The COVID-19 outbreak has made sure that whatever brands had planned for the year 2020 is put on a back-burner and a complete stop. This unprecedented health crisis has reshaped everyone’s idea of what this year would be all about. Sooner or later though, there will come a time when the smoke lifts and we will emerge out of this self-quarantine. What will be the future of brands then? Although it’s too early to predict how things will actually turn out to be once the storm is over, here’s our guess of what the top brand trends in the post-pandemic world will be like.
Over the past few decades, China has established its place as the leading supplier of almost everything. It suffices to say, anything that is bought by the modern consumer today, may have seen some contribution from China. However, most of the Chinese production facilities shut down in the early days of the pandemic engulfing the country. While the state-mandated quarantine helped curb further spread of the Coronavirus, the Chinese economy suffered a big hit, due to the bottle-necks created in the global production schedules and supply chains. It may not be wrong to state that in the post-pandemic world, China may just lose its place as the critical producer of consumer goods. It’s not to say that companies won’t do business with China at all, but the approach will surely be cautious, keeping in mind the volatility of economies in the face of crisis.
From fitness to mattresses and everything in between, Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have been creating a splash everywhere. D2C is clearly the future of retail. Having said that, up until now, most of these brands like Warby Parker and Bonobo were being adopted by younger customers, while the older ones relatively reluctant to do so. D2C brands are also not as widely known as their established competitors. From the looks of it, this will change soon, with the global pandemic causing a major shift in the consumers’ perception. The post COVID-19 world might just see more people shifting from in-person to online purchases, finally giving the underdog D2C brands their place in the limelight.
Emerging as the need of the hour, contactless, touch-free shopping is taking over as a new purchase trend amongst brick and mortar stores of brands across industries. Burger King has already started airing ads in some parts of the world, about making its drive-thru pick-ups and payments contactless. Amazon’s chain of convenience stores in America, Amazon Go has introduced its new ‘Just Walk Out’ concept where one can check in the store using a turnstile at the front of the store and leave without making a stop at the cash counter. With prolonged periods of the Coronavirus threat lying ahead of us, it looks like this trend will gain further popularity, owing to people looking at minimise their exposure to the world at large.
While work-from-home has been a topic of discussion ever since internet made it possible, now is the time when its large-scale feasibility will come to be tested. It is quite likely that once we’re past the worst of this pandemic and office re-open, many companies will realise the benefits that come with remote working – reduced office space & lesser rental costs, improved employee morale and access to a broader talent pool, to name a few. All in all, the post-pandemic world is likely to see a lot more of distributed workforces than ever before.
The Coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly go down in the history as one of the most gloomy events our kind has ever seen. It will leave a mark that may take our generations a whole lifetime or more to understand. It has already impacted our world and will continue to do so in irreversible ways that we haven’t yet fully fathomed. The bottom line here for brands is – the world will be a different place from what it was before this pandemic took over our lives, and it is important that brands understand these differences and adapt to them as quickly as possible, when the time comes.