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Covid-19: unlocking growth in a reset world

14th April, 2020

Covid 19

As of this week, a quarter of the world’s population are in lockdown. Over two billion people going nowhere and 87% of the world’s educated children being taught at home. We are physically staying put, but what about emotionally?

The team at Discover.ai have created a deep AI accelerated understanding of what we are doing and feeling and it makes for fascinating reading. Their data is sourced from millions of social media posts and hundreds of diverse blog and news sites, focusing on people’s experiences across COVID-19 affected countries.

My biggest insights

Our emotions unite us regardless of where we come from & now more than ever, there is power in universal insights. COVID -19 has equalised us.

What can we learn:

1/ We’re talking more

As brands and businesses we need to lean in to real, relevant communication now more than ever

2/ But we’re in denial

so there is an opportunity for brands to show people how to overcome barriers & fears; in this, businesses will find there are future growth opportunities

3/ Escapism reigns

Where we can legitimately offer a smile, brands will be appreciated for it.

4/ But a wartime mindset is setting in

With it a reshaping of the frontline of distribution and deliver. People aren’t, and won’t, shop the same way in future.

5/ Above all else we’re recognising what really matters

What could be a better reminder for brands of the power of making a difference through a clear purpose?

As marketeers, we can help those in denial

We are talking a lot by new means (Zoom, Google Hangouts, Adobe Connect) and to decode our feelings about Coronavirus. We are trying to rationalise it, deal with it, accept it, talking is our therapy. Our lesson as brands and businesses must be to never forget the power of relevant communication to our consumers.

Conversations are often based on denial. Many of us would rather believe the data is wrong. Trump some weeks ago assured America that ‘Coronavirus had been completely contained’ in the US. Sometimes the truth is just too hard to handle. It is also easier to blame someone else – Europe and the US blame China, China blame the rest of the world for poor prevention and control. As marketeers, we can help those in denial. By showing consumers how to overcome barriers and fears, we can find future growth opportunities.

By laughing at our predicament, we are releasing our fears and disappointments

Escapism (albeit with limitations) is evident. Finding simple pleasures in things we can do is important: going for a run, comfort eating, a glass of wine, binge watching Netflix. The category with the highest value uplift in the UK since the outbreak is wine and cigarette sales are also up. Comedy is another way to escape, WhatsApp groups are full of memes and clips finding the humour in COVID-19. By laughing at our predicament, we are releasing our fears and disappointments. Brands and businesses offering escapism will always be aspirational and in demand.

The shape of distribution and delivery has completely transformed, with businesses re-purposing to make a living

We have quickly adopted a wartime mindset. Stories of hope, courage and the blitz spirit. We refer to the selfless, worldwide healthcare workers as the frontline. Much like the war, there is a feeling so many of us owe so much, to so few. There are messages of solidarity, sometimes very public and heart-warming, such as the clapping the UK NHS. Heartfelt emotions are pouring out; singing and music from Italian and Spanish balconies; a spirit raising boost to morale and unity. Communities are seeing everyone pitching in; there are hundreds of thousands of volunteers. We have new ‘knights in shining armour’, delivering us food, amazon parcels, medicines and takeaways. The shape of distribution and delivery has completely transformed, with businesses re-purposing to make a living.

This is a brilliant reminder to our industries of the importance of making a difference and having a clear purpose

We have all been given a huge opportunity to pause and recognise what really matters. Every single person in lockdown is putting their health and the health of others first. This is amazing, an unprecedented sense of joint responsibility. Being in isolation, creates a very different pace of life which helps us prioritise and genuinely count our blessings. We have enhanced our connections by having a meal together, appreciating the outdoors, watching our children learn. This is a brilliant reminder to our industries of the importance of making a difference and having a clear purpose.

What next?

Despite this being a very difficult time, it is in our instinct to look forward with optimism. We want to predict the future as bright. We are thrilled to see older generations recover from COVID-19. Whether you are in Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, New York or London, people have recognised the positivity of blossoms on the trees and CO² emissions being down. Recognising almighty progress (such as the Wuhan Hospital built in 10 days or the UK companies making emergency ventilators), gives us a sense of hope and faith that there is a plan to save lives. We are already talking about the ‘after party’. We can see the return of freedom and choices.

As the world’s people emotionally evolve, let’s ensure our brands and businesses recognise these changes and deliver against new consumer needs in our reset world. Something to think about while you stay safe and stay home.

To get a full version of the Discover.ai report click here

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