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  • Paul Laver

What will your 'Post-Covid World' look like: sunny-side-up / down, scrambled, poached or hard-boiled

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Paul Laver, Human and Co-Founder of One Minute to Midnight

Dear World,

The sale of egg cups has increased by 8% since lockdown. Wow, this means the ‘New Normal’ in a post-Covid world will probably consist of a lot more egg consumption - or at least boiled ones…or maybe not!

A lot of guff has been written about what the world will look like post-Covid - how it will change and what will the ‘New Normal’ look like?!  As large parts of the world re-emerge since the massive restrictions to their lives have been somewhat eased, we do of course need to ask the question: so, what now?

What does it all mean?

What do I do as a person from here?

What do our brands, businesses, industries, cities, countries do?

What will life be like, and how should we shape it?

Some have suggested that the world won’t change, that this is a mere blip and everything will be as it was, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. The world is always changing! When there are massive disruptions in the world order, there are fundamental changes in behaviours, emotions, and values. To bring it to the tangible - considering most countries have seen unemployment rates go through the roof, I might suggest such folk revisit their hypotheses of non-change… at the very least for the short to medium term.

In order to plan ahead for an uncertain future (whatever form it emerges in) a good place to start is with Human Values. Let’s look at some of the major disruptions of the past 100 years since they have always shaped what’s important to people and how they want to lead their lives. The Wall Street Crash meant the world veered away from the Hedonism and Stimulation of the late 20s, to the three-way seismic confrontation between Power and Tradition– the heart of fascism; Universalism and Creativity of America’s New Deal and the Universalism and Power of Soviet Communism. The aftermath of WW2 gave way to immense Creativity, Stimulation and again Universalism, with the birth of the NHS in the UK.  9’11 resulted in a heavy dose of Hedonism in New York, the 2007 crash brought with it the return of Tradition and Power (Take back control, MAGA) which resurfaced in the culmination of Trump and Brexit.

As we look to the future and plan our lives, our businesses, our brands, our countries, our worlds, it will be crucial to start with Human Values. In lockdown, we were forced into a way of life that changed how we lived our values. This may well have shone a light on neglected, under-lived values that are actually really important to us, and highlighted the misplaced importance of others.

Much of the world of marketing right now seems to have not thought very hard about all of this. Instead, everyone has hopped onto a homogenous bandwagon of Kindness and Universalism. ‘We are all in this together’ - even though we most certainly are not (the restrictions are experienced vastly differently by people in different situations), and even when these values can have absolutely nothing to do with a brand. This has resulted in monochrome, contrived communications that at best, barely permeate peoples’ consciousness. At worst, they trigger a bout of Pepsi Kendall Jenner Syndrome - inauthenticity so painful that it causes even the most mellow of people to have steam pour out their ears.

Instead, it is crucial for those whose responsibility it is to nurture and manage brands, to truly understand what is going on: in their own hearts and minds, those of their teams and the audiences that they serve.

So, what does the increase in egg cups mean for eggs and values? I simply have no idea… I use mine for a little shot of ginger, turmeric, and lemon every morning, to kick-start my day with a values dose of Stimulation and Security.

How do your values make themselves known in lockdown life? It is these types of musings that will lead to the real answers about what life post-Covid and beyond holds!

Ta-ra for now,

Big P

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