As part of our series on the New Normal after the crisis, we would also like to hear your assessment as a strategist, planner and social psychologist: Which changes do you think will stay, and which will disappear very quickly?
The changes will be much smaller than predicted at the beginning of the crisis. This is already countered by human perseverance. There is a longing for tried and true old behaviors, so the "new normal" of the crisis is not necessarily the "next normal" afterwards.
For me, uncertainty and insecurity is the safest New Normal in this extremely crisis-prone world. In the future, we will live with a shortened future horizon. This requires developing resilience against crises through more agility, more flexible planning, but also through more optimism and creativity. Personally, I am optimistic that this can be achieved despite all the difficulties involved. After all, as research in sociology proves, people always set their hopes on new goals despite recurring disappointments.
Hope, that's a good keyword. Some trend prophets hope that during the crisis people will reflect on real values and that there will be a turnaround towards a better world...
Topics such as the search for meaning for individuals as well as for companies or more climate protection awareness, which were already on the agenda before the crisis, will experience a boost. But an actual change in behavior by many will unfortunately be achieved much more slowly than hoped.
So you don't think we can save much of it for the new post-Corona world?
Yes, we can, but it will take more effort, and advertising and marketing have an important role to play here. First, the economic downward spiral must be stopped and, above all, something must be done about fear. Consumer renunciation, which some do-gooders favor, is not the solution. On the contrary, we need a rapid return to consumption, albeit more conscious consumption, and we need investment. The great task of advertising for society as a whole, especially now during the crisis, is to get people out of their fearful stupor and back to dreaming and wishing. We should use optimism to broaden the horizons of the future, even for decision-makers, and whet their appetite for the future. Expectations and dreams are the basis for growth and prosperity. People are hungry for positive stories right now, and fortunately there are already plenty of them. Communicating such success stories also offers an opportunity - better than Cassandra calls - to motivate people and decision-makers to make business model, investment and consumption decisions that make impending sustainability and ecological crises less likely.
What can you or your team contribute?
First, we offer our customers and prospects scenario technique workshops on resilience and advice on how to plan agilely for the future in this time of uncertainty. Some develop a new marketing strategy together with us, focusing on promising products and customer needs. Or they are sharpening their positioning, adapting their digital and employee processes to the new circumstances and opportunities, and driving their digital transformation. On the other hand, we create advertising that whets their appetite for a better future.
Thank you for your time and your assessment of New Normal.
Ingrid Wächter-Lauppe, graduate in business administration and sociology, is CEO and co-founder of the agency group Wächter & Wächter Worldwide Partners, member of the German Advertising Council, former head of human resources, change manager, management consultant, board member of GWA, Chairwoman Worldwide Partners Inc. USA. Today, as head of Wächter & Wächter Brandguards, she is responsible for strategic consulting for our clients and is particularly interested in all questions concerning business success, human behavior and creativity and their manifold interdependencies. She was interviewed by Maria Neuner, project manager at Wächter & Wächter Digital.