Brands In The Post Lockdown World

April 29, 2020

I was scrolling through The Guardian at the weekend and came across this photograph.

Initially, it caused a double-take and stirred a series of emotions and then I had a work-related light-bulb moment that made me feel fleetingly clever.

At first, I thought it was a picture of one woman and a mirror, with her reflection repeated. Then I noticed the differences in height and anoraks, and I realised there were multiple women. Then I realised the masks were printed with photographs of their own faces, so it was like there were no masks, but quite obviously: there were masks. Slightly creepy, but a clear message.

There’s going to be a huge market for personalised facemasks in the coming months, as people get out and interact with each other and The Virus. Huge market, as people stamp their identity with the piece of material that’s covering half of their face: the feature by which we identify each other. Which begs the question: how much of our identities is this coronavirus stealing?

People are struggling with the lockdown because they can’t see friends, can’t go out, aren’t going to work, have entirely new routines that revolve around Zoom, Netflix, a makeshift home office and daily fight against food-for-food’s-sake. But it’s also causing an existential crisis for a lot of people. And it got me thinking, in a Carrie Bradshaw kinda way ‘Who am I without life’s props? Without the people, status and possessions that make me, me? Really, though, who am I?’

Which, when you think about it, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for brands.  

People will be coming out of this a bit shell-shocked, without that concrete notion of who they are and what they want. With a fluid identity, ready to become someone new, because the person they were on 1 March 2020 no longer exists. Primed and ready to experiment… Ready for new relationships, with new brands…

And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter, here. If you'd like to continue the conversation on Brands In The Post-Lockdown World, call me on +447801258625.  

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