Will it stick?
That’s the big question, isn’t it. We know habits and routines have been temporarily thrown out the window since Covid-19 went and upended the way we live. Surely, when this is over, things will return to normal again… right?
In a recent thought piece, The Economist detailed how the London tube strikes of 2014 impacted travel behaviour in the long term. When the strike hit, it forced people to change their route to work. So, like humans have done for millennia, Londoners adapted. They started cycling, they walked, they took the bus instead. What’s interesting though; once the strike ended, about 5% of commuters kept up the behaviour change. 5% might not seem like an enormous number, but we’re talking about a transport service that accommodates two million passengers daily. That’s 100k less people crammed into the tube each day.
Let’s take that same logic and apply it at a national level in Ireland. On average, a man will go to the barbers 5.84 times a year. A 5% change to the number of men getting their haircut professionally would mean (roughly) 700,000 less haircuts in Ireland every year for the male population alone. Imagine that same effect applied across every sector impacted by this pandemic. That’s a lot of pints, take-away coffees, meals, gym memberships… you get the drift.
The beginning of this new decade is full of uncertainty for many brands and industries. But it’s also a time rife with innovation and opportunity. We’re seeing new audiences coming online for the first time ever and people making positive changes to the way they live, work and consume. Right now, search can’t predict the future (I hear Google are working on it), but the familiar adage ‘adapt or die’ feels more relevant than ever before.
(If you enjoyed nerding out over these search trends, check out this report from Google on How brands can help during the coronavirus pandemic)