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The Recession is back… time to innovate

The UK has entered into an inevitable recession and news headlines have been filled with stories about redundancies and retail closures, making many consumers fearful of their financial security.

The lockdown for some has been an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of budgets. Use of FinTech money managing apps such as Money Box and Plum has accelerated with half the population now using them. McKinsey report that 44% of UK respondents feel more mindful of where they spend money since lockdown.

Mindful money management and squeeze on budgets mean value is back in the crosshairs of the consumer psyche.

While there is no doubt that personally and professionally many Brits are in for a difficult time, innovative businesses have historically played a valuable role in recessions - helping people to cope and keep life meaningful and enjoyable..

If we look at just the Great Recession of 2007/8 as an example – companies like Airbnb, Groupon and Uber were all born out of a desire to deliver better value.

Of course, the political, commercial and health context then was much different to now. In our recent conversations with consumers, we have identified areas of tension that we offer up as potential territories for positive innovation:

  • ‘Aspirational Me’ Families have become more thoughtful about consumption and they aspire to continue in that vein: time in lockdown means they are planning what to buy, experimenting with new skills, dishes, and habits e.g. freezing leftovers to avoid waste…and they are loving the satisfaction and healthiness that it’s bringing. Their aspiration is to keep it going as life beyond full lockdown re-establishes itself.

  • ‘Planet Earth and me’ Coronavirus has shown us that the world’s population is truly interconnected: how people treat wildlife in China affects freshers’ week in Chester. Most people want to do the right thing by the planet and those with whom we share it, but it feels difficult to be good; brands deliver value when they make good choices easy

  • New rules ‘we’: There is a lot of figuring out going on. How do we socialise? How do we study? How do we work? In recent work, we’ve observed that we tend to work out new ways of operating in groups rather than on our own which works fine when you have people facing a similar challenge to you at hand but not so great if you don’t. Brands that can help connect people in similar situations fast-track to new, creative solutions have a valuable role to play

Will you be part of business positively rising to the challenge? We are committed to finding ways to make the new world work. If you’d like to join forces, message us here.

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