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THE BIG TAKE BACKThe Psychology of the Recovery

The Big Take BackThe Psychology of the Recovery

A fundamental reshaping of core consumer values has taken place over the past 12 months. A once-in-a-lifetime event has challenged societal norms. Every aspect of our consumers lives has been altered, their hopes and dreams recalibrated. It is a foolish business that continues to work in the same way as before when consumer values change.

Few businesses will ever operate the same business models again. Digital transformation was already challenging every industry, but the pandemic and shift in consumer expectations has accelerated the need for a truly PHYGITAL reality – physical assets being complimented strongly with digital synergy. 

For the end consumer, who we all serve, their values continue to shift. The emergent values of the new Captive Economy continue to influence behaviours. The need for Autonomy & Control, the desire for Freedom, the opportunity for strong emotive Brand Attachments, the role Community and Compassionate Commerce have and their new Phygital expectation all play heavily in how they now want to interact with brands and services.

But that was 2020. We are more interested in 2021 and how these emergent values will change the nature of competition and how we should do business.

The psychology of recovery outlines the stages and values that society will pass through over the next 12 to 24-months. The desire for Connection, the power of Hope, the crisis of Identity, the challenge of Meaning & Purpose, and the impact of Empowerment will change customer expectations. Understanding these emergent values and how they impact your customer journey is critical.

Ultimately this is about understanding the social, anthropological and psychological shifts in consumer expectations and values, and how these influence our customers in terms of product requirement. It is about being a brand partner on this Take Back journey with our customers, a catalyst and co-conspirator on their change journey rather than a casual observer. 

This is The Big Take Back. Be part of it.


6 key learnings from this talk


A non-linear recovery presents motivation and resilience challenges, both internally and externally. Learn to accept the Ebb & Flow journey and how to adapt to each turn and still emerge strong.


How chaos and unpredictability can be cornerstones of creativity and innovation. Learn how to keep the innovation engine running through a crisis.


Success comes from reflecting relevant values back at prospective customers. Understanding what these new values are and how they are emerging and evolving is key.


Society yearns for creating new memories and physical experiences that involve interaction. Learn how to position your businesses as a conduit for the creation of memorable, shareable experiences.


Harnessing desire is critical for 2021. Consumers have significant pent-up desires relating to how they want to live their lives, so understand how any brand or business that facilitates the fulfilment of these desires builds a tribal sense of belonging.


Learn how to harness desire, a powerful force, and to position your brand to be instrumental in a consumer fulfilling theirs

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That guy made me feel I
was there in a conference
hall, but I’m safe at home
enjoying my coffee. What a

Just blown away having
listened to @KenHughesIE
for the last hour. This guy
is so inspirational and just
‘gets’ people

Just saw your speech at the Google Retail Virtual Event. Very inspiring

I’ve never stayed on a webinar for 90 minutes before – that was so engaging. Where did the time go?

I’ve made more notes from that speech about what we should be doing than anything else I’ve watched all year



There are few speakers who can translate their energy, stage presence and inspiration that they have on live stage into a digital platform. Ken is one of them. His humour, visuals and engagement are as strong on webinar as they are live. There was no question about his invite to keynote the EXMA Be On event broadcast to over 100,000 attendees. He was amazing


Kens virtual session on Customer Experience during Covid was received so well by our Global Leadership team and really resonated. We were all so excited by the session and I know there are now immediate plans to cascade the content throughout the CX teams globally


We hired Ken to come talk to us about Consumer Behaviour during Covid and he was a brilliant speaker. He clearly has an awful lot of knowledge about his subject matter, but he also has a brilliant way of conveying that knowledge and explaining those principles to people. He has a lovely manner and great story-telling abilities. I think anyone who listens to him will come away wiser. I really couldn’t recommend him highly enough


“Recovery it is a journey, not an outcome. While it is a deeply personal and individual experience, those who walk this journey with us will be in our hearts forever. Brands need to realise that”

- Ken Hughes -