Where do we find ourselves?
Things are changing at breakneck speed and global lockdown periods signal that we’re in for quite a ride.
Yet, no one could’ve predicted the seismic shift Covid-19 has on societal needs and consumer behavior. People want to feel a sense of progress and freedom from the “helplessness” of the situation and companies of all sizes play a huge role in providing that. Companies around the world are now forced to rethink the way they do business to meet those needs and find new revenue.
But, there’s light in the middle of this tunnel. Companies are showing their true nature and are taking control by pivoting their production lines, innovating their current offering, and changing their business model swiftly to adapt to the needs of the market. And we can learn from how they’re doing it.
Top 5 ways companies are breaking through and finding new market opportunities:
Quality, speed-to-market, and cost. Right to focus on, but that won’t inspire rapid change. However, when there is necessity, motivation, and direction, large teams will organize effectively to deliver.
It’s these ingredients that LVMH and Brewdogs had on hand when deciding to shift their business efforts to invest in society.
The French conglomerate which owns 76 brands like Hennessy, Moët and Chandon, and Dior, rose to the call of the French government: step up and fill the widening gaps of medical supplies.
Within 72 hours of the call, the project came together and LVMH announced they will be donating 12 tons of hand sanitizer to the hospitals of Paris
Just a few days ago, Scottish-based brewery and distillery announced that they would also be shifting their focus to produce hand sanitizer. They will deliver it to hospitals and institutions in need around Scotland. “Our teams are working as fast as we can to get this out into the world! We’ll keep everyone posted with updates.” – BrewDog Instagram
For both companies, there was an untethered motivation and a single clear goal driving their speed: help the hard-working medical staff in their fight against the virus.
Companies like LA’s Universal Studios and London’s Signature Brew, have had to move their supply focus directly to the consumer., bypassing the middleman. Will this remain in the long term?
They have decided to release first-run movies straight into people’s homes through video-on-demand. You may say this isn’t special, and Netflix has been doing this for years. However, Universal hold many of the cards in audience hype and anticipation. Instead, you and your social-distancing family can watch it on demand for $19.99. Safe to say the theatre owners aren’t too ecstatic about it.
This city brewery launched ‘Pub in a Box’ for those in self-isolation who still want to feel the familiar pub vibe. The box includes a range of beers, glasses, coasters, a vinyl, pub quiz game, a playlist, and the regular pub snacks. They’ve also set up a delivery service in collaboration with traveling musicians who no longer have crowds to play to and have lost income. “We can’t think of anything better than receiving cold, brewery-fresh beers, hand-delivered by someone from a band we love.”, says founder Sam McGregor.
The impact of suppliers being forced to test out D2C will have lasting effects. The consumer mindset is changing and their new demand is being met– why would they give up efficiency once this is all over. The middleman will have to completely rethink how they do business from now on and not hope things will just go back to ‘normal’.
Physical service companies have no choice but to adapt, and they’re turning to digital to do just that. We’ve picked out two industries that rely on physical presence and movement to earn revenue: fitness companies and cultural museums.
Almost overnight, brands in this sector went virtual with live-video classes– personal training sessions over Zoom, Instagram Live, Facetime or YouTube are offered for free… for now. Nike’s Training Club app has made its premium content free until 09 June and Adidas are giving daily virtual lessons on their Instagram account. Again, this isn’t brand new; there have been fitness videos online for years, but those primarily started online, and now they have serious competition from the big boys.
Museums and galleries have consistently been the quiet havens of culture in cities around the world. The Getty in LA, Vatican Museums, Guggenheim in Bilboa, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and more have opened their doors virtually with 360-degree videos, full walk-arounds, and even voice-over descriptions.
If you need a break during your workday, take your pick of museums from this list by The Guardian.
Slight changes were the only things necessary for some companies. Still, those adjustments made all the difference in maintaining customer trust in a time when skepticism runs high, and in being able to give support to their affected supply chain.
Christophe Diercxsens of TooGoodToGo was proud to announce that the company reverted into startup mode to support its partner companies. As a digital ‘food waste warrior’ who saves food from being thrown away, they needed to assist the restaurants in keeping their lights on. So, they launched #WeCare, “Local stores can now offer regular takeaway meals via our app. These do not contain their leftover products but are freshly prepared meals that users collect from the store.”
Companies like Amazon, and Deliveroo made small changes to how they deliver – contactless. The delivery person will ring the bell, put the package on the ground, and step back to a safe distance while waiting. This adjustment gave online buyers a sense of comfort knowing that their safety and that of their staff are taken into consideration.
Right time, right place.
There are particular companies that are built to thrive in situations like these. Netflix, Disney, and other streaming sites, online retailers, and gaming companies are getting significant boosts. There’s one we want to single out here, and that’s Houseparty– group video chat app. The chances are that you’ve never heard of it before this week, but they’re hitting new heights as social distancing becomes the norm.
Owned by Epic Games, which also owns Fortnite, Houseparty has been around for years. In the last week of February, they recorded 130,000 downloads; this past week, the app was downloaded over 2m times worldwide. It also ranks number in app stores in 17 countries and achieved +500% growth with no signs that it will slow down in the short-term. And to be clear it is not just for nervous Millennials and seemingly comfortable Gen Z’ers, it’s their parents and their friends.
The time is now to future-proof your company with models that allow you to pivot, find new opportunities, and shift weight at the drop of a hat. Let’s not forget about the unicorns born from the previous crisis who find themselves in hot water. Uber and Airbnb stand little chance without government intervention, but what if this happens again, and again?
We don’t know how long this is going to last for, whether things will go back to the way they were or if this is the new normal. Be prepared for unexpected and far-reaching consequences.
Society and consumers will adapt and will demand more from companies. The new mindset: will be if they can’t get it from you, they will simply go to someone else who can.
If you’re looking to side-step the uncertainty and find valuable consumers, we’re here to help. Our experienced venture building team has been doing precisely this well before Covid-19.
We’ve even done it to ourselves by offering new services that allow us to facilitate remote venture building to rapidly develop new startup concepts for you and your company.
Want to take your corporate startup idea to the next level? Looking for innovative ways to disrupt your industry and tackle new markets? Let’s talk!