What will life look like after the pandemic?

Just over a year ago, as the pandemic started, I wrote a blog post about the fear-based change in consumer habits that the pandemic brought about, and explained how companies can best respond to this change in consumer habits going forward.

A year on, although Covid-19 is still raging across some countries, history offers us lessons about what people do when life gets back to normal. Encouragingly, there’s a predicted post-pandemic boom on the horizon, where people will spend more and try new ways of doing things.

As the saying goes – “history may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes” (Mark Twain). This pandemic is so bloody strange, that we have to turn to history to get a sense of what we can expect. A recent article in The Economist stated: “following periods of massive non-financial disruption such as wars and pandemics, GDP does tend to bounce back.” And this isn’t just a prediction for wealthy economies –Ciaran Ryan from Moneyweb explains how South Africa is set to benefit from the market recovery trend, despite our slow vaccine rollout. Although it may sound like wishful thinking now, we can look forward to the years ahead.

So what, exactly, will people do when life gets back to normal?

People will be keen to get out and spend again

In his new book ‘Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of the Coronavirus on the Way We Live’, physician and sociologist from Yale University, Nicholas Christakis, mentions that although it will take time to clean up the mess that the pandemic will leave (the loss of jobs, study opportunities, and physical health from the disease), we can expect to see a mass pursuit of pleasure, and the flourishing of art, music, and other forms of creativity.

L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics group, are predicting a ‘Roaring 20s’ (just like the extravagance that followed the first world war and 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic – I just think of The Great Gatsby). They’re preparing for a “fiesta in makeup and in fragrances,” with beautiful bright lipstick symbolising the return to normal life.

People and businesses will try new ways of doing things

In his book, Christakis explains how the 1918 pandemic gave way to “increased expressions of risk-taking,” and we can already see this surge of entrepreneurship and technological innovation. People are investing in those passion projects that they always wanted to, entrepreneurs are filling gaps in the market, electric car manufacturer Tesla doubled their quarterly profits, and cryptocurrency is soaring.

We’ve seen this with our own clients too – a good example being Kayos Casting Directors. They developed a greener, virtual version of their traditional casting studio, The Kayos Virtual Studio. Their service and software is helping casting directors audition talent from wherever they are in the world, with a squeaky clean carbon footprint.

Despite everything we’ve been through, we can learn from the lessons of the past, as well as our current challenges, to prepare for the future, and allow ourselves to feel excited about it. Chat to us if you’re curious to learn how we can help you adapt and thrive.

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