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  • Writer's pictureHani W. Naguib

COVID-19: Catalyst For Transformation?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Someone was telling me the world is about to end!

I agree and disagree…

The world as we know is ending and a new world is rising in its stead.

The world, in its nature, has always been undergoing a transformation. But it has always been doing so in its own slow and somehow unfelt pace.

However, throughout history, there has been always events and situations which caused the world to accelerate that act of transformation and made it felt strongly by us, the people. These events impacted our own sense of security and fear of the unexpected. We call it uncertainty.

The COVID-19 spread is actually one of these events. It is pushing this act of transformation to an unprecedented speed. The connectivity of the world through technology, social media and ease of travel, has made the impact of this event even stronger and felt all around the world. So basically, what we are witnessing right now is a global act of transformation and everything we know and familiar with will be replaced with something new, something else.

When I shared my thoughts with some of my friends, they asked me, so what do you think the world is transforming into? Logical question and very much expected after such an introduction. But not a good one. Because any answer I would offer, will be nothing more than assumptions and/or educated guesses at best. A better question would be, how is the world transforming and how we can take part and contribute.

Perception of Value Consumption Transformation:

Customers are people. And like all people, change and transformation are not something that everyone would take lightly. If you consider the Maslow Pyramid with the lens of change and transformation, you can clearly see that the impact of the current situation has moved everyone, at least one step lower on the pyramid. So people who had the first step secured and were looking to conquer the second step, are most probably back to square one and have doubts about the stability of what they thought they had achieved.

The theory of jobs to be done tells us that customers do not buy products or services. They hire them to get a sense of progress within a certain system of circumstances. From that perspective, the top concern on the customer mind right now is what they can hire to restore their sense of balance and claim their previously attained position on the Pyramid of Maslow. They are not looking to buy anything, just hire something that will take them form their current undesirable state to at least their previously attained state (the desired state) as painless and as fast as possible.

Perception of Value Creation Transformation

With customer perception of value consumption transforming, startups and companies alike, need to transform their perception of value creation. This perspective suggests that startups should stop viewing their offering as just products and services but more like tools customers would want (or not) to hire to get a sense of control over their current situation. In other words, you must focus on the value of your offer and not on what you offer (the product/service). Understand what value you were offering your customer and repurpose that into a new product/service. In other words, focus on the value and just change the UI/UX.

The current situation is a great opportunity for startups to become the unique provider of transformation adaption tools for customers.

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