I think we’re all watching with anxious excitement how our southern neighbours personal & professional lives are beginning to appear normal in many U.S. cities. Some American hockey arenas have people in the stands again, and bands are rocking concert venues with actual people in them, as opposed to yet another virtual performance. The economy is opening up and no one should be surprised that people are eager to get back to some semblances of the way things were.
This means arenas can sell $15 dollar beers, and music groups can get back to hocking their $85 dollar hoodies to a captive audience, just the way Mr. Adam Smith intended. And no-one should be surprised that people are frothing-at-the-till to get back to some semblances of the way things were.
So now that the vaccination roll-out is in full swing here in Canada, many of us are nervously allowing ourselves to feel excited about stepping back into the outside world of physical interaction & fun purchase decisions. That being said, over the past year-&-a-half the pandemic has explicitly changed the way we earn, spend & save our money.
So, the question being asked in both boardrooms and living rooms, is what’s more likely a scenario?
> A careful and modest re-entry back into social spending, or
> A post-pandemic boom with both businesses and individuals doubling down to make up for lost time?
No-one has the answer for certain, and certainly not me, but from The Economist to the Wall Street Journal to Buzzfeed, there has been no shortage of articles & opinion-pieces on what the future holds for business, and how the pandemic, and our collective reaction to it, has forced both consumers and organizations to shift their behaviour.
Yes, there have many industries which have been severely impacted, like tourism & traditional retail, but other segments are already expected to exceed pre-COVID19 estimates. E-commerce marketplaces, logistics & delivery services have all seen exponential growth, which in turn positively impacts a wide variety of product suppliers from around the world.
But as humans are fundamentally social beings, I find it difficult to fathom that the new normal is going to exclude all the services and experiences that are innate to our human nature. Despite the mass layoffs to thousands of restaurants and industry jobs over the past year, Bloomberg recently reported how bars and restaurants are poised to for a significant hiring spree in the coming months. And this isn’t just wishful thinking, but I would argue a strategic acknowledgement to the accelerated vaccine roll-out, that we’re all ready to go back to some semblance of normalcy. And that will have a powerful economic impact.
One thing we know to be true is that consumer spending is a major source of economic activity, and while provincial & federal governments were changing their tune faster than Amazon could ship your new salad spinner, it didn’t take long before our collective desire to spend has started pushing its way back towards normal, and long before restrictions in many parts of the country were even lifted.
There is no denying that we’ve seen a powerful shift in both channel selection and brand preferences, but the desire to spend and participate in our economic recovery seems as strong as ever! For organizations that put innovation, risk-management and the ability to adapt on their priority list, it’s looking like 2022 could be one of the strongest economic recoveries we’ve seen in decades!
Marty Menard is the VP of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships for Giant Creative, and an award-winning sales & business development professional with 15+ years of experience in a variety of industry-sectors. Marty has and continues to work directly with a wide variety of influential organizations including Chairman Brands, Foodtastic Brands, Code Ninjas, ASICS’ Race Roster, TD Canada Trust, JDRF Canada, to name just a few.
A proud educator, Marty is a part-time Business & Marketing Professor at Fanshawe College in London, ON, and serves as a mentor for the Ontario Centres of Excellence Young Entrepreneurs Initiative. A nationally published writer, speaker, and media consultant, Marty is a passionate advocate for creating stronger and mutually successful partnerships.