Our definitions of change are loose

Sandeep Das
5 min readNov 16, 2020
Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

Adversities fuel innovation. The biggest leaps in our advancement as a species have been driven by adversities. The world of brand building is no different.

If this ongoing pandemic is considered to be an adversity as big as the Spanish Flu, the two World Wars, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession between 2007–2009, then it is important to measure the nature of innovation it is driving. But alas, we are not witnessing the significant leaps in advancement as we have seen in the past. We are being waylaid by false trends, temporary changes in human behaviour and mindless prophecies.

We are now close to a year into the pandemic and business media is awash with news and opinions on how consumerism and the way we engage with brands has fundamentally changed. I strongly disagree as there is no strong evidence. Moving to forced WFH conditions, depending on online retail during lockdowns and changing our daily work and leisure routines may have caused blips in our behaviour, but we have not transformed as a species.

As I write this, the high clinic trial success rates of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have already driven down the stock prices of the likes of Zoom and Peloton (even though public availability of the vaccine is still many months away and half of the world may not be able to afford them). Our coverage and definitions of transformation of consumerism are also quite vague and skewed — no one talks about how Africa is coping through the crisis and how consumerism has changed there. I do read a lot about the fintech revolution sweeping through the continent.

The Twitter-verse reported that McKinsey & Company (unofficially) is expecting its profits to increase by 12–14% due to savings from almost zero client travel. Like every other consulting firm, they will be the first to travel the moment restrictions are off and everyone is vaccinated. Some more food for thought below:

Here is a summary of what is really happening:

Sandeep Das