves post Covid-19?

business-covid19

Ease of doing business means something different these days. It means that post Covid -19, the world has to rethink the way it buys, sells, connects, and communicates. At Timbre Media, we create our podcasts, corporate shows, and content streams taking such change into consideration. We have created content for clients which discusses the various perspectives about personal reinvention in the post-Coronavirus world. In this blog, we address corporate reinvention and the recovery checklist being followed by assorted businesses around the world.

Adjustment and recovery

Michelle Greenwald, author, and professor writes in Forbes that almost every business has been impacted by the pandemic. The challenge, therefore, is to adapt to a world where the criteria that customers value when making brand selections have changed. Because product and service safety has now jumped to the top of that hierarchy, and only businesses that adapt will have a competitive advantage.

Greenwald believes every company should consider the following points if it has to stay relevant and competitive:

1) How to avoid or minimize human and physical contact, including contactless delivery, that could entail photographing receipt of goods in place of signing on a device. Companies could also think of including curbside and location exterior pick-up and figure out how to keep customers as well as employees 6 feet apart from each other. Managing traffic flows within physical structures and minimising touchable surfaces could prove to be a challenge too.

2) The second important question companies need to ask themselves is, how to get noticed as part of category discovery, with less or no retail. One reason, according to the writer, why it’s now hard for new products and services to be noticed, is the legacy of well-known comfort brands, already familiar to consumers. Physical discovery has been reduced, so it is much harder for consumers to chance upon previously unknown or unconsidered options in-store.

3) The third consideration is how digital can replicate the benefits of the physical. Without “Showrooming” as an option, consumers may be less likely to take a risk on brands they’ve never used or know little about. How will companies compensate now for human interaction for advice, information, and reassurance? Or provide the try-out/try-on option to consumers? On another note, how will people whose jobs are dependent on human interactions (for eg notaries, bank employees, drivers, health care workers, waiters, teachers) survive this time?

4) How will companies increase the sense of immediacy for consumers? Earlier, they could check and experience a product right away and walk away with it. What replaces this experience?

5) Companies will have to also figure out how to make websites more intuitive and navigable. The content has to be more informative & fun while steering visitors towards what they want quickly and easily. This also influences customers wanting to return often and stay as long as possible.

How to begin the new normal?

Greenwald also outlines steps for businesses to determine and prioritize reinvention actions.

She suggests companies survey how their competitors and analogous businesses are tackling different aspects of the shift to digital, for ideas and inspiration. They then need to figure out what brand aspects consumers most care about and are most concerned with. Assess what can be done most easily, quickly, and inexpensively, then identify and evaluate the new technology options available. It is important to make clear who in the organization will be responsible for each new task.

The company then needs to establish a plan with the sequence of changes to be implemented, the inter-functional teams involved, the proportion of efforts dedicated to the new tasks, etc. Finally, she says, “The post-COVID-19 environment can be overwhelming for businesses, forcing all to rethink how to provide key services more safely, quickly, effectively, digitally, and affordably.”

How to rebound, reboot, reinvent

A piece in www.nielsen.com observes that as governments around the world plan to exit mass population lockdowns, albeit at different speeds and in different ways, the persistent questions about what the future holds for businesses should be navigated.

Nielsen identified three distinct time horizons for global market regeneration beyond the COVID-19 global emergency and attached likely scenarios to each. The three-tiered framework in Nielsen’s piece identifies the conditions for businesses to rebound, reboot, or reinvent as they confront expected unprecedented recessionary conditions.

We quote from the piece, ”With trillions being pumped into economic stimulus packages, yet thousands still dying of COVID-19 and some countries confronted by the prospect of ongoing population lockdowns, the question of how to reconfigure economies is significantly dependent on the behavioral changes taking place among the world’s consumers.”

According to the piece, Nielsen’s global intelligence teams are also surveying parameters like unemployment, bailout packages, and interest rates, and tying them to ongoing FMCG sales and attitudinal inputs from consumers around the world. These teams also examine common threads of consumer behavior, how Covid-19 is being managed, and the response of governments to support citizens through health and financial care.

What have they found?

The results established three horizons that reveal significant new and adjusted consumer behaviors indicative of different types of demand in terms of what, where, and how consumers make purchases. Six consumer behavior threshold levels provided early signals of spending patterns during the first three months of the health crisis. These findings indicate three possible timelines for each of the scenarios:

Rebound: An early return to normal living conditions (schools, workplaces, stores, restaurants, etc re-open) at some point in the third quarter of 2020.

Reboot: A medium-term scenario that is positioned in the fourth quarter of the year.

Reinvent: A longer-term view that places the world in return-to-normal living conditions at some point in the first half of 2021.

The world is fundamentally recalibrating right now, says the piece, and businesses will have to recalibrate to address the changed circumstances driven by COVID-19. Some series of behaviors and habits will be accelerated and, in some cases, changes that may have taken years to evolve could be in place in a matter of months. For instance, the use of technology and digital platforms will expand substantially.

The template of Rebound, Reboot, and Reinvent will depend on many factors that cannot be predicted. Take horizon No. 1 – “Rebound. A series of health indicators, actions by governments and businesses, and market conditions will decide how normal the societal response will be.

In horizon No. 2, – Reboot – the degree of societal response will decide to what extent, and how soon, the economy will experience a meaningful regeneration.

Horizon No. 3, the scenario of “Reinvent,” will depend upon changed consumer behavior and its emerging characteristics. Apart from these uncertainties, explains the piece, the baskets of shoppers will also change.

We quote, “The repertoire, pack sizes, brand choices, product origins and more will be reconfigured as shoppers adjust to changed economic circumstances and a sharper focus on their health and safety. Two clear sets of consumers will also emerge – those with insulated levels of spending, often those who have maintained employment and remain shielded from day-to-day economic impact and those who will be restrained in their spending habits due to unemployment, furloughing or other COVID-19-related challenges. This polarization of spending is expected to drive new considerations for retailers and brands as they urgently examine the range of products being offered and the pricing dynamics within.”

Another article by Forbes explains that this crisis has thrown up new challenges and implications for businesses, governments, and individuals. It has also provided opportunities to reinvent and gain more agility, transparency, and resilience, look beyond conventional principles and practices in view of changing consumer habits and evolving business ecosystems.

The power of reinvention

We quote, “The repertoire, pack sizes, brand choices, product origins and more will be reconfigured as shoppers adjust to changed economic circumstances and a sharper focus on their health and safety. Two clear sets of consumers will also emerge – those with insulated levels of spending, often those who have maintained employment and remain shielded from day-to-day economic impact and those who will be restrained in their spending habits due to unemployment, furloughing or other COVID-19-related challenges. This polarization of spending is expected to drive new considerations for retailers and brands as they urgently examine the range of products being offered and the pricing dynamics within.”

Another article by Forbes explains that this crisis has thrown up new challenges and implications for businesses, governments, and individuals. It has also provided opportunities to reinvent and gain more agility, transparency, and resilience, look beyond conventional principles and practices in view of changing consumer habits and evolving business ecosystems.