There are a plenty of industries and brands having a good year.
For every airline or hotel chain that has been decimated in the travel category this year, there are industries like appliances, furniture and exercise equipment that are having record sales years. Have you tried to find a bike lately?
The reasons for the shift are obvious. As people have spent more time at home, they have realized that things like their fridge and their physique could use an upgrade.
This sets up a trap for these industries. As sales records are set month after month, it can be easy to lose sight of all the trends that are reshaping customer buying habits and the overall customer journey.
Brands cannot be satisfied with the short-term sales results for two reasons. First, the demand is not likely to last. Leadership teams have a short memory around why the numbers were up, they just want them to stay there.
Second, you still need to innovate. Many companies are having down years, but in their efforts to survive, they are innovating at a faster pace. The risk is that brands who have been busy taking orders do not find the time to get stronger and better through the pandemic. The sales numbers lull them into thinking the way they are doing it now is working just fine. Those brands that choose business as usual will be more likely to suffer from disruption from other players.
So, if 2020 has been an all-you-can-eat buffet of customer demand for your company, take a hard look at what is happening in other, less fortunate industries. Brands are rapidly evolving their customer experience, upgrading their digital systems, and equipping their people to sell and serve customers in a virtual environment. Those investments take time and attention. Don’t be so busy that your brand forgets to spend time preparing for life after the pandemic spike.