The COVID-19 lockdown has impacted brands across every sector that markets to young people, whether they’ve been forced to temporarily close, or to change their business model to survive. We’ve been impressed by how some of Gen Z’s favourite brands have adapted to the “new normal” and even found ways to thrive during extremely challenging times. Here are some of the highlights.
The chicken chain has now begun reopening restaurants, but during lockdown, their marketing team was out in full force keeping the brand in customer’s hearts. They ran a major PR and social media campaign giving Nando’s fans the recipes to make some of their most popular dishes, including Instagram Live cook-alongs with chefs and celebrities. Of course, the recipes always include Nando’s products available in supermarkets, such as their famous PERi-PERi Sauce.
Athleisure brand Gymshark renamed itself Homeshark during lockdown to show support for the closure of gyms to stop the spread of COVID-19. They amped up their fitness content on social media to encourage customers to work out at home, featuring top influencers from their community. They also showed their support for the NHS by offering a discount to workers, and through the #nhssweatyselfie campaign, donating £180,000 to NHS charities – £5 for each person who shared a workout selfie with the hashtag.
With a business based on driving customers to visit its restaurant and cinema partners, you might expect Tastecard to struggle during lockdown. Instead, they quickly pivoted to providing customers with discounts on restaurant deliveries and collection, and online movie streaming, offering a free movie for every new member through their partnership with Rakuten TV. This is a great example of how the coronavirus has motivated brands to generate new revenue streams and better adapt to the digital age.
As a pharmacy, Boots was labelled an essential retailer and permitted to stay open throughout the UK lockdown. However, their beauty counters were closed due to social distancing regulations, which forced the business to think creatively about how customers could try before they buy. They launched a virtual beauty counter, where visitors to their website are able to request an online consultation from trained beauty advisors. With beauty among the sectors thriving in lockdown, this was a smart move to capitalise on the trend.
The events industry is one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, as large public gatherings are expected to be among the last restrictions to be lifted. Ticketing app Dice has optimised its product for the current situation. They revamped their event tracker function to make it easier to see which events are going ahead, and which are postponed, rescheduled, and cancelled. They have also included the organisers’ refund policy on each event, and are promoting live stream events to keep users entertained in the meantime.
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