- Contest Factory
- September 1, 2020
COVID-19’s abrupt and extreme impact on consumer behavior forced most businesses into a state of sink or swim, with many still barely staying afloat. But even as the virus continues to spread and the economy pushes on, some brands are discovering the pandemic’s silver lining: with crisis comes opportunity.
See how these businesses mastered the art of innovation- reinventing their approach and pivoting their product-lines to sync up with people’s most pressing needs– protection, connection, and a welcomed distraction.
Retail Therapy is Real
The quest for retail therapy and new forms of entertainment became a global obsession as people tried to counter pandemic-inducedgrief, boredom, and anxiety. Studies revealed that
Businesses specializing in restricted activities, such as travel and group recreational activities, have had to get creative to stay relevant and profitable during the different iterations of social distancing. Lessening previous stringent refund and change policies to accommodate the pandemic mandates.
Secret London Runs stayed the course by creating a free virtual 5K running tour exploring 18th-century gin. They also created a podcast travel series and hosted a weekly lock down quiz on London’s history. Wineries have been selling wine sets in advance and hosting tasting webinars where they educate sippers that join them on the winery, the grapes, and the history of the making of the wine. This has heightened winery wine sales and memberships by offering new and unique ways to virtually visit a winery.
Pack up + Go is a travel agency with a unique model; they take the pain out travel planning and in turn plan a surprise vacation for you based on an interest and travel history questionnaire. With COVID, this stopped them immediately from continuing to plan surprise dream destinations. Though Pack up + Go was prepared to pivot and launched their Staycations packages that are similar in surprise but locally. These Staycations help their clients find new, unique and unusual finds right in neighboring cities where no planes are necessary.
Wine & Paint studios like Pinot’s Palette are creating do-it-yourself take home packages to paint and craft at home. Several independent artists are selling on Etsy and Amazon where you can find paint by number, quilting projects, succulent arrangements and more.
People are buying experiences in new ways. As of the last 10 years, more money has been spent on experiences than ever and it’s this creativity that has enabled these organizations to pivot and still inspire users to enjoy experiences in a new way and still capture the revenue lost from in-person experiences.
Safety First if You Want to Last
Brands have had to innovate like never before to address consumers’ intense safety concerns and adhere to social distancing mandates.
To survive the new “safer at home” norm, New Black Studiomade a dramatic shift from service to product-based almost overnight. The event management company created a Little Black Box offering clients creative, customized ways to host award ceremonies, networking events, and product launches from afar.
Similarly, California Pizza Kitchen came up with “build-your-own-pizza” meal kits so that loyal customers could still enjoy their CPK favorites while cooking safely at home.
Distance makes connection stronger
Finding ways to stay connected during isolation has become crucial, not only for businesses’ survival but for the mental and physical well-being of their customers.
Airbnb faced this issue head-on by shifting their approach to a lifestyle platform. Instead of connecting guests with just a place to sleep, hosts can now offer everything from cooking lessons to art therapy.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” – Winston Churchill
As the ramifications of the pandemic continue to unfold, some businesses will have to take bold action and pivot their products and services in order to survive. And although crisis is never comfortable, brands that embrace the challenge- finding creative ways to keep their customers connected, safe, and entertained- are the ones that will thrive.