Journalists learn early in their schooling and careers to avoid clichés. A cliché is a linguistic shortcut, an overused phrase devoid of original thought.
But clichés prevail in all sorts of everyday expression. And, yes, journalists are as guilty of cliché overuse as any profession… except perhaps the business world.
With that, many of you may be growing tired of the following phrase: “New Normal.”
Yet “New Normal” has reached epic cliché status during this extraordinary, unexpected reset of society, life and business. You can almost sense the guilt in people’s eyes as they are about to say it. They know it’s coming. You know it’s coming. And then it comes: “New Normal.”
People are fascinated by the mystique of the elusive “New Normal.” They want to believe the world closing in on the “New Normal” compared to the chilling uncertainty that slammed us in the immediate aftermath of the societal and economic lockdown earlier this year.
The “New Normal” is shaped by evolving values and behaviors across all walks of life, work and play.
The “New Normal” embraces surging demand of household products that have proven to be as essential as marketers have always liked to say they were.
The “New Normal” requires realignment with the shifting retail market share as swaths of outlets ill-equipped, likely, before COVID were shut down for good by the pandemic.
Face To Face
The “New Normal” is the necessitated acceleration of (cliché warning) omnichannel strategy and execution by retailers and their suppliers.
The “New Normal” is the carefully staged return of trade markets and shows that in the near term will forsake the usual crowd-driving embellishments to help restore the face to face in business to business.
And, yes, the “New Normal” is face coverings and social distancing and hand sanitizing and costly safety measures and uncrowded stores and crowded houses and other previously inconceivable protocols that have landed atop personal and operational priorities and could remain there for some time.
There is no concrete, one-size-fits-all “New Normal.” It remains an important, ever-evolving ideal, though. It is a worthy pursuit that can never be reached because, just when you think it’s within reach, it moves again.
There is always risk an overused phrase can become so banal that it marginalizes the legitimacy of the intentions that inspired the words the first time they were uttered.
Of course “New Normal” is cliché.
That’s OK. Go ahead and say it… again and again. Some clichés are difficult to avoid.
Just remember: Actions speak louder than words.