Roughly about a year ago, the word Corona was starting to be used more commonly, and not unfortunately relating to the beer carrying the same name. Just the flu, something happening in China, nothing much to worry about. I was busy meeting with clients talking about roadshows, organising a catch up with a fellow supplier for a couple of drinks and making preparations for a business trip to Dubai the following week…which turned out to be my last trip to foreign shores to date.
My, how times have changed. Fast forward a year, and I don’t need to tell you how much the world is a different place.
But now we face the end. Not of humanity or anything quite as dramatic, but a glimpse of an end sight to the end of the restrictions and a glance at something vaguely resembling ‘normal’. The most common expectation in the UK is gradual easing of restrictions potentially in a month or so and with vaccinations carrying on at pace along with further easings, mid to late summer could see a closer to normal landscape. Let’s hope that’s the case, especially for our clients and chums within the hospitality and travel industries. Or those who have to home school. Challenges for us all.
But just imagine – and it may feel like some kind of utopia right now I know – the end of all this and something resembling a normal, a return to a business as usual, albeit no doubt in an adapted form. And it won’t be that long either – no one needs reminding that, whilst in some ways last year felt endless, how quickly did it go…how did we get into February so soon? I’m sure I’m not alone in scratching my head on that one.
Naturally over the last few months as well as observing like the rest of us what’s going on nationally and within our industry, we’ve kept in close dialogue with our clients, peers and colleagues, gauging their feelings on what’s happening. And there is a sense of optimism that is echoed and many, if not already, are galvanising themselves into action. It can be argued (and something we’d endorse) that the savvy brand is the one that maintains the presence and markets during difficult times, but for those that haven’t had the capability, budget or belief until now, rest assured, now is the time to get prepared and get moving.
Like greyhounds straining in the traps eager to be released and sprint to their goal, most of the nation is keen to get out and enjoy life once more – there will be a hunger for everyday simple joys such as a drink with friends down the local to exotic experiences on far flung shores and everything in between…in short, somewhere that’s not the familiar four walls they’ve been cooped up in, or something they’ve just been not able to do for longer than they’d care to remember.
So, how are you gearing up for the big comeback? How is your business planning, how will you be operating, what’s different – and what are you telling your customers? There’s a hunger for information and brands must ensure that they are fulfilling it now and pick-up pace, rather than playing catch up down the line. And given we’re in February already, summer really isn’t that far away.
Fingers crossed, we’re through the worst and the light at the end of what’s felt like a very long tunnel is getting brighter. Time to stop dreaming about what could be and start doing for what will be.
- Author Daniel Kennedy - CEO
- Date 4 February 2021