Last week I watched a presentation by Raquel Chicourel, the Chief Strategy Officer at Grey London, looking at how brands could navigate the new normal with a special emphasis on profound cultural changes. Raquel’s studied a BA in Journalism, which led her to a career in advertising, first at JWT, then BBH, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Grey London.

Her presentation formed part of the ‘Top Talks’ programme from the APG, a membership organisation for Planners & Strategists.

Raquel’s presentation was insightful, funny and, most importantly, refreshing. She wasn’t going to try to humour her audience by offering predictions of what the future will look like, as despite everyone’s best efforts, she explains that nobody truly knows. She argued that instead of wasting time trying to predict the shape of the  curve, the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to shape it.

If you’re wondering what curve we are referring to, it isn’t the curve that we were trying to flatten to protect lives from the coronavirus. The ‘curve’ we’re talking about refers to the shapes that are used to describe different types of recessions. These include curves that are shaped like a V, U, W, and L.

She explained how we’re currently all embarking on an emotional journey as Covid-19 changes life as we know it:

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And recommend three key stages for brands to whether the storm:

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“We have all experienced the effects of Covid-19 in different ways, but it’s undeniable that the macrostate of emotions has evolved in a synched collective way and characterised by ups and downs.” – Raquel Chicourel

After exploring trends that have emerged in the last few weeks, Raquel questioned whether these were likely to stick. Raquel quoted the work of Dr. Christina de Balanzo, who explained that as the current situation has been forced upon us, drastic change in behaviour today, doesn’t mean long term behaviour change. Change in behaviour is likely to last alongside a change in attitude.

While we can look at some significant events of the last century to get a better understanding of the behavioural changes that occurred as a result, Raquel’s questions if it is comparable and right to do so:

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I personally think the two most significant behavioural changes that will stick in our ‘new normal’ is the desire to work more from home, and more people will continue to shop online.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that charities face a time of reckoning. Earlier this month, a new report in which over 70 charities contributed to, warned MPs that not offering them enough support will do untold damage because they underpin the fabric of our society. Instead of trying to predict the shape of the curve that the current recession/depression will cause, a case is being made for the public and the charity sector to work together to help society recover. 

The Good Agency recently wrote an article on convergence and the ultimate purpose, which predicts a new era of cooperation and collaboration between the commercial and charity sectors at a time when society needs it the most.

I sincerely hope that the third sector can help shape the curve so that they can be there for everyone when they are most needed and help make the post Covid-19 world a better place.

I want to thank Raquel Chicourel and the APG for letting me share this insight on the Brand Blog. 

If you’d like to contribute to The Brand Blog please get in touch.

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