Justin Zhong, Head of Marketing, TCL India

Justin comes with more than 9 years of experience in the marketing field. Currently, he is heading the marketing department of TCL India, responsibilities include- Developing launch strategy for new products and overall marketing planning; overseeing the whole creative / redefine process of brand identity & personality; managing marketing/digital campaigns to establish and maintain product credibility and sustainability; monitoring the consumer behaviours, studying the latest market trends, and identifying the potential growth opportunities.


The year 2020 will surely go down in history as one of the most dramatic periods in the modern era. Even though the pandemic has not completely subsided yet, the overall level of optimism among people has improved. As brands are quickly bracing up for what to expect post-pandemic, the crucial question remains whether things will be back to the old times or the brands will have to embrace the ‘new normal’?

This article takes account of how various brands (from different sectors) have been trying to overcome post-pandemic challenges and how the future is expected to shape up for the companies engaged in various business operations.

Creative digital transformation and shift in consumer preferences

Brands have realised the importance of digital transformation as the rates of such processes has increased significantly during the pandemic. However, a mere introduction of digital transformation in the organisation might not be the answer to all post-pandemic challenges. It is anticipated that only 30% of the total digital transformations have worked for the brands. Hence, bracing for a complete digital transformation shall be necessary along with finding out creative ways to stand out among the noise online.

For example, DHL has recently introduced smart glasses to carry out stock management and logistics processes in an efficient manner as part of the digital transformation processes and to ensure that all Covid-19 related protocols are effectively introduced. Further, the launch events by telecom companies have completely gone online owing to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

Furthermore, the brands should be ready to acknowledge an overall change in the consumer preferences affected by the pandemic. An increased preference towards online purchases, a change in behaviour (such as the preference of DIY goods and high-utility goods) along being more cost-conscious are a few of the changes that they should take into account whilst planning their future interactions with the consumers.

Introducing changes at the workplace and inclusive human resource management

Brands will have to make some permanent changes to how workplaces are managed along with a few more benefits that should be offered to human resources. Work location flexibility should be a part of the general HR policies of the brands. Furthermore, the workplaces are expected to include basic protocols (such as social distancing and temperature checks) to ensure awareness about any future disease spreads.

Promotion of empathy, increased emphasis on employee training, and taking more care about the health and wellbeing of the workers shall be a priority of the brands. Employee morale could be enhanced significantly by shifting the focus of brands towards ‘achievements’ of the employees through social media posts like a campaign by Zara has done .

Realising and acknowledging that hybrid shall be the new mantra

Brands should understand that whether it is the workplaces, exhibitions, events, travel, and celebrations, it might take a lot of time to get things back to the ‘old normal’. They must acknowledge the importance of hybrid events i.e., the inclusion of digital technology in carrying out things as they were before the pandemic.

For example, major IT companies in India have started to call people ‘back to the office’ but it is done in a phased and hybrid manner. Similarly, consumer electronic companies are rejoicing reopening of malls and traditional shops but at the same time working on ‘improved online experience’ for the consumers. Hence, even though the impact of Covid-19 might have been reduced, the importance of hybrid factors will continue in the future.

Summing Up

With an optimistic mindset, brands hope that the worst time induced by the pandemic is finally over. Whilst planning for the post-pandemic period, they should be aware of the challenges and issues which might include a few new factors, besides the usual (movement restrictions) ones faced during the pandemic.With a proactive and creative approach, they can manage and overcome post-pandemic challenges. From human resource management to acknowledging the importance of hybrid processes, brands will have to make several changes to face yet another phase of transformation in the business environment.

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