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Article: Covid-19 will Change the World: Captain's Log by Jon Gregory, Shop Japan

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Captain's Log-Stardate 73757.2: There is an unknown and deadly virus on the planet’s surface...the crew are getting restless.. Photo: nasa on Unsplash

Captain’s Log—Stardate 73757.2: We have been in an uncontrolled orbit around a strange and unknown planet for several months. There is an unknown and external force that has rendered our engines inoperable, and we cannot escape this planet’s gravity. The crew are getting restless and need to get off the ship. However, there is an unknown and deadly virus on the planet’s surface, and we cannot risk the crew’s health, contamination of the ship, or the potential of transporting the virus home. The crew have begun to exhibit strange new behaviors, and I have grown skeptical of their ability to return to the regular routine…

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Jon Gregory, Managing Director, Oak Lawn Marketing International, Shop Japan, Chicago

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all keeping well, and staying in as you should. I hope that your families, friends, and all those you know and care about are healthy. But as I sit here at my home office, in a commandeered corner of my basement, working diligently in my day pajamas, I feel compelled to share my thoughts* on this global situation. I seem to have more time to think these days.

Crisis, war, famine, plague. These are things that tend to change the world in a single, profane swoop. It is the nature of the world. It is the nature of humanity. It is nature.

We are amid a global situation that we have not experienced in generations. But this time, through technology and our globalized community, our world has been able to unify against this single microscopic enemy in a manner we were previously uncapable of as a species. This is truly a fascinating time.

However, when you stand back and look at this pandemic and the cascading, worldwide effects it is having culturally, economically, socially, and psychologically, it becomes clearer each day that we will not be the same on the other side of this. We are experiencing a kind of paradigm shift that is likely to have profound effects on the masses, that will cascade into massive failures for some business, and unparalleled success for others.

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Will this global crisis change our attitudes towards each other globally? Photo: Mohammad Fahim on Unsplash

There are so many questions as to what will change from this. Only time will answer. So much of the world has been turned on its head. Millions are locked down in their homes. Millions are working from home. Millions are unemployed. The modern world has never stopped to this degree. And it has never been so quiet.

We have never been so conscious of the things we touch, of our own sanitation and cleanliness, of the air we breathe, and the people we share that air with. It is changing the way we work, and it is changing the way we think about interacting. We are choosing to do more digitally now because we have to, but how will we choose when we have a choice again?

From the perspective of our work, we are learning that we are no less connected when we connect digitally than when we meet face to face. However we are just far less stimulated with the dank sterility that comes with the lack of human companionship and comradery. Will the feeling of safety and sanitation that technology provides become an everlasting force that drives the methods in which we choose to connect and do business?

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This whole locked up situation is changing the things we value, the things we desire, and the things we don’t. Photo: Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb on Unsplash

The whole world has become united. We are all together in our separation and our fight against a common enemy. Covid-19 does not discern between nations and cultures. It knows no borders; it sees no walls. We are all equalized in our vulnerability to this common foe. Will this global crisis change our attitudes towards each other globally, and if so, will it be to a positive or negative end?

Money is an interesting concept. It is a physical placeholder, a tradeable instrument that we use to trade our time for the goods and services of others. We generally spend our lives away from our families, trading our time, our freedom, sometimes our nationalities for this instrument. This lock down is changing the way we feel about this dynamic, and the balance has changed.

We are not trading the same set of variables for the instrument we are receiving. Nor are we using that instrument in all the same ways. The middle-class masses are being forced to change their sense of value for effort and reward.

People are home, they are exercising at home, they are cooking at home, they are spending more time with their families. I think that we all can see that our sales are reflecting these new realities.

Similarly, this whole locked up situation is changing the things we value, the things we desire, and the things we don’t. The potential for post-pandemic mass change is profound. When this is done, I don’t think we will all be racing for a cruise ship, a night club, a concert, or a ball game with any great immediacy.

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People are home, working, exercising, cooking and spending more time with their families at home. Photo: Bruno Cervera on Unsplash

I believe that many of us can see that our businesses will survive. We are direct marketers. We ship to our consumers’ homes and that is what is needed right now. People are home, they are exercising at home, they are cooking at home, they are spending more time with their families. I think that we all can see that our sales are reflecting these new realities.

Our sales patterns now reflect the current necessity, and although I believe that they will proportionally remain the same, there will be greater changes in consumer spending habits that will change the way we shop, the way we indulge, the way we socialize, the way we exercise, and the way we entertain ourselves.

As sad as this whole situation has been for so many, we have the power and opportunity to shine and to provide great products that better the lives of our customers.

It is imperative to quickly evolve our businesses to meet the up and coming realities of our world on the back end of this pandemic. We need to offer products and services that will enrich our consumers lives, bring them happiness, joy, new experiences, and better health; product that offers value, quality, usefulness, and longevity. The value proposition that will entice the average consumer is going to change, and the story that sells to the consumer will change along with it.

No matter how you look at the situation, the middle class has been given a gift. We have been forced inside and given more time to reflect about the things that we value, care about, and love. It’s more time we’ve had to spend with our families, our loved ones, our spouses, our children, and our pets. This will forever change our personal goals, who we want to be, and how we want to work.

The Direct Response Industry has a long history of power branding and creating new brands and products out of thin air. As sad as this whole situation has been for so many, we have the power and opportunity to shine and to provide great products that better the lives of our customers.

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Go outside, you can see tomorrow. Photo: Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In the meantime, while contemplating the evolution of your business, think of this new time at home as a luxury. It is giving us all time to think what it is we really want out of life and to maybe do what we do slightly more efficiently so that we have an extra 5 minutes to play the guitar, read a book, watch a seminar, hug our kids, or hold our husbands and wives.

Go outside.

The sky is so clear, and the air is so clean.

You can see tomorrow.

* Please note: The views and opinions included in this article belong to their author and do not necessarily mirror the views and opinions of ERA Global.