17 Apr Pivot, Innovate, Collaborate – effectively responding to COVID-19
There isn’t a single person or brand across the globe who haven’t found themselves in unchartered territory thanks to COVID-19. Things are changing almost daily and we don’t know how long this is going to impact our lives for. This unpredictability makes marketing and sales forecasting extremely difficult for brands today. Rather it’s more a case of navigating our way through this to survive – for as long as it takes.
But what does that actually mean? Sadly, we’ve seen many brands close their doors over the last few weeks. There are others, however, who are innovating their way through this crisis – pivoting their offerings to meet a new or different kind of need.
Redesigning the customer journey
The majority of your customer journeys are now irrelevant. Your customers are on a completely different journey. It’s up to you to design what that journey looks like. Your customers are still out there, are you helping them to continue purchasing from you?
Redesign your existing customer journeys and consider how you can add value to the customer along the way. It may be organising deliveries, arranging pick-ups which adhere to the strict social distancing rules, launching an eCommerce site or becoming way more savvy on social media. The whole purpose is to be available to your customers and make it easy for them to still be able to buy from you.
It’s been inspiring to see so many brands quickly adapt in response to COVID-19. A few examples include:
UberEats – who were extremely quick to introduce no contact deliveries across the App.
McDonalds – now selling Eggs and Milk staples in each drive-thru.
The Coffee Club – now selling care packages, containing coffee, milk and bread and can be delivered by UberEats.
YouFoodz – delivering fresh fruit and vegetables boxes to customers.
Muffin Break – now selling ready made muffin mixes so customers can bake their own muffins at home.
Detmold – shifting from packaging to manufacturing 145 million face masks for medical staff.
Underground Spirits – producing hand sanitisers made from at least 60% alcohol.
Carlton and United Breweries – manufacturing and supplying 30,000 litres of hand sanitiser to doctors and nurses across Australia.
Self Employed Make-Up Artists – are now producing make-up tutorial videos and promoting via YouTube.
Personal Trainers – now training clients (1on1 and group classes) via zoom.
Local Bakeries – selling frozen pastries and coffee beans for customers to make their own at home.
These brands and sectors have thought about their customers needs and are finding ways to still meet those needs during these challenging times. These are the brands that have a much stronger chance of survival. Have you fully explored how you could pivot your offering?
As previously mentioned in our article ‘10 ways to maximise sales and maintain customer confidence’, brands should be taking this opportunity to review their existing products and services. You now have the time to innovate your offerings and invest time in product development. Is there a more effective way you can be meeting and exceeding your customers needs? Is there an idea you had way back, when you had no time to take it further? Now is the time. Involve your staff, give them a new challenge, be creative. Involve your customers, this is a great way of keeping them engaged with your brand – seek their input and support.
Brands across Australia are pulling together to support local communities. Leading brands Apple and Google have collaborated to launch a joint COVID-19 tracing tool for iOS and Android devices¹. Is collaboration an option for your brand? Consider rent-sharing, staff-sharing, access to a broader customer base and having the ability to offer different products or services.
We are in uncharted territory, that’s for sure. There are, however, opportunities for many brands to pivot, innovate and collaborate their way through this crisis. You really need to be thinking outside the box and assess all of the options available to you. Your customers haven’t abandoned you, they still have needs – it’s finding a new way to meet those needs that will get you through this.
Customology helps brands create customers for life – through the good times and the uncertain times. We are here to help, if you need any support in adapting your customer strategy or engaging your customers during these challenging times, please contact a Customologist at 1300 264 549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.