Inspirational cases: the power of rethinking in rapidly changing times

Sander Harryvan
Marketing Manager
March 31, 2020

In times of crisis, we as a society have to switch to a new reality in a short period of time. Things that seemed self-evident yesterday are in a completely different light today. Going out for a nice dinner and then to the theater, a day of shopping in Amsterdam with your girlfriends, or a group lesson Zumba in your favorite gym is out of the question for the time being.

However, this doesn’t mean we all have to resign ourselves to fate. We have all experienced that a crisis and times of rapid change create threats. But if we accept this new reality (for the time being), learn to understand the situation, and keep thinking from the collective, then times like these also bring many opportunities.

It requires an open mindset and creativity, but those who can adapt most quickly and dare to take action will emerge stronger in time. Business-as-usual is not in it for the time being, but sitting still is going backward. We understand that one sector is hit harder than another and that the impact differs from company to company. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in situations like this. That’s why in this blog we share some examples of companies close to home and further afield that have successfully “rethought” and adapted to the needs of this new reality.

Netflix | Stimulate social connection

Now that we are all confined to our homes, we are streaming massive content from streaming services Netflix, Disney Plus and Videoland. Some services have even adjusted the quality of the streams worldwide to reduce the pressure on the Internet. Still, your favorite movie or series watching is more fun if you can share this experience with friends. Unfortunately, it is not recommended being together physically. Luckily Swedish Netflix has understood this well, and they have launched the new service Netflix Party. By creating a ‘party’ you can watch the same film or series with your friends or family from a distance and discuss the film together in the chat. Netflix gives the customer an extra, proves that they understand the customer’s needs and Netflix’s role in social structures. This way you turn customers into loyal fans

Whole Foods Market | Digital shopping with a physical touch

Shopping streets are deserted and in many countries, stores are completely closed, but Whole Foods Market and LifeStyles in 360 did not settle for that. With their new Virtual Reality solution, they let you imagine for a moment that you are in the real store. And that’s not all, they also want to stimulate personal interaction. That’s why they have developed a digital shop assistant that makes shopping even easier for you personally.

Does this all sound a bit futuristic? Personalizing your online offering can be done without the need for a Virtual Reality environment within the existing email and website channels you have at your disposal. By analyzing transactions and clicks you can quickly identify the needs of your consumers and personalize your offer.

Reebok and Basic-Fit | Standing still is not an option

What do you do for your gains when you can’t go to the gym? Losing that hard-won muscle mass is not an option. This is exactly how the English sports giant Reebok thought about it! Reebok quickly came up with a solution for the closed gyms. The brand helps its consumers in times of social distancing by offering personalized workouts for the home. You tell them what sports equipment you have at home and Reebok creates a custom workout. This way you see that when you start interacting with the consumer, personal advice can be given fairly quickly. Also remotely. Add your training goals, BMI and a smart algorithm and your personal trainer 0.1 is ready to go!

Do you prefer to work out with an instructor or with a group? Then Basic-Fit has the solution for you. Of course, they were already masters in offering virtual (group) lessons, but now all their gyms in Europe have had to close, they keep their members connected and active by offering these lessons digitally as well. This way they keep their members in their rhythm!

Ikea | From store to take-away

Sunday afternoon shopping at one of the many IKEA stores is almost a Dutch tradition. But IKEA also realizes that meetings of large groups of people in the stores are not wise for the time being. Annoying. Especially when everyone has the time to screw IKEA cabinets together. To keep the tradition as good as possible IKEA has shifted the focus to the webshop. Here you can now order almost all products. Then you have the choice to have them delivered to your home or to pick them up at a store. This shows IKEA that you can also change the function of the stores and use them in a different place on the consumer journey. So see your stores as small distribution centers for your website and optimize your stocks to meet local demand. As a result, customers can still have their products the same day after the digital orientation.

The fact that they also understand the customer’s situation shows in the content on the homepage. The themes of working from home, outdoor space and cleaning up radiate from the screen and I have to admit that I really recognize myself in it at the moment!

The above examples illustrate that as a brand you can increase the connection with your customer in a positive way by understanding the needs of the consumer and responding to them. In this way, you can continue to serve your consumer with decisiveness and creativity, strengthen the relationship and build the future together! In this way, a satisfied customer becomes a fan for life and won’t forget you even when the crisis is over!

About the expert
Sander Harryvan
Marketing Manager