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Beyond the exchange: Business after COVID-19

Natasha Ritz
Natasha Ritz
08 April 2020 2 minute readShare

Similar to the changing nature of the world after WWI where global economies collapsed and the world went into a great depression, we are facing uncertain times, but it is times like these that call for people to come together to create and to grow anew, writes Natasha Ritz, co-founder of arnaonline.com.au.

Individuals will change and therefore businesses will need to change with those individuals. The rise of digital buying that we expected a decade ago, that almost never came, seems imminent now as people of all ages are having to create new buying habits to get things delivered to their homes. We are under pressure to create new and amazing services enabling people to feel connected to any kind of normalcy. 

Doing business through the coronavirus and after will mean stepping into our fear and trying things we’ve never tried before. Collaborating with other brands and businesses. We may have once seen these as competitors, but now more than ever, we need each other to survive and thrive. 

There’s this idea called “clustered volatility”, where groups or clusters of things drive behaviour. For example, having many shoe stores in one place will drive up the consumption of shoes all together.

Instead of thinking we are competing with all of the shoe stores around, we could think of how we might work together to create an amazing and unique experience for all the people coming to that area to buy shoes. Shoes that make them feel amazing, that finish their outfit or enable them to express themselves fully. 

Instead of asking landlords to ensure we are exclusive in that area and the only brand doing that thing, maybe we will ask to be put with our friends and comrades to better serve the people who want what we have. 

COVID-19 is a time for expression of all things. More than ever, people are looking to express themselves, but this time it’s through digital means. It’s through all the social media channels and through connecting on video calling. It’s through dance, singing, cooking, baking and getting more familiar with our lives at home, and sharing through a lens.

For so long, we’ve lived a life of absolute convenience, the rise of eating out, the rise of Uber, delivery food services, meaning we have to do less and less for ourselves. But we now have an opportunity to reset and to find beauty in the simple things in life. 

Businesses will need to find new means of connection with customers. New ways to make people feel emotionally connected to their brands. It’s not just about saying your brand or business has a purpose anymore, it’s about living and breathing that purpose and creating value for people in their lives, beyond just an exchange. Already the younger generations are requiring more from brands in order to feel loyalty.

But the coronavirus will deepen this need even more. People will, more than ever, align with brands they feel are an expression of their authentic selves or an extension of themselves. If you can’t find a way to authentically connect, then your brand will need to evolve, pivot, change to fit the new mould that is the 20s of our time. 

This time of our 20s will be reshaped for the little guys, the Davids. A time to reshape what it means to serve people in a digital age. A time where Millennials have already faced two recessions in their lifetimes, where wages stagnate and house prices continue to rise. Where the new dreams are to travel the world, maybe to window-shop travel opportunities in a momentary lockdown, appreciating freedom more than ever; the new dreams are to find self-worth, self-awareness and personal growth on an individual journey. 

How will your business or brand fit into the new dreams, in the 20s of our time? How will you go beyond just an exchange?

Beyond the exchange: Business after COVID-19
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Natasha Ritz
Natasha Ritz

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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