This is done, for example, by HILL, opinion research institute and part of the international advertising network of Hakuhodo, they watch from Shanghai how the Chinese are dealing with the crisis. Uwe Lucas, psychologist and Head of Strategic Planning at Hakuhodo Germany, among others, works with these data and findings. He spoke to KTCHNrebel about the special situation.
Three steps through the crisis
How do people even perceive a crisis? Simply put, in three steps. Step one is panic: An unfamiliar, incalculable situation that cannot be compared to anything else causes people to panic. This activates the human flight instinct. And that’s a good thing too, for example when a tiger or a fast car comes towards you. But it is not good when an invisible virus threatens mankind. Situations like these lead to tunnel vision, no new solutions are in sight. Until it comes to step 2: getting used to it. Humans are flexible and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In this case it is the lock down, the social distancing. The ease of adaptation comes from the fact that we believe that after a few days, weeks or months everything is over and we can return to our old life. But at some point comes step 3: the realization that we will not return to the same reality. Does the loss of control become the intoxication of the positive? Time will tell whether it will be good or bad. Or maybe China already nows?
China as a blueprint
China is a few weeks ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to Corona and therefore worth a look. Uwe Lucas quotes from the ongoing study by HILL: “The corona crisis has made many Chinese people realize that they want to change their lives fundamentally. As many as 57 % of those questioned would like to learn a new language, deepen family relationships, start with workouts or cooking, for example.
The latter is surprising at first glance, because Lucas continues: “55% of the Chinese surveyed missed going out and eating with family and friends during the lockdown the most. Closely followed by travel at 49%.” Consequently, Uwe Lucas sees the greatest growth potential in the out-of-home business after the crisis. But not as an entertainment industry, but as a way to maintain social contacts, as the focus shifts to the family, the closest people to spend time with. “Turn down the music”, is a phrase that, according to Uwe Lucas, will soon be heard more often in the catering industry.
Time to question your own life
And the pollsters at HILL were able to determine another phenomenon: Hada Dan Jiki. This describes the trend of Chinese women to go through the lock down without make-up and to use the time for the regeneration of their skin, which is normally taken away by decorative cosmetics. Now the focus is on skin care products. And this also makes it clear that it is no longer the external, superficial appearance that is important. Instead, the decision criteria will change, people will think about their own lives. They will not come out of the crisis carefree, concludes Lucas. Which leads to the conclusion that even before the crisis, close relatives are all the more important afterwards.
The crisis as an accelerator
Chinese women (and in all likelihood not only them) are rethinking. At a rapid pace. “The lock down accelerates tendencies that were already apparent before,” says Lucas. He even assumes that the fastest adjustment will take place in the kitchen. Because restaurateurs have always had to live with the risk of failure, they know what to do to set trends. Perhaps in the future, gastronomy will not be about distraction, but about quality time. According to Lucas, it is quite possible that the same owner will choose a new name for his restaurant because his concept will also change after the crisis. Away from loud music and towards possibilities of social exchange.
Culinary experiences with ritual
Distance will continue to be valued in the future, along with a new connectedness that is of higher value. Commitment becomes a value of living together, which in turn leads to its reorganisation. Of course, people will not want to miss certain rituals, because the tried and tested provides stability. But a new component must be added, new niches of joy and fun must be created. For we have all shown for the first time that we can stick together as a global community of people and win a victory. Globalization is no longer economically driven, but emotionally driven. And that is why 57% of the Chinese intend to change their lives. And only 9% of the British want everything to go back to the way it was.