As storytellers our job is often to understand, navigate and make sense of wide-ranging, complex businesses. As we woke on 9th November to the news of the new US President elect, the wider environment in which businesses and brands inhabit became even more difficult to understand. By chance, this day was also the date 3 Monkeys Zeno hosted a dinner to debate the impact of Brexit on the travel and tourism sector.
To try and navigate the un-navigable, we had expert speakers from KPMG to share a view and make predictions on how businesses and brands should tell their story differently. With marketing and communications planning at the forefront of the debate, the Head of Brexit from KPMG, Mark Essex, took us through the global; political; commercial and cultural view on how the Referendum decision will affect us all.
The discussion split into 4 main areas:
1. The historic and intricate set up of the EU which makes the UK leaving the EU not straight forward. It’s clear it’s not as simple as packing up your bags after a great holiday.
2. Game theory – who might do what and when. Who’s got the holiday itinerary and will we fit in everything we want to see and what do we need to compromise on.
3. Possible approaches - hard, soft or bespoke take-offs and what’s the best route from A-B; will we need to re-route at any point?
4. Ramifications for the travel and tourism sector – do we carry on regardless or is there a new appetite for un-chartered territories, new destinations, new memories? And if so, what changes do we need to address to make sure future holidaymakers have fresh stories to tell.
After a long and enthusiastic evening, the outcome was that there is as yet no clear path ahead. Much like a pilot in a holding pattern waiting to be given a route, it was agreed that the most important lesson to be learned, was not to jump the gun. There are currently too many variables to determine which is the best way forward but the fact that everyone is keeping their eye on the road and open to adapting their approach can only be a good thing.