How brands can become a lighthouse in times of crisis. 11 theses on the ‘New Normal’.

The Corona crisis is different from other crises because it completely turns our everyday self-understanding upside down. The mindless activity of the hamster wheel has been halted, people are increasingly asking themselves the question of meaning. What role can brands play in this new era? What decides whether they are representatives of the past or a lighthouse and guide into a new era?

“It cannot stay the way it is and it will not be the way it used to be!” With these words a respondent describes in an in-depth interview the strange in-between world we are living in right now. Placebos of senses and fake promises are being rejected now more than ever, the hope is for a real renewal. Much of what was weighed in the crisis was considered too quickly. Higher, faster, further is out. Instead of an unleashed arbitrariness, people are looking for stability, for a new honesty. The old world is dissolving, but the new world is not yet tangible – we are in an incubation period in which society is redefining itself.

The old world is dissolving, but the new world is not yet tangible – we are in an incubation period in which society is redefining itself. However, the brand purpose is more specific and authentic than a pure sustainability promise, which is usually assumed by consumers today anyway.

But the personal everyday relevance of a brand is also changing. Customers neither accept a “keep it up” nor a submergence of brands, but rather demand a new constitutional promise for the new everyday life. How do I find solidarity without hugging? How do I find intensity without excess and kicks? People want to be touched by their brand – without losing control.

In their pilot function they can build on the trust they have developed over years and decades. Those who have accompanied their customers through the vicissitudes of life since childhood are considered to be reliable support even in times of crisis. But successful brands are not only reliable stabilisers; they also react sensitively to the changing times and develop an idea of what the new era might look like.

By the way, the longing for lighthouses moves not only customers but also the employees of companies. We are in an evolutionary process. Whereas organisation and control used to be the most important things in the past, it is now important to inspire and motivate employees. The purpose is therefore not only important externally, but also internally – and creates commitment and a shared identity in digital times, when more work is done in the home office.

11 Trends due to Corona

1. Return to the tried and tested (the comeback of the ravioli tin)
2. Revitalisation/renaissance of DIYs (baking, cooking, handicrafts, puzzles)
3. New work-life balance or just the slow-down virus
4. Revision of personal relations
5. Digitisation of business traffic
6. Home office or emancipation from the collective
7. New management culture: role model replaces authority
8. Revaluation of many values – new sense orientation instead of higher, faster, further
9. Sustainability as general hygiene factor – purpose as special ‘diff-factor’
10. New hope for change: “We can also do things differently!”
11. Strengthening regionalism and economic autonomy

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