As the country adjusts, tentatively, to Level 2 lockdown restrictions, business owners are eager to restart their businesses amidst a decimated economy. However, as Flux has observed in the past four months, the Great Staggering is going to be not only a challenging period but will also last longer than we thought. Re-opening for business is no longer a guarantee of instant recovery. Too much has changed: thriving businesses have had to close, approximately 3 million jobs have been lost in South Africa. Consumer mindsets as well as disposable incomes have shifted. Supply chains have been altered and new communication channels have to be navigated.
Over the course of three weeks, during the month of September, Flux Trends hosted three interlinked masterclasses, one a week, tailored to B2C companies and addressed the challenges that will play out in the next six to nine months – a crucial period for business survival and recovery. Dion Chang and Bronwyn Williams shared the key business trends to be aware of, while interviews with the invited industry experts provided a wealth of insights to the attendees. A unique feature of these masterclasses was that attendees were asked to submit their pressing business questions beforehand for Flux and the experts to answer during the masterclasses.
The first masterclass focused on the retail sector. Five months of lockdown have radically altered consumer behaviour. It is not only personal priorities that have been reassessed, but how imposed forays into eCommerce have changed shopping habits. These changes have in turn had a ripple effect on logistics and supply chain management. The crucial question retailers need to ask is: “How relevant is my product or service now, and how does it fit into a changed consumer mindset?”
In their previous business solutions masterclass, the challenges around marketing were frequently brought up. This was the focus of the second masterclass. How to market and engage during a pandemic? The appropriateness of marketing aggressively? The language of empathy? For social media marketing, which platform – when there is digital and screen fatigue? The crucial question marketers need to ask is: How do I create trust and customer engagement in a saturated information landscape?
The series culminated with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship masterclass. Innovation will be critical during the Great Staggering, and one of Flux’s key services is to help corporate companies scale innovation. Their expertise, combined with that of the four industry experts invited, provided case studies and methodologies to help companies instil a culture of innovation into their organisations.
The sessions were well received by the attendees. When asked what they enjoyed about the sessions, some of the answers were “expert insights with relevance”, “the practical information” and “content was spot-on and relevant; great choice of speakers who were top of their game; there was no waffle, just good solid information shared.” Flux Trends is looking to host another masterclass series early next year.
Flux Trends’s mantra is “trends as business strategy” and they seek to keep businesses informed of the key business and consumer trends that will help their businesses thrive. To keep up to date with their offerings, subscribe to their newsletter.
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