SO, Iike most people/businesses (aren’t businesses people these days?), you were probably just cruising along through 2019 when you came to a sudden detour in the road – a detour called “2020.”
This detour took you off the main road, down some very dark and scary side streets where everyone was huddled in their homes, wearing masks, and hoarding their supply of precious toilet paper.
And then, if you had any sanity left, you reached 2021 and thought “WHEW! Thank heaven that’s over with!”
And then 2021 actually happened, leaving you here at this moment, oddly thinking pretty much the exact same thing. Join the club. Everyone on Earth is a member.
DOES THIS DETOUR EVER END?
The easy answer is “no.” But that’s not really fair, because “no” is ALWAYS the easiest answer, even when you’re a corporate lawyer earning big $$$ to say it. If you’re a parent, it doesn’t take long to discover how much simpler this answer will make your life.
It’s been clear for some time that our wild detour through the backstreets of this crazy COVID dimension isn’t going to simply end. There is no course correction that is going to put us back on the same road we were on a couple of years ago. The only thing that you can really “correct” is your thinking about it.
And chances are that you already have, to a degree. After all, any business that’s been hiding under a rock for two years probably is not coming back out from under that rock (don’t pick up the rock and check, you don’t want to see – just walk away). So you’re already a survivor, kind of like how those people in “The Walking Dead” were survivors. Yay you!
PEERING INTO THE MURKY FUTURE
Imagine a crystal ball that’s low on batteries. Exploring the future is a lot like that. Things are vague and murky, and we reserve the right to be completely wrong about absolutely everything. But hey, there’s a crystal ball that runs on batteries, so it’s probably still worth the price of admission, especially for a FREE blog article.
While COVID hasn’t managed to vanish like your sportsball team’s playoff hopes, we do know with 100% certainty that everyone wishes it had. And, in today’s world, wishful thinking is apparently half-way to the truth already, so let’s start there.
People don’t respond to the world as it is, they respond to the way they WANT it to be. That means that variant or no variant, mandate or no mandate, people are REALLY eager to return to whatever they thought the world was like before 2020 reared its ugly head. Within that eagerness is your business’ opportunity.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Hey, oracles are supposed to be vague and mysterious. It’s a whole thing. And what this really means depends on your business, your market, and you.
But consider the reality of a world where you can’t buy Gatorade or cars or Christmas presents because of “supply chain issues” but yet the stock market is still chugging along, blithely oblivious to any impact that could possibly come from an inability to actually deliver goods to consumers. We are already living in an economy of denial, powered by the sheer collective will that doesn’t ever want to go back to 2020.
Expect that will to strengthen as this COVID detour wears on.
In 2020 we saw a multitude of businesses shutter their doors, but we also saw a lot of businesses that leaned into the crises, and won big. The lesson that needs to be learned from this is that businesses must find or create their own silver linings from the tattered reality they are given. Pandemics may really suck, but people still need to buy things. And right now, they are desperate to pretend that this pandemic is over.
This is why your business should consider diving into 2022 with the unbridled fury of a Black Friday shopper – part hail Mary and part Leeroy Jenkins. Consumers may be wary but they’re more weary than anything. And they have already shown a willingness to gravitate towards things that approximate the “normal” they once knew.
Expect to see people back at the movie theaters, rubbing popcorn butter on their vaccination bumps. Look for them to invest in travel, making their way to anywhere simply because they can (while they can). Count on them to spend rather than save because everyone has had their taste of the end of the world, and nobody wants to be left sitting on a pile of money once money no longer has any value. Just like the news has taught us, the more insane it sounds, the truer it probably is.
WILL WE EVER RETURN TO SANITY?
Again, the short answer is “no.” But this time, the long answer is also “no,” followed by an extended burst of maniacal laughter that crawls into your soul and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
We are not in the post-COVID world, but definitely the post-traumatic-stress-disorder world. The only treatment we have for it is a hefty dose of “retail therapy,” – the subconscious idea that everything will be okay as long as you can keep on buying things.
From the looks of it, this current weirdness will continue until everyone runs out of money. Then, we’ll probably start buying things with NFTs.
Consumers gonna consume.
THE FUTURE SUCKS
If you came into this blog article hoping for comforting words like “the pandemic is over” or “everything is wonderful,” then you haven’t been paying attention to the future that’s been arriving every day. It’s scary, often very dumb, and always somehow unpredictable – that’s just how the future is. And coming out of the horrible dumpster fire that defined 2020, we’ve kind of learned to live with it. When you think about it, what you once considered “normal” probably would seem insane today.
But we are all the way down the rabbit hole now. Why not make 2022 your tea party?
And why not engage the INSANELY brilliant creatives at DAMN GOOD to lead you through this wonderland? After all, we’re all mad here.