Time to Be Inventive
How do you generate new ideas and opportunities in this time of change?
By Nici Lucas
It’s May 2020, and here’s a quick overview of the current state of the world: People are quarantined and social distancing; many businesses are temporarily or permanently closed; and no one really knows what might happen to our health, economy, or business operations during the rest of 2020 and beyond. Admittedly, our present and future conditions are quite uncertain—and even terrifying to think about sometimes.
Yet, because of our current existence, if we shift our focus, we can see the need for new products, new ways of performing services, and new forms of entertainment. This is a time of change. Rather than throwing in the towel, now is the time to generate new ideas and potentially change how we are working and what our businesses are offering. In fact, the time is now to be inventive and create a new opportunity.
Let’s look at some recent examples of people and businesses creating new products, services, and ideas—concepts that probably would not have come to fruition had we not been hurled into a global state of social and economic disruption. Not only are these new concepts inventive and helpful for the present moment, we think they’ll have longevity as we adjust to a new future world.
Virtual calls, meetings, and happy hours have become part of our new vocabulary, business dealings, and regular family get togethers. Thankfully, Zoom has beefed up its security to host countless video calls from all over the globe, involving a few to hundreds of participants. In a time where social distancing is required, we can still communicate and see each other in a new way. Personally, I see more virtual happy hours in my future, especially on busy nights when I still want to connect with friends. And, why can’t we have more Zoom calls for business moving forward? It’s quick, convenient, and still very personal, especially from a longer distance.
Nothing can stop the news, or, apparently, Jimmy Fallon. Newscasters and talk show hosts are broadcasting programs from home using non-pro video equipment, home computer video, and sometimes phone cams. Saturday Night Live is even providing “At Home” versions, with the comedians performing sketches from their residences. The shows continue as we adapt to somewhat lower quality transmission. At-home telecasting offers freedom of expression and spontaneity in future broadcasting.
In-person concerts have halted for now, but live entertainment is still going strong. From famous bands to small acts, artists are sharing their music in live streams, acoustic shows, podcasts, and chats on various social platforms. One World: Together at Home was a large global event to support the World Health Organization that included multiple entertainers, like Lady Gaga and The Rolling Stones. Most likely, large gatherings will not take place in the near future, but live streaming events will persevere.
Local grocery stores are offering delivery services and curbside pickup. Restaurants are getting creative and offering new weekly meal specials, “ready to cook” meals, to-go cocktails, dinner and wine combinations, gift card bonuses, and food delivery services. How can we go back to ordering Mexican takeout without also getting a pitcher of margaritas to go? In the meantime, I can’t wait to try dinner and an after dinner drink (the creamy Colorado Bulldog topped with a bourbon soaked cherry) from All Saints Public House from Cleveland’s Battery Park area.
Beer and Wine
Multiple craft breweries are now focused on offering growlers and crowlers for pickup or delivery, which is a great way for customers to continue enjoying and supporting smaller businesses. (Here in Northeastern Ohio, we’ve recently visited Akronym, Eighty-Three Brewery, and JAFB, and see many more stops in our future, including Terrestrial Brewing in Cleveland.) Certain wine stores are focused on offering connectivity with new wine tasting experiences. For instance, 750ml in Akron has offered virtual wine tastings over Zoom for the last four weeks with approximately 50 participants on each call. Could this be the new “thing” in our wine-tasting future? I certainly hope so—in addition to in-person tasting, of course.
Museums (via virtual tours), movies (with more streaming options), and celebrities (on social media) are offering entertainment in new and inventive ways to amuse and serve customers and fans. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City offers virtual tours, and has creatively turned over the social media reigns to their security guard who, by being helpful and hilarious, has made their social media go viral in a matter of weeks.
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Many businesses all over the country are faced with the necessity to change business communications and offerings. This is a time to talk to your customers in new ways, a time to be creative and inventive with products and services. If you’re not an idea person, no problem. We are idea generators and creative implementors, and can help you with that. Contact us at get started.