Business rules are constantly changing gradually. Disruption is a wider and faster change than usual. Crisis is a change with extreme width and speed. Coronavirus crisis in particular will change all companies globally because it is attacking the most essential asset of every person – their health. Companies are always required to understand and adapt to changes, but Coronavirus crisis will require unprecedented speed of adaptation.
Coronavirus crisis phases
We defined three phases of the Coronavirus crisis:
1) Chaos – everything has stopped and everyone is waiting for chaos to end. End will hopefully arrive sometime in Q3 2020,
2) Design of new rules – period most likely double the duration of Chaos during which customers and companies will define the new rules,
3) New rules – new rules are established by customers, and companies which understood them will grow.
While some companies and markets will have minimal change in rules, some might have substantial changes. Still, even if rules have changes companies might not be able to recognize the change and will continue as before the crisis. This will result in their slow decline.
We anticipate following business rules changes:
1) Soft values will be replaced by hard values. Practicality and cost cutting should be included in all positioning. For example, price will gain more importance in customer decisions than style.
2) In 2019 we were in two major disruptions: digitalization and sustainability. Digitalization is actually accelerated by the Coronavirus crisis while sustainability, unfortunately, will lose in importance. Sustainability should remain as a value, but not a dominant one.
3) Automating customer relationships will lose importance while improving quality with personal and direct communication will gain. Intermediary metrics will also lose to hard metrics like revenue and profit both for customers and companies.
4) Overall 2019 was a peak of companies explaining to the customers how things should be. New rules will shift force companies to listen more.
How to prepare
Companies should immediately prepare by:
1) Adopting open innovation (accelerated market research),
2) Richer customer relationships which include more listening to customers,
3) Adjusting their positioning and content.
Companies which are not preparing now in some way will be in risk.