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Quarantine Can Change Trajectory, for Good

We have seen an unprecedented volume of support from the business, government and nonprofit communities. The headlines of collaborations, heros and everyday people making amazing sacrifices are more abundant than our toilet paper supply.

What do you do when you’re in the high-design business of air movement? You design a ventilator in ten days. Thank you, Dyson. What do you do when you sort through your automotive parts bins and find a seat cooling pump that serves another, much higher purpose than cooling an asterisk? Thank you, Ford. What do you do when facing the risk of one cashier getting sick at a grocery store shuts the whole store down? You install a plexy system to protect your front line people. Thank you, Lunds & Byerly’s.

We have all looked on in wonder as this invisible killer spreads through our society at a scale that is hard to comprehend and certainly a challenge to stay ahead of. At the same time, we see adaptation by many and unfortunately idiocracy by a few -- note for the idiot in Jersey who threw a CoronaVirus party for 50+ people.

Many of you are likely asking, what can I do to help? Making the basics if you have the capacity to sew masks or turning your business on a dime and making things you’ve never made before -- with great value to the cause. But the most common answer is, stay home, avoid people who may be immune compromised.

Many of you, like me, want to do more.

Well, we have another virus coming through now, it is an economic one. This is something many of us can do something about and now. As Dan Wallace, my co-author on The Physics of Brand, points out, we can either be in a V or U recession; visually it makes sense and personally I’d like to go for the V, I hope you agree.

If you do, let’s get to work on this with some things to start today. This is for all the small businesses most impacted by this strange new normal.

  1. Planning: list the new innovations you couldn’t get to over the past two years? Yes, you need to first make sure your people are safe, healthy and adapting, but then give the planning, ideating, and creative exercises a kick in the asterisk. This is an ideal time to plan, plenty of alone time, bookended by Zooms.
  2. Gathering: not together, but information on who your customers are and where they live in the digital domain. How many restaurants have an email list of their fanatical fans -- too few. When they’re ready to restart, the email list is a fire starter kit.
  3. Building: creating the assets you need to be deployed when we all emerge from our respective caves. When the noise from the virus dulls, people will be looking for stories of how your team survived and even improved during this pandemic.

Let’s get to work, if you need something more from me, I’ll be around taking calls and handing out free advice on how to market your business during this time.

Originally published in Twin Cities Business Magazine.

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Categories Business & Marketing

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