Clare Read-Smith, Andy Davey and David Saraga from experiential agency Gettin Hectic consider the impact of Coronavirus from the perspective of human interaction and experience.
Wow. That escalated quickly. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Covid-19; how long this is going to last, what the impact will be and therefore how we should all behave.
This makes planning for the future very difficult; what was a good idea on Friday may be irrelevant on Monday. It’s all very disconcerting.
Our area of expertise is in human interaction and experience. That gives us a slightly different perspective and cause for optimism. We may not know a lot about Coronavirus, but we do know quite a lot about how we can expect people to react to it over the coming months and that puts pro-active brands in a really good position.
So, here are 3 interesting insights that could help provide some focus.
1. Blitz spirit: A short term response.
There will be a few weeks of watching and waiting, but humans are incredibly adaptable. We will get used to our new circumstances.
As this happens consumers are likely to start asking for more from the brands in their lives:
“I’m getting on with my life stuck at home with the kids, what can you do for me? How can you make my situation better?”
The Opportunity: Move quickly into a place where your brand still makes people’s lives better, but in different ways.
Marketers have a lot of important information about customers, their situations, their need states. There is a great opportunity for brands to think laterally to connect with their customers, yet remain genuine and authentic.
2. Physical, not social distancing: Adapting in the medium term.
You may have read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, which is all about how humans took over the world. The key to our success was our ability to flourish in large communities.
So while we can take the person out of the community, we’ll never take the community out of the person. That’s how we thrive; we need social interaction, shared moments and a feeling of being part of something.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention and it has been fascinating to see how already our social groups have started to adapt and look for new ways to connect. Take a look at the balconies of Europe.
With that in mind, many psychologists have commented that we should be focusing on physical distancing, whilst limiting social distancing as much as possible.
The Opportunity: Reconsider the role that your brand is playing, how can you adapt to use creativity and technology to make people feel like they are still part of a nurturing community?
3. Desert flowers: looking to the future.
It’s true ‘You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’. The final enduring human truth we have been discussing is our focus on the future.
We will certainly adapt and find new and creative ways to connect on a human level, but there is one thing we can be sure of: When this crisis passes (which it will), it will be like a desert bloom after a rainstorm… we will all be thirsty for face to face connection and experiences.
The brands that are ready to quench that thirst will be the great beneficiaries when we emerge.
The Opportunity: Don’t put off till tomorrow what could be done today. Get planning to be to be part of the celebration of human interaction when this blows over.
If you’d like to find out a bit more on how to use the power of experience to make the best of the next few months, or even if you would just like to stay connected, we’d love to chat.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all got a bit of time on our hands.