Yet another fascinating lesson in branding and sloganising from pandemic response. The UK government handling of the coronavirus today’s source.
On 23 June, Premier Boris Johnson announced a widely trailed easing of lockdown restrictions. Hibernation is ending.
Pubs can open in ten days. Let the country rejoice. England’s own Independence Day, 2020 July the Fourth.
More importantly, social distancing guidelines changed;
from two metres down to one metre plus.
1m+ duly appearing across news tickers nationwide.
This use of the plus-sign is telling.
Meant at once to both allow for greater freedoms and guard against complacency.
We must get our lives back, but not surrender gained ground to the voracious appetite of the virus.
Our undimmed ambition, we are told, remains to beat the silent mugger. Yet with a little practical sense and combined effort, our livelihoods, economy and social wellbeing can re-emerge.
“We will advise people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’, meaning they should remain one metre apart while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.”
The ‘+’ signifies the critical extras.
Those additional elements that we must bring to the fore.
From table service only, to more widespread use of protective masks and hand sanitiser, to redefined indoor architecture such as perspex screen installation.
A full list of such guidelines per sector duly published.
Time will tell if the power of the plus prevails.
I hope it does. We all surely do.
Where people in queues shouted ‘two metres’ at errant compatriots, now I can imagine hearing ‘one metre plus’ at those lapsing into encroachment. Two metres remains the gold standard when outside, or without availability of ‘plus-one’ measures.
Sales parallels abound.
When you set out to reduce costs, why is it always “we’ll save you x”. Why not now suggest “x plus”. And what is that plus? You can suggest many a result. Each dependent upon and commensurate with their level of resource taken.
A buyer wants to know their monetary commitment. A typical recourse of not just purse string holders. From those eager to wield their muscle to the revealing of a buying signal.. State their minimum outlay. “The least you’ll pay is y-plus”. And what is the plus? ‘Well, look at what little layers of investment on top might unleash for you…’
Then you’ll have both happier customers and your own 100%+ performance. Goodbye virus.