Where will the world be on February 2, 2022? What can the business landscape look like? Which brands will be successful and which won't? What will be important for consumers?

All of these are important questions that are in the foreground for marketers and will be asked in the coming months and years. While #SMWONE Suzy CEO Matt Britton He used his team's latest research to play the role of the futurist and paint a comprehensive picture of the world in which we will live on the other side of COVID-19.

Here are the key findings and insights:

  • Consumers want variety; not a lot when it comes to their purchases
  • Secondary and tertiary cities are on the way to becoming the new “hot spots”
  • Ultimately, people are more fascinating than brands and influencers will stand behind the brands that stand out

Life: the "accordion effect"

According to Britton, the global pandemic will lead to an "accordion effect" that will move people away from big cities like New York or San Francisco. Secondary and tertiary cities such as Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado and Denton, Texas are now on the way to becoming the new “hot spots”. "Urban sprawl is just not that attractive for the millennial generation," he added.

What are the tangential effects of this transition? These subordinate markets and property prices in areas like New York or San Francisco are flattering. This could lead to a trickle effect, in which car purchases are revived. However, this potential increase in demand for consumers buying cars could, in the long run, lead to lower demand for ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Over preferred for their ubiquity.

Buy: Consumers want variety

Consumers want variety; not a lot when it comes to clothing. This can be expected to give retailers an opportunity, but this is not the case in a downside market. Britton worked out several examples, including J.Crew recently filed for bankruptcy and gap The claim that some of his stories would never open again.

"These companies are certainly too leaning towards a stationary layout and have not switched to an e-commerce model quickly enough," Britton said.

He pointed Rent the runway (RTR) and Ipsy, recently announced, surpassed it $ 5 million in sales as a prime example of business models that will continue to be sustainable because the trends of consumers who wear fewer and fewer items of clothing or want the convenience of beauty products to be sent home will not reverse.

Another important trend in retail: companies will increasingly try to take control of their own customer experience. Nikefor example, took off his products Amazon last November. This also applies to the CPG room. In a world of Amazon Prime, companies are like Million Dollar Shave Clubface increased pressure to establish a more scalable e-commerce strategy.

"When I am the CPGs, I try to form a coalition that has key benefits that Costco can use traditional CPGs against Amazon, and maybe one day P&G will make the same decision that Nike made" Britton said.

The growing role of influencers

Emerging headlines raise the frequently asked question: could the coronavirus kill the influencer culture? Per Britton: "The influencer culture is just beginning and is here to stay."

Some Navy fashion blogger cracked a deal with Nordstrom and started selling their own clothes. In this wavelength he also mentioned Danielle Berstein, who with her blog "We Wore What" builds a larger audience through socially responsible contributions across content and supports small businesses in their efforts. In return, she sees tremendous success in introducing new products to numerous retailers.

"Ultimately, people are more fascinating than brands, and influencers will stand behind the brands that stand out."

Look for excellent examples of this idea in the TV section, especially the story of Oprah WinfreyRise to fame when it became an independent brand. The same trend is likely to occur in fashion, according to Britton. Influential people who have the right audience and who are built from the ground up can create sustainable, digitally native companies that develop into the new gaps and the new north streams of the future.

Brands as an "ingredient" or "helping" brands

Years earlier Home depot coined the slogan "You can do it. We can help. "As consumers realize that they can no longer rely on the services they previously provided in a pre-crisis environment, they are now using their own devices. 43 percent for example, dog owners claim that they will switch to home improvement.

Mattel playroomAnother example is the use of this time to encourage families and children to develop their own toys in “Play is Never Canceled” – this concept of making what you bought from us bigger and better. Finally, Eva Longoria shocked the internet when she started coloring her own hair in one L’Oreal ad she filmed herself from her house.

Regardless of whether these new habits actually prevail after COVID, brands are of great importance if they take an uncertain amount of time and empower consumers by giving them the raw materials to drive them forward – a role that Britton as "helping." Brands ”.

This also applies to the food and beverage industry, since the food preparation has returned home. Seventy-five percent of consumers believe that they are now better in the kitchen, and over 50 percent believe that they will continue to cook more after the crisis. "This will result in a significant shift in which these companies, which have relied on their packaging and goods for years, will have to reinvent themselves in a world where their products are bought digitally and more consumers cook regularly at home," said he Britton.

Entertainment: redefine fun

In the absence of live events, platforms like Tick ​​tack and House party enable brands and influencers to work together in a meaningful and convincing way. Housepart looked special 17.2 m Total downloads in March with users hosting virtual dinner parties, celebrating birthdays, and playing trivia and pictionary to spend time at home.

Gaming is also increasing with users who deal with each other Game change Like Esports and Newcomer Apps Squad. Regarding music, Fortnite and platforms Instagram have become central and have taken on the role of the "concert venue". Travis Scott did an entire performance in the form of an avatar on the Fortnite platform that has overtaken 12 million simultaneous viewers. DJs also use this moment to redefine their personal brands. DJ DNice He rose to the top for his daily Instagram quarantine sets, which attract celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to the crowd.

Work and travel: a slow return

Britton believes travel will come back into full force, similar to the hospitality industry, but it won't be immediate. With companies struggling with budget cuts and wanting to avoid having to go back to the office too quickly, many are taking the risk of postponing major events and contracting out work from home by 2021.

Similar to eating, however, there is an inherent desire to travel and it will return. What will likely be more obvious in the near future are people who choose to drive a car if they are not ready to jump on a plane right away. Enter the C2C models from companies like Airbnb that, despite the recent layoff of thousands of employees, are likely to succeed for homeowners looking for more income and for people looking for faster escape routes that are safer than the return to air traffic.

With regard to the future of the workplace, companies take seriously into account that not every person in every department has to work from the office to work together and give employees flexibility where they live, which can improve morale. In short, Britton believes companies will reevaluate their space.


While many workers thrive from home, Britton says that students struggle to succeed in a remote learning environment.

For younger generations, school is a place to build friendships, flee the home, learn responsibility, see their friends, and develop basic communication and interpersonal skills. 54 percent of parents with students who are in a distance learning situation due to COVID-19 say it is a daily struggle to support careers and parenting throughout the day, as Suzy's recent findings show.

In evaluating the 20 skills most in demand today, they are very trade and competence based, including cloud computing, SEO, UX design and video production, which are traditionally not taught in a liberal arts environment. The most important aspect: jobs are in technology companies, GDP is growing, and this is unlikely to change. For this reason, it is unlikely that students will not want to go into debt for a system that does not prepare them to succeed in this role. "There are so many skills in demand that they are not skills that you are an all-rounder or a master of nothing. I expect the demand for competence-based learning and competence-based schools to reverberate compared to general education schools," said Britton .

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