Alice asked the Cheshire Cat,
who was sitting in a tree,
“What road do I take?”
The cat asked,
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat,
“it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

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The new reality for brands

Whiplash Team, 5th February 2021

The new reality for brands

More technology, more social distance and more sustainability. These are the three vectors that mark the new reality for companies and brands in a year in which change will continue to be persistent.

For organizations, doing things the way they have always done is no longer an option. Companies must assume they have to renew themselves just to survive. It is necessary to go one step ahead, transform the business model and strengthen the brand to remain relevant. That is perhaps one of the biggest lessons of 2020, a year that changed, on a global scale, the way we interact, work, buy, produce, learn … in short, the way we live.

2021 will continue to be disruptive for both people and organizations, according to consultants such as WARC, Research World, KPMG, McKinsey, research institutes, such as The Marketing Institute or publications, such as The Economist that in a recent article on what we are heading for in 2021, it affirms that companies that do not make a significant investment in technology will disappear because renovation involves adapting technological resources to facilitate changes.

In this context, companies will have to take measures to adapt to new scenarios. For now, the pandemic leaves us as a legacy a world with more social distance, more technology and a society that embraces sustainability as a social, economic and environmental concept whilst it seeks greater harmony with nature.

According to various experts, technology will be key in the consolidation of new trends such as telecommuting, which is here to stay.

Thus, large office buildings will be a thing of the past. More and more, organizations will choose to have their teams working remotely and will dedicate resources to solving the needs that arise from this type of work. Consequently, the spaces in the houses will have to be adapted for remote work or, it may lead to a change of location perhaps where home automation will have more influence.

Home confinement orders have made spaces surrounded by nature more valued. Living close to the workplace returns to the background in a scenario where you can work remotely and reside in smaller and cheaper cities, or directly in rural settings, generating the same value for the company.

Virtual work platforms will offer more and better features that will make meetings, measurement of results, KPIs, efficiency in performance, etc. easier. In addition, organizations will rethink their recruitment and talent recruitment policies: in a world of virtual work, there are no borders and having the best professionals is now easier, cheaper and more profitable.

One of the sectors most affected in the long term will be business tourism, since business trips will be reduced more or less by half, according to The Economist. International meetings will be held on-line, congresses through platforms with artificial intelligence adapted to offer seamless multi-channel experiences. In contrast, the publication foresees that tourism for pleasure will return strongly, supported by technology to make it easier for users to choose destinations, make accommodation reservations, bookings for tickets and entertainment options, for example.

The publication also maintains that virtual reality will become more relevant and that many repetitive activities that are now face-to-face will be carried out by subscription and remotely, such as going to the gym, to the doctor and even to church. Education will also adapt to the new times with hybrid schemes, with in-person classes, but including the on-line modality too.

Virtual commerce is now consolidated. Buying habits have changed towards sustainable products and consumers demand greater transparency, traceability and sustainability from brands that are forced, not only to be more sustainable, but to communicate it efficiently and to be consistent in their actions. Amazon, for example, in one of its most recent spots recounts all the efforts it is making today to have a zero-carbon footprint by 2040.

It is time to adapt. To adopt new work and business models, as well as new growth strategies to operate in a changing, uncertain and volatile situation, where technology sets the pace. A time to strengthen that intangible asset that is the brand, and so maintain our position in the market.

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