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Who’s ready for the roaring 2020s?

Written by Kelly Cummins
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As COVID-19 restrictions are phased out, British businesses are hoping for a post-pandemic revival.

Like a lotus flower blooming from murky waters, or a phoenix rising from the ashes, many people are predicting a rebirth akin to that of the roaring 1920s.

After the end of the First World War and the deadly Spanish flu pandemic, automobile ownership revved up, radio filled the airwaves, motion pictures hit the silver screen, and indoor plumbing and labour-saving electric appliances revolutionised home life.

Innovation was in full swing and mass consumerism took shape. Triumph over adversity gave everyone a fresh burst of energy, where anything and everything felt possible.

How will the 2020s compare?

Shop shutters close, browser windows open

New ways of living and working have emerged during the pandemic and consumer behaviour has changed dramatically as a result.

A June 2021 report from Ofcom has found British consumers spent a total £113 billion online throughout 2020, a rise of 48% on the year before.

Even as we head towards ‘a new normal’, many of the online habits and trends formed in lockdown look set to stay.

You only need to walk down the local the high street for hard evidence of this. Topshop, Debenhams, Gap, Oasis, Warehouse, Karen Millen and Laura Ashley have all disappeared in the past 18 months. Even retail giants like Marks & Spencer, Next, House of Fraser and John Lewis have reduced their store estate.

Sink or swim

Businesses small and large, young and old, have been forced to adapt swiftly in order to survive, heralding a wave of creativity similar to that of 100 years’ ago.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as Plato said. Those with ingenuity are not simply surviving, they’ve thriving, especially in the world of eCommerce.

Take Lick Home, a customer of Brevity client Fullers Logistics. Lick launched on the day the UK went into the first lockdown. It delivers a revolution in home decorating with signature next-day delivery peel-and-stick samples, easy online consultations and endless inspiration from interior designers and colour experts.

More than just good luck

According to the Ofcom report, online sales of household goods surged by 76% in 2020 due to heightened interest in home improvements. Lick were there to meet that demand with their simple online service.

But Lick’s success hasn’t just been about being in the right place at the right time, it’s been about agile marketing, authentic connection, high quality customer service, and an unwavering focus on maintaining a hassle-free user experience.

Fullers helped Lick achieve rapid growth in their debut year with the streamlined fulfilment of samples and products – a key aspect of their customer journey.

185k followers on Instagram and a collaboration with made.com later, after less than 18 months Lick’s unique brand has proved a major hit with DIY fans across the UK, as well as influencers, celebrities, and professional decorators.

Even established businesses must diversify

Fledgling businesses are not the only ones who’ve had to think on their feet. We’ve all heard heart breaking stories of long-standing family companies forced to call it a day due to the impact of COVID. Nobody can rest on their laurels. After all, whoever could have imagined the demise of a Great British high street stalwart like Debenhams?

Those that have continued to operate successfully have been able to do so because they’ve diversified their offering in a way that recognises new demands in the market – and grabs them with both hands.

Spotting new opportunities

Brevity client Time Marquees in a family-run marquee hire company based in Berkshire. Since the 1990s, they’ve been providing marquees for weddings and parties, as well as major events such as Highclere County Show, Build It Live in Bicester, Cartier Queens Cup Polo Semi Final, Cartier Queens Cup Polo Final, Royal Windsor at Guards Polo Club, and graduation ceremonies at Royal Holloway University.

As celebrations and events ground to a halt, all their hard work and prosperity might have looked set to topple in the wind. Instead, they saw a demand for temporary structures for use at COVID testing centres, schools, retail sites, golf clubs and in pub gardens.

By quickly diversifying into these new areas, they have seen their business grow beyond all expectations. Now that weddings, parties, and events are back on the calendar too, they only wish they had a spare moment to celebrate!

Find your voice in a post-pandemic world with insightful marketing

Whatever age, size, or type of business you operate, it’s time to re-evaluate and recalibrate as we all move beyond COVID-19.

Your customers’ circumstances will almost certainly be evolving, making it crucial to regularly rethink how you communicate with them about your products and services.

A post-COVID marketing strategy can help your business:

  • Profile your target audience and identify what their drivers and barriers will be in 2021 and beyond

  • Define/re-define your brand identity and key messages

  • Set up or re-vamp your website and make it more user-friendly across all devices

  • Craft content that resonates with your audience in today’s world

  • Create an aesthetic with clarity and impact by refreshing your photography and imagery

  • Cultivate an engaged and influential social media community and manage it to your advantage

  • Improve your search ranking with a finely tuned SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plan

  • Get better ROI in the digital advertising space

  • Achieve positive PR coverage on TV, radio, podcasts and in the press

Far from getting off to a bad start, the 2020s have proved to all of us just how resourceful and adaptable we can be. It’s time to combine all that strength, knowledge and resilience with innovation and insight, so that people are remembering this decade in a hundred years’ time.

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Launching a new business? Ready for a glow-up? Plotting the comeback of the century? Brevity is a PR and marketing agency in Hampshire, here to help you make it happen. Give us a call on 01256 536 000 or email hello@brevity.marketing