By now you are probably tired of hearing about Covid and how it impacts business. Unfortunately, it is a topic we cannot escape. But what if we take a different slant for a moment and think about how it is permanently changing our overall culture, not just our business culture directly? As people absorb the many changes created by this time, the culture in which we all live and work will be reshaped as people’s attitudes, behaviors and beliefs are permanently evolved.
What is the impact on age groups?
One way to look at it is age cohorts. What is the impact on each age group? How will it impact customers of the future who are age 2, who are being taught to avoid people, not to hug, and to wear masks as their entry into social engagement? How will it impact high school kids who have had to reshape their thinking about accomplishment and participation? Most can’t go to prom, play football games, march in band or attend their own graduation. The elderly, particularly those in senior care, are living in isolation, to protect them, and yet the amount of years they have left to “enjoy life” as they knew it are dwindling. How is it impacting your workers’ lives? It is changing their attitude about where to work and how to work, and it is encouraging them to examine their own purpose, as it meshes with the company.
How will we spend our discretionary money and time?
Another way to think about culture change is the whole world of what we do for entertainment. I have heard from many that watching sports today is just not as exciting without crowds. Movies, museums, theatre, and concerts are no longer choice venues for entertainment for many. As we find ways to engage with our families in outdoor activities, or take vacations by car rather than by air, are we finding replacements for what we used to do? We don’t know when people will resume these ‘normal’ activities, or what innovations will have taken place in how they are accessed in the future. Will people still be willing to spend their dollars on this type of entertainment? To what degree will there be substitutes?
How will consumers change?
Finally, something important to any business leader is tracking how consumers will consume differently. Here are some examples of the impact of a changing consumption model on industries:
Fitness. More consumers are working out at home, according to ReportLinker. The home fitness market is projected to grow by 3% over the next 5 years.
Retail. Food brands like PepsiCo have launched two sites that are direct-to-consumer allowing their brands to be shipped directly to homes bypassing the store, says Forbes.
Deloitte reports that online orders grew 130% by mid-April yet Retail Dive claims that when it comes to non-essentials, brick and mortar still has the edge; 80% of US consumers plan to visit a physical store.
Curbside pickup surged 208% in the early weeks of the Covid outbreak according to Adobe Analytics. This type of convenience is expected to continue as a valuable service post-Covid.
Medical. Wellness is a trend gaining ground during this health-challenged year and McKinsey and Company is advising marketers to emphasize health and cleanliness in marketing messages.
I would love to hear from you what cultural shifts you see happening. And all of us need to think about how we will guide our business decisions in the near-term and long-term as we cater to a post-Covid culture.