Hero State:

Hero State Principle

State of Commerce: The Need for Radical Resilience

The fallout from the Great Shutdown thus far has resulted in consumers sheltering in place in most cities and states across the county, while business are hitting pause in unprecedented ways. Hashtags like #togetherathome and #stayathome trend across social media, and yet some businesses, brands, and individuals have placed their foot firmly on the accelerator, adapting quickly to new needs and shortages, contributing by retooling their supply chain to assist in crisis. This kind of nimble, radical thinking will power brands through this moment of uncertainty.

Often with hit or miss results—think of Telsa’s radical but hard-to-execute plan to create ventilators from car parts versus Louis Vuitton (LVMH) quickly converting their luxury design houses into mask and hand sanitizer factories—these acts of radical contribution, unthinkable just months ago, are the roadmap forward for brands. Companies are being forced to reinvent themselves in real time, adapting their messaging, products, and business models to a “business unusual” reality. Companies like Sweetgreen, delivering meals to the frontline rather than closing their doors, signal the kind of sacrifice we expect to see as the world resets.

This moment of radical transition is key to keeping a disrupted consumer base engaged, while beyond the immediate it’s important for all industries and brands to adapt to the consumer who will emerge once the stay-at-home orders have been lifted. Euphoric moments of freedom will be short-lived, replaced by a consumer who is pragmatic, cautious, and looking to spend and invest with a need-based mindset. A new value chain is emerging, and brands must be in alignment or they will quickly lose relevance.

Consider how you can radically rethink your resources, putting them to immediate use, sending signals of a steady hand in a time of crisis. Plan for an unknowable future by knowing that your product, messaging and model must radically adapt as the year unfolds. Remember to engage your consumer base, look for clues to their state of mind, priorities, and struggles. As social media tells us daily, we’re #inthistogether.