PROMOTED CONTENT18 May 2020

Adapt to win – 10 new strategies for winning brands

Trends

“Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win” – Dr. Max McKeown, Behavioural Strategist

In this COVID-19 crisis, organisations are having to react with the fast-forward button permanently pressed. Behaviours and attitudes are changing daily as we struggle to comprehend a ‘new normal’ that’s shifting before our eyes. Even when this crisis calms down – and it will – that fast-forward button will still be in play because rebuilding brand, business and identity will be hectic and uncertain.

Organisations are still playing catch up to new realities, but the smart ones are also showing much-needed strategic leadership in the chaos. They’re not just trying to understand how and why things have changed and are changing. They are trying to understand how and why they will change. The businesses that train their sights on this latter perspective will be the ones that will win. Let’s not be shy about using that word. Brands must be adapting to win rather than adapting to cope. Constantly flexing to find new ways of operating – and of doing good, being generous, moving beyond what is expected.

The most successful organisations will be those already preparing for a future we can’t yet see with clarity. Who anticipate not just change in a time of crisis but opportunity. Who recognise that winning is not just desirable but essential.

“This rise of corporate integrity and trust will be crucial if organisations want to win. They will always sell but now they must contribute too by looking outside of themselves.”

And winners are already emerging. High Street brands like fast food chain LEON offering meals to NHS workers. Supermarkets prioritising community needs, creating new jobs and leading by example. Pub chain Fullers waiving all rents to help its staff. L’Oreal and Brewdog diverting resources so they can make hand sanitisers for global distribution. BP offering free fuel for emergency services and football players deferring their wages to help pay their clubs’ staffing costs.

Equally, we won’t forget the businesses that treat their staff – and us – badly. Wetherspoons for the callous way it initially treated its laid-off workers. Sports Direct for inflating prices on its website the day after it was told to close its shops. British banks for hiking the interest rates on loans in the same week that the Bank of England cut its interest rate.

This rise of corporate integrity and trust will be crucial if organisations want to win. They will always sell but now they must contribute too by looking outside of themselves. Quarterly updates may include a detailed assessment of how help is being offered to others. Charitable ventures could be at the heart of strategic thinking rather than seen as a CSR side-line.

Attitudinal shifts amongst consumers are leading these changes. People are reassessing what is important to them and businesses will need to mirror that behaviour. It’s hard to predict which of those shifts are temporary and which more permanent. Will we still be as materialistic post-virus? Will our new-found desire for localised volunteerism be short-lived? Will we emerge with the same conscious desire to be resourceful and banish waste from our lives?

“Winning organisations will need to be inspirational leaders. They will need to take decisions at speed and with greater agility.”

Winning organisations will need to be inspirational leaders. They will need to take decisions at speed and with greater agility. They will need to be on ‘our side’ like never before. They will need to promote new behaviours that reflect real people’s experiences and emotions rather than stiffly-corporate purpose. They will need to help rebuild society as well as their profits, with altruistic intent not mere self-promotion.

This is the war mentality of a modern age. And, below, we have outlined ten new themes and strategies. They will change over the coming weeks — after all, days ago we were living in an entirely different world. What will it be like in 10 weeks? So as things change, it will be great to see the strategies brands employ to survive, thrive and win. To build a strong foundation for the future we need to be readying ourselves for, today.

Read our ten new strategies for winning brands, or link directly to the strategies below:

  1.       AUTHENTIC
  2.       EMOTIONAL
  3.       SOLIDARITY
  4.       REWARD
  5.       UTILITY
  6.       COMMUNITY
  7.       DELIVER
  8.       ESCAPE
  9.       EMPATHY
  10.   HEROES


About Hall & Partners

Hall & Partners is a global strategic brand consultancy, supporting leading business and brands through award-winning market research, helping to create commercially and emotional rewarding brand relationships. We like to challenge traditional thinking, pioneer the latest technology and take the lead in innovation.

Hall & Partners is a part of Omnicom’s Brand Consulting Group. For more information, visit https://www.hallandpartners.com. Twitter @hallandpartners.

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