Madrid, 23 April 2020 - Reactivating the economy and returning to normal will be the two main global priorities once the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has been defeated, or at least brought under control. But, in order to do it in the best possible way, we will have to take into account the lessons that this crisis leaves us with and under the certainty that the world that awaits us will be very different from the one we knew. And, although "we don't know what that world will be like, we have tools to try and predict it," says Opinno's CEO and founder, Pedro Moneo. The innovation consultancy firm has just published the report RESTART: 10 Post COVID-19 Trends, in which it identifies 10 trends that could be about to start shaping that new world. In order to bring the collected knowledge closer to society, Opinno organized this week a public webinar in which economic and social leaders participated to put the information into context and expand it from their different points of view. More than 1,000 attendees from more than 15 countries joined the event. As Opinno General Director, Tommaso Canonici concludes: "the companies that will be successful in the long term will not only be those that best manage this crisis, but also those that know how to adapt better to the new normality".
Next, we recapitulate the 10 post-Covid trends identified by Opinno:
- Social hypochondria: welfare, health and hygiene, for us and our loved ones. We will never be the same again. People will take better care of themselves and others. Hypochondria will become a lever for innovation in the health, care and welfare industry. We will see revolutions like quantified people, assisted diagnosis and personalized treatments. Preventive medicine will take hold: we will carry more sensors to monitor our vital parameters and avoid health problems. We will generate more data, which will be evaluated by professionals helped by artificial intelligence (AI) systems to personalize treatments. "We have to rethink our customer experiences to give them security. We envision a future where almost every company becomes a healthcare company," added Opinno's Managing Director, Tommaso Canonici.
- Low cost with values and programmed lengthening: The coronavirus crisis has shown us that the economy, both national and individual, is fragile. People will save more, which will encourage the emergence of new saving methods and financial products focused on the medium and long term. This will be a great opportunity for the financial industry and fintech. In addition to saving, the recession may force us to earn less, which will encourage low-cost living, but without losing the values and awareness that consumers have achieved in recent years. With reduced spending capacity, people will own fewer things, but will want them to last longer and be more socially and environmentally friendly. This will be the era of Planned Elongation, a particularly fertile ground for industry and mass consumption. "We will be looking much more at the labels, where the products come from, the values the brand has, how committed they are to society," explained Canonici.
- Economy of recognition: the new heroes. Beyond the health professional, the heroes of the new world will be the transporters, the supermarket workers, the cleaning staff, the elderly caretakers and the various security forces. We had forgotten the importance of these workers, and the COVID-19 crisis has made this clear. We will have to put a value on their services, which will be an opportunity and a challenge for the food, logistics and basic goods industry.
- Basic Universal Service: The digital economy, dominated by the data giants, has reopened the debate on universal basic income. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic could give a boost to the concept of universal basic services, an idea that has already been working since the advent of freemium services. As different services approach zero marginal cost, businesses and governments will have the opportunity to create free versions for the most disadvantaged. In addition, these services will be able to become a commercial hook to get new customers.
- Digital by default: Mass teleworking has come to force and to stay. Remote relationships, both work and commercial, will become more common and a lever to attract talent. This change will favour the growing trend of digital nomads and the empty Spain. In this context, the travel sector and the facilities management industry will find a great opportunity to innovate. Digital consumption will skyrocket, companies and their operating models will have to adapt with massive automation and elimination of the friction of technology, both in its physical component, through robotics, and in its digital component, through AI. This change will be reinforced by cost savings, by the need to create ultra-customised products, and by responding to contingencies that limit the availability of people.
- Industrial patriotism: the reindustrialization of Europe and Spain. The shortage will reinforce the importance of research, own production and the redefinition of the supply chain. In the coming years, both citizens and governments will become more protectionist in their consumption habits or will have to redefine their supply chain. This will generate a great opportunity to boost Spanish industry, to 'go back to basics' and claim 'made in Spain'. Globalization will be forced to redefine itself for environmental, social and strategic reasons.
- The economy of sustainability: After the pandemic, governments, companies and citizens will recover the fight against climate change. We know that an economic recession is coming, but companies that are not sustainable can lose everything. Sustainability will become the new mainstay of corporate and personal values. And it will do so from all angles, because, for something to be sustainable, it must be sustainable at the economic, human and environmental levels.
- Business Future Thinking: a more futuristic, collaborative and open business strategy From now on, business management will handle more or less apocalyptic scenarios with contingency plans. Surrounding oneself with visionaries, technologists, futurologists and envisioners will be increasingly important and predictions will be made in the shorter term. In addition, companies will be more collaborative.
- Capitalism in the slow society: The slowdown we are experiencing will force us to redefine the KPIs by which we measure companies. We may see new things, valuations with PER (price benefit ratio) according to the forecast of profits for the next five years, which for some sectors will be significantly lower. Once again, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) will be a key component of company valuation.
- Massive distrust: faith in intellectual and transparent leadership Today's world, which lacks intellectual, cultural and ethical leadership, will need new points of reference. The credibility of information sources will become strategic, as will transparency and deep knowledge, elements that will have to become the new values and pillars of any brand that wants to survive. Governments, businesses and the media will no longer be able to rely on frivolous and populist strategies. Lying will no longer be an option.