It’s said that every adversity has a collateral value and it’s certainly apparent currently as people have become impressively creative. There are so many novel memes and videos that have been posted online. In like fashion, many businesses have been showing their adaptability and innovativeness under challenging conditions.
I thought I’d check-in with you and share five approaches which are generating new sales and positive returns for their business owners. These may, in turn, spark a creative growth idea for your own business.
Globally E-Commerce was growing strongly prior to this pandemic – now, with people isolating at home, it’s taking off in leaps and bounds. Your immediate response may be that you don’t have the type of business to take online but consider how this business owner has adapted.
Shasta Jordan was teaching pre-and post-pregnancy yoga classes, a very personalised and intimate discipline, in her studio. Her business literally disappeared overnight with the lockdown. She’s however, adapted her teaching style, adding a lot more demonstration, and taken that business online. She’s using the video conferencing product, Zoom, to hold online classes and has actually grown her number of students by a third. She’s currently receiving payment via EFT but now that she’s also attracted international clients, she’s investigating payment via PayPal.
(Do I hear you say that you are not sufficiently technically minded to pull off a similar feat? I was amazed at how I managed to grasp the basics of Camtasia editing software when I created my online coaching programme, Master Your Marketing Formula. If I can do it, I can assure you that you can too!)
Now is the time to for us all to think laterally. Consider how you can match people’s new needs with the products or services you offer. Think unconventionally and even outside your industry.
Capital Hotels and Apartments have done just that.
They are in the hospitality industry – one of the worst affected business sectors. They’ve identified a new target market: people who want to protect their family members when they have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and want to isolate alone. They’re partnering with medical aid company, Discovery, and offering Discovery members a 60% discount off their daily rate for a specifically managed isolation facility.
I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to sell your product is to offer your prospect value first. That’s the way you build a solid foundation for a long term relationship.
Perhaps you have an engineering manufacturing company that’s currently locked down and closed for business. Can you keep top of mind with your clients by offering them a weekly half hour free consulting session? If this proves invaluable to them, you can always consider monetising it in the future.
Similarly, there’s a security company that has astutely linked up with a local supermarket. They’re doing free deliveries of online grocery orders to customers in the residential complexes where they offer their security service. Customer feedback has been so positive and consolidated customer brand loyalty, that their CEO is considering continuing this as a paid service after lockdown.
We all strive to maintain a good business image and reputation in the market place, but businesses are like people, they have their high and low moments. If you’d like to boost your business image, is there a valuable contribution that your business can make during this pandemic?
British American Tobacco (BAT) has been getting some bad press over the past 12 months. They’ve invested greatly in Vaping products, which have been positioned as safer alternatives to cigarettes. Unfortunately there have been cases reported where users of Vaping products have succumbed to illness and this has resulted in poor press for the new product category.
BAT now has an opportunity to “do good” and turn its image around. It had previously acquired a Kentucky based biotech subsidiary. Via its Kentucky Bio Processing, it’s working on a possible Coronavirus vaccine using tobacco plants. If testing goes well and with the right partners and support from government, it envisages manufacturing between 1 million and 3 million doses of its vaccine per week, beginning in June.
BAT management has issued a statement that anything it does on Covid-19 is “entirely not-for-profit.”
There are so many innovative examples of businesses that are re-fitting their factories to produce a product which is currently needed and importantly, keeps their business operating and their turnover positive.
Think Zara, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. They have all secured government contracts and are manufacturing masks and protective clothing for healthcare workers. Many of the liquor companies are now producing hand sanitiser and some of the big motor corporations have re-tooled to provide ventilators. Ford in fact is now producing ventilators twice as fast versus the traditional suppliers.
My suggestion is that you organise an online brainstorm session with your staff or industry colleagues, and brainstorm the possibilities and opportunities for your business. Share this article with them beforehand to get their creative juices flowing.
You may find that together you come up with an innovation that will make you grateful that you’ve had this time, during the lockdown, to actively think about your business!
I’d love to hear about any ideas you have. Just drop me a comment below.