In light of COVID-19 and the ‘Rona, you’re probably one of three kinds of people – 1.) Unemployed and stressed out, 2.) Employed and stressed out, or 3.) A billionaire. This world is being flipped upside down and inside out and virtually no one (including us) truly knows what a post-corona virus world looks like. But, we’re making some pretty safe predictions about where the world is headed in the short-term and what opportunities those shifts will create.
Susan and Tyler hope this episode, at least, offers some comfort and, at most, sparks some creativity and positive energy for you.
Think we’ve got it all wrong? Do you have a prediction that we didn’t address? Leave us a comment below.
Our Short-Term Predictions:
- Discretionary purchases will be on hold, with the exception of home goods.
Even those people who aren’t feeling the economic impact of COVID-19 will slow or stop discretionary purchases in reaction to the recession and in anticipation of a second wave of the pandemic. This includes things like travel, clothes, expensive personal care products, upgrading electronics, etc.
The exception to this will be home goods that add to the “one-stop shop” entertainment complex that our houses have become. Examples are plants, gardening equipment, outdoor furniture, small appliances like air fryers.
- Office space is going to be a luxury and/or headache.
The upside is that there will be cheap commercial real estate, while creating a demand for bigger residential homes.
- The most successful marketing messaging won’t just target consumers desires in the hopes of capturing pent-up demand. Messaging – especially for gathering places like movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, etc. – will have to work to overcome fear and build consumer confidence.
The winners will be brands that don’t just talk about cleanliness and sanitation, but those that can do so in a novel way. Humor is tough right now, but if a brand can hit the right note of humor that isn’t tone-deaf, it will be collectively cathartic.
- Restaurants and bars will also become more of a luxury than something we do 4x a week.
This presents an opportunity for in-home delivery services, pick up. Without the need for dining rooms, restaurants may be able to have better profit margins and it may make room for more players.
- As cleanliness and sanitation grow more precise and more dangerous, those jobs will require higher levels of skill, which should translate into higher wages and higher levels of respect. Because the cost of experiences such as hotel stays are predicated on low wages for less skilled labor, a rise in skill level will translate into a rise in the cost of those experiences.
- Brand building is going to get really important.
I buy my groceries online through an app now. How is a new consumer packaged good supposed to earn my consideration, simply by being on a shelf when I’m no longer looking at shelves? Can they pay a premium to supermarkets to be the alternative choice when a major brand is out of stock?
- With travelers already expressing that they feel significantly safer in their personal cars than on flights or train trips, drive-market leisure travel will dominate the travel landscape for at least the remainder of 2020 and potentially until a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered. Low gas prices and perception of relative safety will make the road trip the only trip for the vast majority of travelers.
- Home services are going to go crazy. My floors are creaky and it drives me nuts – well, this is now my home office AND my vacation destination AND where my dining happens. I will want to upgrade things. Also, more use of the house likely means more potential for plumbing problems and better installation and maybe soundproofing.