10 Actions To Help Ensure Your Business Succeeds | BBH Stockholm
TO HELP ENSURE
SUCCEEDSBy Gül Heper & Alexander Niléhn
The Corona virus has hit the heart of the economy, and it hits the economy at all sides. In these
difficult times, it’s important to remember that you and your brand can make a difference. Find the
bridge between your products and services and people’s new needs and mindsets. Sell to help, not
to move product. If you can improve your customers’ lives, you’ll always stay relevant. Brands that
impress come out stronger on the other side. Therefore, we share our advise on 10 actions that
can improve the outlook for your business here and now.
STABILISE SUPPLY CHAINS
AVOID PRICE GOUGING
REASSESS YOUR PRODUCTS’ PRIMARY BENEFITS
ENSURE COSTUMER STABILISATION
EVALUATE DIGITAL COMMERCE VS BRICK-&-MORTAR
STRENGTHEN CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS
DEMONSTRATE BRAND PURPOSE
IMPROVE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
IDENTIFY POST CRISIS BEHAVIOUR
01STABILISE SUPPLY CHAINS
In theory, organisations should know all parties in their supply chain network (within the broader
business ecosystem) and trust them — but this is far from today’s reality. Could COVID-19 be the
black swan event that finally forces many companies, and entire industries, to rethink and transform
their global supply chain model? But here and now we recommend three actions to mitigate the
immediate impact of the crisis on supply chains:
SUPPLY CHAINS ENSURE YOUR
IS RELIABLE: REAL-
Impact reports in times of crisis tend to
be inaccurate, update your intelligence
daily and rely on people in the field as a
source of reliable information.
PLAN FOR UNSEEN
Run outage scenarios and plan for
unseen impact on the business in order
to assist in adapting to the evolution in
retail and the rise of omni-channel.
The traditional linear supply chain
model is transforming into digital
supply networks (DSNs), where
functional silos are broken down and
organisations become connected to
their complete supply network.
02AVOID BRAND DEPRECIATION
As demand on some items goes up and supply drops, we are
seeing many third party sellers taking advantage of the crisis by
gouging prices. Be sure to keep a very close eye on near-term
pricing changes to avoid brand deprecation.
When you need something to stay safe from a
dangerous virus, it’s simply not right for
companies to continue enabling people to prey
on the emergency. Instead, win customers over
by focusing on being truly customer-obsessed
and fulfil your commitment to outstanding
customer service. It takes a customer-centric
approach to build brand loyalty.
73%of customers find a positive customer
experience with a brand to be more
influential than great advertising.
03REASSESS YOUR PRODUCTS’ PRIMARY BENEFITS
Make it accessible to more people reflecting a new time and user
WHAT CAN YOUR
Product/Service benefits can either be actual or perceived. Perceived benefits include
the products popularity, its image or its reputation. Actual benefits include the performance of the
product, its design as well as its cost-effectiveness. Reassess your products’ and/or services' primary
benefits and consider playing in new consumption occasions. Keep track of consumer search
behaviour and social sentiment around your product or service and the category. Consider
highlighting key benefits that help address a new consumer need, or play in a new usage occasion that
drives your products’ consideration. Make the product or service accessible to more people reflecting
a new time and user behaviour.
04ENSURE COSTUMER STABILISATION
Invest in your core customer segments that demonstrate a
long term growth potential and/or high customer lifetime
Brands that are committed to customer-centricity analyse, plan and implement carefully formulated
customer marketing strategies that focus on creating and keeping profitable and loyal customers.
Invest in your core customer segments that demonstrate a long term growth potential and/or high
customer lifetime value. Be sure to anticipate their evolved behaviour and need and address them
using hyper-personalised and contextual messages - and provide exceptional customer experience at
the point of sale and after the sale.
Simplify the process and help
your customers fulfil their
goals. Consider personalising
the onboarding sequence by
tailoring it to the buyer
Better customer service
equals a better customer
experience. Look into which
channels your clients use the
most right now.
Happy customers are loyal
customers. Hear them out.
Collect and store all the
feedback you receive in one
Home life is going to be
painful, boring, lonely,
unproductive, no exercise,
etc. How do your products or
services help? Identify the
most frequent recurring
issues that are being reported.
Deliver your messages
through the right channel at
the right time. Experience
personalisation is paramount
nowadays [Learn more at the
05EVALUATE DIGITAL COMMERCE VS BRICK-&-MORTAR
Examine digital commerce vs. national Brick-& -Mortar as part of
your omni-channel strategy
Examine digital commerce vs. national Brick-& -
Mortar as part of your omni-channel strategy:
People have dramatically shifted toward online
shopping for all types of goods, including food
and produce delivery. Ensure that the quality of
goods sold online and your product description is
accurate. Also consider your customers’ changing
preferences may be unlikely to go back to pre-
83%of consumers say an omnichannel
experience, such as moving from web
chat to a live conversation, is desirable.
06STRENGTHEN CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS
Discover new ways to deliver your product or service with a
Find new revenue streams together and discover new ways to deliver your product, service or
experience. Continue working closely with your creative partners on current projects which have been
disrupted, to find supportive solutions wherever possible. This could be the time to supercharge
development for both short and long-term opportunities. Dare to rethink. The power of creativity
and the primacy of an idea could change everything.
AND THE PRIMACY
OF THE .
Optimise your tech stack and secure data to give you insights on
the best way forward
INSIGHTS TO INSIGHTS-
Are you fully utilising your Martech stack to reach out to your customers in the best way? And based
on data and insights - do you know what the customers need? Take this opportunity to activate what
you’ve got and find new ways to generate business. The road from a pile of raw data to data-driven
insights and from insights to action is paved with good intentions, but often learning things from data
takes excessive time and energy. Getting from metrics to insights is the real challenge presented by
overwhelming quantities of data. Devoting people resources, developing the right processes, and
investing in the right technologies is key to overcoming current challenges. If you’re interested in
transforming your data into concrete insights, you’ll need to equip yourself with the tools for success.
08DEMONSTRATE BRAND PURPOSE
Knowing your brand purpose is one thing—but getting it out into
the world is another. Strengthen the perception of your brand by
supporting epidemic efforts. Brand purpose represents your
reason for being and what you stand for beyond making money.
& NOBLE PURPOSE.
Support epidemic efforts by demonstrating your brand's purpose: Businesses are only as strong as the
communities of which they are a part. Your brand purpose can have a major impact on how your
brand is viewed in the market—and, ultimately, can be the driving force behind your success. If you
have products or services that can actually help people, then actually help people. We strongly advise
against ‘cashing in’ on a crisis but instead wrap your services and products in ways that help. Or make
time to figure out how to support response efforts—for example, by providing money, equipment, or
expertise. Actions speak louder than words. Just ask LVMH, the French holding company of brands
such as Louis Vuitton, that have repurposed all of their perfume factories into sanitiser production
lines. This beats pure talk.
LOOK AT WHAT
MADE IT IN
THE FIRST PLACE.
If you want to make a brand great again
IN THE PAST, WE'VE SEEN LOTS OF COMPANIES
THAT HAVE HAD THE BEST, BRILLIANT INTENTIONS
BUT THE INTENTIONS WERE POORLY EXECUTED.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE BEATING YOUR OWN
CHEST. THIS IS THE TIME TO BE A GOOD
CORPORATE CITIZEN TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PUBLIC
GOOD, AND NOT TO BE 'SEEN' AS 'A SUPER GOOD
Jay Milliken, Prophet senior partner and Asia regional lead
09IMPROVE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
Your employees are key to the best customer experience and
DESIGN AN EMPLOYEE
EXPERIENCE THAT IMPROVES
The employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your organisation. It includes
everything from major milestones and personal relationships to technology use and the physical
work environment. It's the big picture that ties together all of your efforts to attract, engage and
develop your employees. Strong customer experiences start with satisfied employees. Help your
employees to help you by giving them the tools, purpose and a clear vision to deliver the best
customer experience whilst staying safe. Because none of us are as good as all of us.
10IDENTIFY POST CRISIS BEHAVIOUR
Look forward and start planning for post crisis behaviours
Look forward and start planning for post crisis behaviours. Of course, attention must turn to critical
business operations; however, our role as brand experts is to remind marketing leaders of the lessons
from history. Brands that keep going - and keep going in specific ways - emerge from economic
shocks ahead of their competitors.
Brands that reduce their
spends during times of
recession often come out
the other end weaker.
Every business will have
its own unique features
but history tells us on
average marketing budgets
should be protected, not
raided for recovery.
Strong brands recovered
9x faster than weaker
brands following the
financial crash of 2008.
Don’t forget about your
brand! Protect it. Fuel it.
It’s going to help you
The dual impacts of
marketing and lower
creativity have halved the
success of creativity over
a period of just four years.
By reducing investment in
the long-term now brands
face the very real risk of
reducing their commercial
power down the line.
Hold the line as much as
Brands that focus on
increasing relative share
of voice, perceived share
of voice and product
quality perceptions are
more successful. It
happened in the 90s. In
the 2000s. And 2008. It
should happen again.
In post COVID-19 world
there will be lots of small
moments that gain a new
emotional resonance: the
first pint back at the pub,
the first cup of tea with
your gran in two months,
getting back to your yoga/
league or Eastenders back
to 4 nights a week. Brands
can make them feel even
more special and elevate
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Credit: Will Lion, Managing Partner at BBH
Make sure you’re listening
to your customers so you
are prepared for the new
normal. A re-evaluation
of work/life priorities? A
stronger commitment to
budgets? Don’t presume
that things will revert back
to the status quo once this
appears to be coming to a
close. Prepare to check in
with the market.
Is going to the store still
the optimum for people?
Will people go back to the
purchase behaviours of
pre-Covid or will it have
massively accelerated the
As highstreet players may
unfortunately fall as a
result of this,
strengthening your DTC
proposition will help
adapt to new behaviours
and the new reality.
Resist developing an exact
plan. Give yourself and
your team a chance to
adapt as weeks go by.
Section quarters up, map
things out. Move to
iterative delivery cycles.
Be agile in your
What are the seeds that
you can plant now and
will have impact in the
future? Think of it as a
hibernation phase: now is
the time to focus on the
side of your business that
helps people grow, learn,
improve, without the
pressure of reaching
instant gratification. The
next big thing could be
As we are seeing a massive
expansion of the state and
the role of large brands in
delivering key services, big
will be back and trusted
more. Who will you want
to bank with after this is
all done? A startup or an
established critical player?
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Credit: Will Lion, Managing Partner at BBH