1.4 New Business Model for the 'New Normal'

The new normality we find ourselves in has heavily impacted the way we work and interact with our customers.

The new normality we find ourselves in has heavily impacted the way we work and interact with our customers. In just a few months, businesses have experienced a huge shift in demand, with new customer needs, behaviours and expectations model. Being more conscious and mindful during their consumer journey, consumers are now expecting a lot from organisations and businesses. New values have arisen that cannot be overlooked by businesses that aim to stay relevant in this challenging time.

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The new normality we find ourselves in has heavily impacted the way we work and interact with our customers. In just a few months, businesses have experienced a huge shift in demand, with new customer needs, behaviours and expectations model. Being more conscious and mindful during their consumer journey, consumers are now expecting a lot from organisations and businesses. New values have arisen that cannot be overlooked by businesses that aim to stay relevant in this challenging time.

In order to stay relevant, businesses are now required to make radical changes to their business model, adapting it to the new values and needs of the post-pandemic consumer.

Transparency

In a world where increasingly more customers are becoming critical towards companies and organisations, transparency isn’t any longer a plus, but a true must. Consumers expect your business to be as open, communicative and accountable as possible.

At the same time, digital is pushing businesses to be 100% transparent and socially conscious brands are using digital to differentiate their strategy. This is why it is important to calculate, measure and show your impact as part of your digital brand identity.

Adopting a “Glass Box” type of brand for your business is often one of the best strategies to show transparency: this means to show what happens inside your wall regularly, showing to customers your daily operations, your people and the values they represent. In this process, try to stay human, engage with people and let people engage with you.

CuentasTú

CuentasTú is a Bolivian platform that aims to make visible the needs of hospitals in Bolivia. The platform captures donations and channels the deliveries to the beneficiaries, records the deliveries in images and publishes them in the same space as a proof of the cleanliness of the process, making donations transparent from their collection to their delivery.



Openness

Openness means you should be open to people, to change and innovation. In a time where personal bonds and relationships have been disrupted, the need for more open and reassuring experiences and spaces has risen dramatically.

As a business, this should reflect on the way you operate and deliver your services and experiences. Try to understand how you can be more open, and give operational changes a visual and social impact, showing your capacity to entertain non-ordinary ideas. Whilst opening up, always remember to think outside the box and consider the social power of your initiatives: partner with artists, designers and creators to reimagine the customer experience.

Redefining the purpose of space

Openness is a concept that has been integrated into many business strategies during the pandemic. In particular, people's need for safe open spaces translated into many initiatives, especially in the hospitality sector.

Stella Artois

Rethinking spaces and their social purpose is exactly what Stella Artois did in East London. The famous beer brand has teamed up with the design studio Shepard Fairey’s, to create beautiful floor murals for the Old Truman Brewery in London, helping people remaining socially distanced whilst fostering a more human and welcoming environment.

Social distancing doesn’t need to be anti-social for it to be safe - Ali Humphrey, Marketing Director, Stella Artois Europe

Stadt Hotel

The Swedish hotel Stadt in Lidkoping has totally reinvented the way they are operating, developing a new business stream to compensate for the lack of hotel guests. The hotel has opened up their rooms as private dining spaces, allowing people to go out to eat while still maintaining social distancing from other diners.

Guests have appreciated this new style of dining as a great alternative to sitting in a restaurant with many others - Jesper Alfredsson, General Manager

The new strategy has proved to be extremely successful in attracting that hidden demand represented by those customers who still want to go out for a dinner but weren't feeling safe enough to do so.

Around the world, other hotels have adopted similar strategies, like the hotel Zoku in Amsterdam, who has rebranded its rooms as day-stay hideaways and private work lofts.

Safety

Safety is about instilling confidence and trust in people. Feeling safe is now part of the factors that affect consumer behaviour. Social distancing, hygiene regime, protection from undesirable outcomes have to be guaranteed but most of all communicated in the most efficient way to the public. Communicating safety doesn't only mean reporting formal protocols, but building content and a story behind it.

At the same time, improving safety doesn't mean compromising the customer experience, on the contrary, it can be an occasion to enhance the experience by giving customer more confidence. In this situation, creative and engaging approaches are often the most effective ones.

Lush's 30-sec Soap

A great example of a creative approach to safety is represented by Lush's 30-sec Soap. The famous cosmetic retailer has developed a soap dissolving in just 30 seconds, to fight the spread of the pandemic. The company has created a microsite to explain the initiative, which was a huge success distributing more than 16.000 soaps in the first two weeks. It is a strong example of how safety can go hand in hand with engagement.

CitizenM Hotels

The Netherlands-based hotel chain CitizenM, famous to be at the forefront in innovation and technology, has made safety the new number one priority for its guests. The company is using an intelligent mix of new technologies and creativity to offer its customers the safest possible experience.

We’d like to say we planned it. But truthfully, we didn’t know we were building a pandemic-proof hotel - CitizenM Website.

At the core of the safety concept, the hotel has developed a solid app allowing guests to do control a variety of things. The app allows guests to do rapid check-ins and check-outs, unlock rooms, ask for cleaning service and even control in-room features.

Sustainability

Experts have often stressed how being more sustainable is the only way to ensure a better future and a safe recovery to our society. People have rediscovered the pleasure of spending time in nature, breathing fresh air away from pollution and dirty crowded city.

In terms of purchases, people are dedicating more time to making the right conscious decisions when buying products. Altruism and solidarity have also pushed people to support their local industry, which had an impact on their normal consumption habits. Because of these reasons, consumers are increasingly demanding brands to be proactive in reducing their impacts and prioritising sustainability.

Barcelona Opera

Back in June 2020, the opera house of Barcelona has reopened its doors, but it did it in a different way. As concerts and events were still banned throughout the country, the opera house decided to exploit this unique occasion to spread a powerful message.

On 22 June the theatre hosted the 'Concert for the Biocene', a charity concert played in front of more than 2000 plants. The event was aimed both to raise awareness about the fragility of our ecosystem and to create a strong connection with the public. The plants were then donated to health care professionals. The initiative is an extraordinary example of how to reinforce core business values rooting them in bold actions.

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The new normality we find ourselves in has heavily impacted the way we work and interact with our customers. In just a few months, businesses have experienced a huge shift in demand, with new customer needs, behaviours and expectations model. Being more conscious and mindful during their consumer journey, consumers are now expecting a lot from organisations and businesses. New values have arisen that cannot be overlooked by businesses that aim to stay relevant in this challenging time.

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