In partnership with Gattefossé, Carlin helps you to capture the spirit of the times. “Foiling the epidemic, spread ingenuity!” was written by Géraldine Bouchot, Carlin’s prospective director for Addiactive, Gattefossé’s inspiring and creative blog. We are proud to share this content with you.

Far from having finished with the Covid-19 epidemic, the world must move forward. For GatteFosse, Carlin is tuned to the present to better conjugate the future.


More than a decade after the subprime crisis, 2020 was finally looking like the promise of a flourishing economy, at least positive according to the IMF. At the beginning of the year, the organization predicted an increase in income per inhabitants in almost 160 countries. After the epidemic it became the contrary: 170 nations are expected to suffer from a decline of income per inhabitants. This health crisis was a major disaster since the Second World War, and it suddenly darkened the horizons. Regarding France, these 8 weeks of confinement are estimated at 120 billion euros according to INSEE, OFCE, and the Banque de France, most of which (71 billion euros) will be covered by public finances. While households will lose some 11 billion euros in purchasing power. Companies are still the more disadvantaged, with a loss of 44 billion euros, equivalent to 3 margin points. 


From production to distribution, companies have been affected and have seen the certitudes of a well-established organization fall apart. How to stop the financial loss of a slowed down or even non-existent activity? When digital technology avoids this problem, what to offer for sale when production is still in the Chinese shutdown factories. The epidemic revealed the weaknesses and limitations of an economic logistics system that has been ultra-dependent on China since the hyper-globalization that emerged in the 1990s. A partial relocation seems interesting as 45% of French people are now considering giving preference to local products [1].

Beyond the climatic interest, a return to a better balance between national and multinational production seems strategic. This would mean spreading out production areas – and therefore dependence – and encouraging hyper-localism between production and distribution sites.

This agility has already been deployed by the giant Amazon, which was able to shift its activity from one country to another during the health crisis, depending on national restrictions, in April the group left France for its Spanish neighbor, for example.

[1]  OpinionWay survey for Max Havelaar carried out online on April 14 and 15 on a sample of 1,092 French consumers.


In the back shop as in the retail spaces, the difficulties are growing: how to welcome a suspicious and troubled consumer ? How to maintain their interest ? In its latest report [2], Forrester makes an alarming observation: retail sales in 2020 should decrease by an average of 9.6% worldwide, compared to pre-Covid-19 forecasts, which would represent a loss of 1,800 billion dollars. In France, the loss is expected to be 56 billion euros this year, which corresponds to a 9.5% decrease compared to 2019.

However, intelligence is developed where there is a danger, and new omnichannel stratégies have seen the light. As in the Asian branch of the brand « L’Occitane », whose confined vendors have focus on digital tools to communicate with their customers. “Omnichannel has accelerated with the crisis. Retail managers have recreated the connection via WeChat and generated sales,” explains Lina Ly, managing director Asia Pacific.

[2] ForecastCiew COVID-19 Retail Scenario Planner d’avril 2020.


To preserve and maintain real interaction, the retail experience had to be improved, diminishing, by the way, the difference between online and off-line- there is no guarantee of the return of a consumer whose certainties have been affected by the crisis. Motivated by a reduced purchasing power, the consumer could reconsider his priorities.  Nearly one out of four French people declared that they would consume less than before when they came out of lockdown, while one in two promised to return to their pre-confinement habits [3].. The beauty and cosmetics giants were already anticipating a slowdown in their activity, up to 20% for the American Coty and 10 to 20% for LVMH [4].

At the current juncture in civilization – environmental, social, and therefore political – do we think about consumption as we used to? this is not what the studies seem to indicate. 70% of French people believe that we need to make our consumption patterns more responsible [5]. The crisis may have raised awareness of our real needs and refocused our interests around them. Concerns have shifted from appearances to well-being: a recent publication by the Kantar [6] Institute estimates that clean, sustainable, and natural products will become the key world consumption. Products whose benefits will also be associated with reduced anxiety.

[3]  Statista study carried out online between April 3 and 8, 2020 on a sample of 1058 individuals.

[4] Coronavirus : LVMJ, L’Oréal, P&G … Quel impact sur les résultats des grands groupes ?

[5]  OpinionWay study for Max Havelaar conducted online on April 14 and 15, 2020 on a sample of 1092 individuals.

[6] Kantar 


At this time where we are facing a sanitary war – defense is often expressed by turning inward. In a society marked by growing individualism, we observed a growing individualism, it is a paradoxically distanced collective that everyone was able to privilege. As the Parisians who with the association G BESOIN 2 collective, took part in the production of thousands of meals delivered to 16 Ile-de-France hospitals and 8 social centers [7].

An individual and private resilience for the benefit of all, of which companies have also given the example. From the factories of Dior or Louis Vuitton redesigned to produce hydro-alcoholic gel, to the Decathlon diving masks transformed into respirators by the addition of a simple 3D printed valve, the catchword is adaptability.

But what about tomorrow? How will companies combine what we called “traditional” activities with service to the nation? At a time of the Law « Pacte » and the absolute need for meaning the strategies adopted could appear to be effective with consumers who are looking for transparency and commitment.

[7] Coiffeurs, restaurateurs, enseignants … ils se mobilisent pour les hôpitaux 


In the long term, what societal model could lead to the overprotection put in place by covid-19? Maintaining barrier gestures? Yes, but at what cost? Traumatized by SARS in 2003, Taiwan has adopted drastic hygienic measures and is geolocating its citizens with the cooperation of telecom operators; even if it means calling them up to twice a day in case of doubt. Similar situations in China, Israel, and Hong Kong, where the use of electronic bracelets and thermal cameras has become widespread.

Could the coronavirus make liberalism the enemy of security? South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han [8] fears “digital feudalism”. Are we ready to be monitored by machines, such as the Draganfly drone from the Canadian company of the same name, which is capable of detecting sick people in enclosed or crowded spaces?  The Asian model hardly seems to have caught on in France, where 59% of French people are in favor of the implementation of the Stop-Covid application while 54% do not trust the use of the data [9]. Especially since the limits of the system are already apparent, with the first drifts in South Korea where the LGBTQ+ community was stigmatized at the beginning of May after a cluster was detected in a gay club in Seoul.

It is therefore necessary to believe in individual responsibility and in our ability to spread ingenuity for the common good !

[8] Byung-Chul Han, professor of philosophy at the Berlin University of the Arts. Author of Psychopolitique : Le Néolibéralisme et les nouvelles techniques de pouvoir ou encore La société de transparence.

[9] Harris Interactive survey conducted online May 7, 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1,051 respondents.

Geraldine bouchot marketing directrice carlin creative trend bureau

Géraldine Bouchot
Prospective Director

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