Restart your business – trends and hands-on tips to get rolling again

September 10, 2020
End of April, we predicted two-quarters of decline and then two-quarters of recovery. In previous newsletters, we told you about the financial impact and predicted recovery. And in July we gave you some tips on getting started on the new sustainability – beyond environmental and social responsibility, we need to think about how our companies and brands position ourselves in relation to current and future pandemics.

But let’s start with economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the world economy will drop almost 5 % in 2020, and in advanced economies even more – 8%. But at the same time, they predict growth in the world economy 2021 of 5.4%. And since we know there were rather drastic drops especially in Q2, this means we are already back in black in growth.

And, if we look at the world stock markets, they have already recovered! As you see below, the big dip in the world stock markets because of Covid-19 is already regained.

This may be a surprise to you. We know our industry has been hit really hard, with many of us skipping seasons altogether. However, judging from previous tough times, the ones who know when to go on the offensive in a rebounding economy are often the winners in terms of brand stature and market shares. Generally, brands often win because competitors make mistakes. Being too defensive now is likely to be that kind of mistake.

But I know you might well be thinking, as you read this, “Easy for Polygiene to say! They have ViralOff and sell like hotcakes in these Corona times!”.

Yes, no denying that it has put everything in the express lane for us. But to try to help out, here is a list of concrete things that are fairly proven and could help you go on the offensive:

1. Home improvement is up. People who stay home and have more time on their hands fix their homes. Many countries report home improvement, tools and related markets are up, often around 100% above normal. Do you make products that fit into this? Workwear, or why not a program to trade in their old, stained and ruined t-shirts for fresh ones once the work is done? Also, home gyms and home training show strong growth. Sales of bicycles and especially electrical bikes are peaking, and stock is running low for many retailers. Outdoor and indoor games follow the same principle, ping pong tables are sold out in many areas, for example! There can be great opportunities if you work with related products!

2. Gifts are up. We see this from data everywhere in e-tailing, people check the “gift” option much more than before. They buy for friends and family who are isolated due to Covid-19. What items do you have that are suitable as gifts rather than being bought to oneself? Why not make campaigns around that? And no, you don’t even have to talk about the pandemic, just saying “a way to say you care” will be enough today.

3. Video conferencing becomes a new normal. A study estimated that the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated the use of video conferencing and remote working IT by about six tiers on average. As this normalizes, I think there will be a comeback with reasonable formality in video conferencing: you might be working from home, but you are still working. The companies that can talk about this in a fun/smart/relevant way will be able to shape the workplace fashion of tomorrow to their own liking.

4. Hygiene becomes more than a hygiene factor. Do you wash your hands more often these days compared to before? I bet you do. This will spill to other areas. Suddenly I find myself also thinking much more about surfaces like railings and the buttons on the card readers. And washing clothes will not just be a matter of physical dirt or fear of odor – now we can add fear of viruses and microbes. You just don’t want them on your personal stuff. I am talking about ViralOff of course – staying one step ahead of this trend will drive growth for the brands who offer it.

5. As the financial markets have recovered and the world GDP now seems to follow that path, do not underestimate the power of the “restart” theme. There are now hundreds of millions of people who have had time to rest, had time to consider their work and career plans, prepare for future dreams, and now they are going to release their energy. Do you sell clothes? Talk about it. Stepping out to restart the world. It is an inspiring theme and a relevant one at that. So, in total, it is a rather unique moment right now so think about how your brand fits into it. We have waited and worried enough, the fall and spring will belong to the brands that step up and say that it is time for action and solutions and getting things done. Be one of those that surf that wave.


Mats and the team at Polygiene


Mats Georgson – CMO at Polygiene. Georgson has a PhD in Marketing Communication from the University of Connecticut and has been a (part-time) assistant professor at the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the Stockholm University for 10 years. In his previous career he had a position as Global Brand Director for Sony Ericsson and was responsible for the brand project Bluetooth and Sony Ericsson’s brand strategy. He is also co-author of the leading academic textbook for branding: Strategic Brand Management: A European Perspective (Keller, Apéria, Georgson) and has run a successful branding consulting company since 2003. He is a popular public speaker on the subject of branding in different segments and industries.


The big dip in the world stock markets because of Covid-19 is already regained


A study estimated that the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated the use of video conferencing and remote working IT by about six tiers on average