The consumer is a Chameleon in itself, changing frequently their preferences, but during the crisis is even more and, so, like the photo, it has to be seen from new perspectives to capture their true colors. – street sculpture in The Hague some years ago)
It was not until I looked at my rose garden when I get inspired to see how as consumers we are “growing” by transforming our daily habits. I usually buy flowers and after the pandemic, I start taking it from the garden. I never did it before, not know exactly why, maybe because it looks awesome in the garden or just because I was not aware of this key aspect of being “off-grid”, quarantine delivers this unique opportunity, not only available on energy terms but of living on a self- sufficient way.
It is part of our commitments towards a fast recovery and for keeping a green environment “alive”! .But how can we change consumption habits and turning into sustainability without undermining the economy?
During lockdown they encourage us to go out only to buy “what is necessary” accordingly to an emergency. That is the reason for buying less than usual, even if most of the shops offer home delivery, However, as a way to not put into risk the people involved in the process we choose to stop buying. Is it that the smart way to protect the people? Or it would be better to continue buying and rescuing the economy from the most traditional way of doing it: consumption and focus more on safety measures?
The fall down is not exactly about the lockdown but the incapacity to create innovative methods enough safe that keeps our consumption habits, certainly not without constrains but without paralyzing the activities.
Is it true, theatres, gyms, restaurants, cinemas, among others are not a priority anymore what indeed results on paralysis for these sectors, however, there is no paralysis at all about the will to see movies, a play, eat an especial food, exercising, etc.
How do we build a harmonious relationship: consumption needs and business offers? Creativity its part of the answer, then we have an especial allocation of budget to those vulnerable sectors, but as we always said we can not rely everything on the State but the capacity to joint action WITH the State ,not just wait FROM the State, within a very important boost from the private sector and a full commitment -personal and professional – from the citizens.
Is it so, that even if the shape of our lives looks different we are not in a war situation in terms of scarcity, is an emergency..,,, yes! but that allows us to continue with certain normality on a transformative basis. Is it only the capacity to create –on the short-term- new ways to deliver the same needs. Keeping social distancing or using masks seems to be an unavoidable fact but do not prevent from doing exercise outside, buying food in a supermarket with a limited capacity of public, buying clothes in a shop with a previous appointment, eat in a restaurant with special measures. The needs for sports equipment, buy a movie, a pair of shoes or especial food are the same. What has changed is the way is delivered and the perception of it, not the need in itself. That is a business opportunity and not only the opportunity for a few ones privileged that work on “online business”.To be creative it is key and in the short term, is it part of the needed transformation to make it possible and not just waiting for external resources.
The consumer market has not changed on its essence therefore is key to think strategically and rescue all those needs that the consumers still want it and can afford it.
This crisis may last two years therefore the boost of the economy can not rely only on public resources but on a re-launch of marketing campaigns and a better way to approach people´s needs. For sure, online services are the most powerful resource.
Re-interpreting consumption habits is a responsibility of ALL sectors that goes beyond financial support and in many cases is only about maximizing their potential.
COVID19 is not necessary the key problem but the incapacity to change and adapt that seems to be a permanent constraint for thriving. People are changing their habits, not their preferences. Some countries have emerged from lockdown exposure that a new normal is going to last for a least a couple of years. For instance, restaurants that have opened respecting safety rules, have witnessed that the response from the public was not the same. Showing that they are new rules and the market must adapt it to it. In the case of restaurants alternative delivery maybe the answer. It is a truly threatening situation that is making the “Chameleon consumer” changing accordingly.
Adaptation and Education on change become an urgent matter to keep our stability, also emotionally. Precisely, a very important point to keep consumers enthusiasm high.
Is it not about wrong political management but of a new wave of doing business that would last longer than we wish. It does not matter if local people are thriving in their goals of erasing the virus, the movement of persons can create new waves of contagious. All enough reasons for being cautious about what business steps must be taken as well as a quick switch into a new mentality. Even if all shops would be opened today, within the right safety measures, they would be a huge average of people -in which I am included- that would not like the idea to go to malls, restaurants, etc. as in the past. Not even respecting social distancing or the use of masks can replace our normal times. What we can certainly do is to accept the challenge to transform ourselves and demand a new business focus that tends to keep us safe.
Do not stop consuming, is it true that it is an emergency and measuring our spending is a must but is not within scarcity of resources. Contribute by buying under new rules: demanding safety measures. This is the personal responsibility that must be taken and in which consumers play an important role for keeping the economy up. It is the perfect timing to make your contributions: buying, protecting yourself, and the economy from crisis.
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Cambiando hábitos de consumo ….