Future Foundry LIVE: The Biggest Innovation Opportunities For A Post-Pandemic World

4 min read
Jan 29, 2022 9:45:24 AM

Did you know that more people in the UK sought income support in 2020-21 than during the 2008 financial crisis?

And did you know that in 2020, more than a decade’s worth of ecommerce growth was registered in just eight weeks…in every category?

Oh, and video calls tripled in the UK that year, too.

The Pace of Change

“There are decades where nothing happens. And there are weeks where decades happen.”

The last twelve months (and beyond) have disrupted business, challenged assumptions, and accelerated change.

But what does that mean for innovators today?

Rethinking Priorities

If nothing else, the pandemic has forced us all to deeply reconsider our priorities.

Hybrid work is setting up to be the norm. Consumers are savvier with their spending. Side hustles, healthier minds, and lifelong learning are on the rise.

In business, firms that can scale up and down with relative ease, more sensitively anticipate customer needs, and meet them in a meaningful way – these are the companies set to succeed.   

Deep Dispersion – Digital ≠ Better

Where are you spending your time? Deep dispersion has become the new normal.

With hybrid working set to stay, a majority of companies are open to staff working remotely either all, or some of the time. The four-day work week is another hot topic, and folk are looking to the suburbs as cities lose a little of their charm.

Identifying the opportunities for your business…

Digital doesn’t always mean better.

  • How can you more effectively reimagine and redistribute your product, so the customer gets more value?
  • How can you make a better version of what you do, rather than just a digital version?

 

Flexible Firms – Right-Sizing

The pandemic has proven that being able to right-size in real time is critical. Elasticity – no longer for those WFH sweatpants – is now a big factor in workforce success.

Flexibility when it comes to fixed costs, and thinking strategically about scaling up or down will give you an edge in your market, just like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber.

Identifying the opportunities for your business…

  • How can you bring more variability and flexibility to fixed costs, and scale in a different way?
  • How can you give more value to customers in a cost-conscious way?
  • How can you build more flexibility into your workforce?
  • How could the gig economy work for your white-collar team?

Canny Consumerism

The UK deficit gap is widening. As a result, 41% of consumers now delay making big purchases like cars, holidays, and homes.

And it doesn’t stop there. To save pennies, we’re now less likely to go out-out, preferring to entertain at home. We’ll swap certain brands for cheaper products, and impulse spending is set to see a dip, too.

 

Identifying the opportunities for your business…

  • So what does this mean for businesses? Well, flexible pricing will win out over traditional models, and the way you present and quantify your value might need to change.
  • Could you co-invest in the results of your products or services with customers moving forward?
  • What opportunities are there for you to help customers to monetise the purchases they’ve made in higher markets? 

At-Home Health? Try an Apple a Day

69% of consumers are more focused on taking care of their mental health as a result of COVID-19, and it looks like our passion for health and wellness is here to stay, with more people taking their wellbeing into their own hands in the wake of the pandemic.

Companies that help customers boost their mental and physical wellbeing are set to tap into this new consumer focus. Just look at Apple – originally a computer company that’s now considered a wellness brand, that’s tapping into this focus.

Identifying the opportunities for your business…

  • Can you add services that encourage more mindfulness when customers use your products?
  • What about helping people make better health and wellness decisions?
  • And critically, how can you inject real sustainability into your offering whilst avoiding ‘greenwashing’ your business? 

Lifelong Learning - Literally

50% of the world’s young people will end up in jobs that haven’t been created yet. In a world of accelerating change, there’s a new personal emphasis on keeping up with it, which means that more people are finding different ways to learn new skills, and make work work for them.

The side hustle ‘splosion is just one example of this change. Side-hustles exploded by 55% in the last two years, and a quarter of the UK population now describe themselves as having a business on the side as more people monetise their hobbies and passions.

Identifying the opportunities for your business…

  • If you’re D2C, how could you help customers to deepen their knowledge, so they can benefit their careers and hobbies?
  • How could you transform your company’s knowledge into a new curriculum that could help young people learn future-ready skills?
  • Could you monetise the continued professional development of employees, arming them with a new set of skills for the new economy?
  • What insight and intelligence do you have that might be of benefit to the wider market?

Making It Work for You

Putting your mark on a post-pandemic world can feel like a tall order.

When it comes to capturing consumer attention, driving loyalty, surviving rapid economic and social shifts, and helping the next generation of workers become future-ready as far as their health, wellbeing and skills development go, innovation is the only way forward.

Taking time to reimagine the future might feel like a big ask, but it’s no longer negotiable. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. We can help. Get in touch, or book a demo now.