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  • Writer's pictureClive Sequeira

Gain first-mover advantage on emerging trends

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

The world has changed because of the pandemic. Be the first in your industry to recognize trends and capitalize on them.

The pandemic has altered society across the board, serving to speed up some trends, such as the uptake of new technology and digitization, and introduce other trends and themes, like the explosion in remote working. These trends present valuable opportunities to those organizations that can capitalize on them.

To take advantage of emerging trends, businesses must consider changes at a macro level and from a strategic, future-oriented point of view. Consider the fall in retail foot traffic, the increase in e-commerce, and the increase in remote working. Affected organizations must consider these behavioral changes and form an opinion on what changes and trends are temporary, what are permanent, and what will continue evolving as time progresses. A July 2020 McKinsey Global Survey of executives revealed 62% believe that the changing customer needs and expectations caused by the pandemic will remain into the future. Importantly, this does not mean that every single change brought on by the pandemic will remain. However, it highlights that an analysis needs to be conducted by organizations as they consider how they will operate in the future.

As an example, consider the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance industry. A survey of 2,500 insurance customers, commissioned recently by Ipsos, gives insight into this impact. It shows rising consumer interest in life and health insurance products, with access to virtual healthcare services seen as more important to consumers than cash payouts. This highlights consumers’ changing needs and the various ways insurance providers can pivot to meet these needs. Importantly, when viewed holistically with other trends, such as the increased demand for digital sales channels, it can guide decision-making by insurers on what products they offer and how they offer them. Insurers, and businesses more broadly, have an opportunity to capitalize on trends. However, if they wish to do so, they need to move early and move fast.

The pandemic has reset entire industries. The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, increased market share and associated profits. The loser continues treading water.

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