2020: A Year of Suspended Animation 

March 4, 2021

So much has been written about the pandemic this past year, and its impact on everything that human interaction touches.  Some have been impacted positively, most impacted negatively, all are feeling the effects of rapid change thrust upon us with very little control.  It truly has been like being in suspended animation.  An altered state beyond our control. 

Most brands have been irrevocably impacted by the pandemic.  Some have survived to tell their new story and some have been silenced forever.  Like humans, resiliency and, most importantly, the ability to react to change are all part of the reason these brands have survived.  

The reality they knew and followed before is gone.   This altered state has been described as the “ new normal.”  It needs to be thought of as the “new opportunity.”  Did it open up a new market, a new technology or a new way of working?  Did you see it, learn from it and adapt to it?  Those that did are on the other side stronger and more focused than before.  In some cases they are leaner, not meaner, and I believe more empathetic to what their customers and employees are looking for.  They have a new gratitude for being in the camp of  “I am still relevant in this new reality.”

No, we are not going back to February 2020.  We have experienced this “alternative reality” and I think some things we used to yearn for came true for most during the pandemic.   Slowing things down, making old connections, learning new skills, realizing that we can survive through adaptation… we have been brought to a new way of being.

The one thing we have learned is that brands —like people—can change,  adapt and show resilience.  So think of your brand as a person the next time you are faced with a business challenge.

Remember, the definition of suspended animation is the temporary slowing or stopping of biological function so that physiological capabilities are preserved.  It is ironic that this new state of being might actually benefit your brand’s long-term survival.