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Plan B – The Need for Speed

With the world around us changing at ever-increasing speeds, be it technology, attitudes, values etc. it’s becoming increasingly hard to predict and plan for the long-term. Instead, businesses are having to put greater emphasis on the short-term and being as reactive as possible.

Reacting to Covid-19

Covid-19 was a great example of brands being able to react quickly. Recent events have shown the value of being able to move quickly when it comes to your brand and marketing. Covid-19 forced many brands to change and adapt quickly, and under very difficult circumstances.

Overtly “salesy” messages suddenly felt very inappropriate, and while there was room for a bit of humour and stiff-upper lip positivity, tone and messaging had to be sensitive to the situation.

EE was a great example of a brand altering their tone of voice. Their adverts usually have Kevin Bacon looking a bit smug and making quick whips about speed, coverage, and price. But their ad that ran during the pandemic had a completely different tone. Kevin Bacon dressed in grey, in front of a grey background, speaking slowly and plainly. A direct acknowledgment of that change “Normally I would be making a joke but not today…” was followed by recognition of NHS staff and an offer of free data to them. It was a great idea, perfectly pitched, it felt empathetic without being doom and gloom, but most importantly felt authentic.

With lockdown coming into full force, brands that rely upon offline strategies or even worse, need a face-to-face experience to consume their product or service, faced the biggest challenge of all. Brands had to quickly find a way to reach and engage their audience via online platforms, and if possible, generate revenue. 

Chester Zoo, unable to have visitors physically in their zoo, created virtual zoo visits for people to enjoy. They didn’t generate revenue directly, but it kept the brand and product relevant for people and even reached people who wouldn’t visit them normally.  This then meant that when they launched an appeal for donations to raise awareness of their plight, they already had an engaged audience to target. When the zoo announced its reopening date the tickets sold out within a day.


Get your brand up to speed.

The above are just a couple of examples but the fall-out from Covid-19 for businesses is still on-going. Many businesses will be making huge strategic and organisational changes. New products are being launched, new and different audiences are being targeted and new channels are being explored.

Whenever changes like this are made, it’s important that brand and marketing strategies are adapted alongside them. New audiences may require a tweak of the brand messaging or a brand story may need to be adapted to be more compelling. A new product requires positioning and messaging of its own, and likely some visual identity work too. If a business has to put more emphasis on its digital and social presence, its website may need streamlining, new content, or new functionality to fulfill its new role, and a process for monitoring its effectiveness would also need to be created. Social media requires a whole strategy; what’s the objective of this channel in your marketing mix? Who are you speaking to? What are you trying to say? How are you going to say it?

And the key with all of this is, is that this all needs to happen very quickly.  Brands can’t afford strategies that require months to implement.

That’s why we’ve created a new brand and marketing service built around the idea of improving a business’ brand and marketing as quickly as possible. It’s called Plan B and focuses on pinpointing game-changing opportunities for improvements across brand strategy, design, digital and social and getting this to market fast.

So whether it’s because of Covid-19 or not, if your business needs to adapt, and adapt fast, then you need Plan B.

Click here to find out more about Plan B.

Written By:

Head of Digital @ Orb

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