Brands waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’ will be gone before they do.


As we move through Covid-19, change is rapid, unpredictable but inevitable.

Consumer behaviour has been forced to change and values are shifting, and you know what they say about new behaviours becoming habits… (must remind myself that when I crack open the vino at 5pm on a Tuesday).


More than ever before, people expect brands to evolve around their needs, anticipate their desires, and cater to the ways they want to connect with the world and if you want your brand to survive this crisis and thrive thereafter, you’re going to have to do and think differently.


Twenty years ago, an Admap Editorial introduced the concept of the chameleon brand, brands that are defined by their ability to change – businesses with a strong, consistent core but that can adapt to different audiences, different needs, and different media. Their ‘shape’ remains the same but the ‘colours’ of their offering, differ and evolve.


And the most successful brands have always been those who have been nimble, quick to react and unafraid of change, learning how to adapt and innovate to reflect the market and landscape.


Take Disney, for example, in 1928 it was a humble animation studio… fast forward almost a hundred years and it’s an entertainment powerhouse and global empire with theme parks, high street stores, a TV network and products, to name a few. And the reason for its long-term success is diversification.


And now, through lockdown, brands, especially leisure and destination brands, have had their hands forced to switch off and stop trading. That could have marked the end for many, but others have quickly switched onto the chameleon effect with great success. Whether it’s revealing secret recipes to its much-loved food products (Greggs, McDonald’s, DoubleTree Hilton) or diversifying its offer such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s virtual rides or Leon transforming its restaurants into mini supermarkets. Brands are having to think outside of the box to retain brand awareness and relevance. And, while the tills might not be ringing, they’re winning brand love and long-term loyalty in bucketloads as a result.


But forget lockdown; that’s short term. With a little bit of luck, we won’t be in quarantine for much longer (I don’t know about yours, by my kidneys are praying for release). That said, life won’t go back to the way it used to be – so how can your brand stay relevant in a new normal? What does your mid-long term brand strategy look like?


What will social occasions look like if bars and restaurants remain closed for the foreseeable? How will sporting events be enjoyed collectively if packed stadiums are a thing of the past, for a while, at least? How will consumers spend their holidays without trips abroad? What will family life look like after having spent so much time together – more meals round the dinner table and more time spent at home? How will couples say ‘I do’ if big gatherings are off the cards? How will seasonal events such as back to school, Halloween and Christmas be celebrated this year after such a tough start?


Start planning now for the new way of life and think about how your brand can remain relevant and play a part. Futureproof your business before it’s too late.


For tips on how to survive and thrive in a new world, check out our easy to digest report here


We’re also offering free crisis counsel sessions for anyone who needs a helping hand so drop us a line. No business too big or too small.


We’re in this together and will get through it together.



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About the Author

Sasha Makel