As consumers, we largely understood the requirements to achieve these “perks” as well as the benefits that came with them. We knew we had to be aware of when and where a limited-edition sneaker might “drop” and that we had to have our place in line (be it physically or digitally) to get that hot new shoe. We understood that to get preferential treatment while flying, or when checking in to that hotel, or even while shopping our favorite retailers and brands, we had to earn that status by showing consistent loyalty and accruing the points that demonstrated it. Or, in some cases, we understood that we could simply buy our way into that “access.”
To be clear, “earned” status wasn’t always the driver behind these themes in every case. For more “every day” scenarios like booking a hair appointment or pedicure, there was a general understanding that there might be a wait time to get in, but that it wasn’t unreasonable in most cases and that you could generally access the experiences and services you needed without a tremendous amount of hassle.
However, we’re quickly learning through the course of the current COVID-19 crisis that this was the world of yesterday. The world of business as we understood it previously. These perks went over and above what we might consider “regular” service. It was something special. Something extra. With businesses shuttered across the country, extraneous spending being curbed in large part, and personal services being postponed and foregone due to stay-at-home orders, we believe “access” will take on a whole new meaning as we start to emerge from the crisis and gradually get back to business.