Succeeding as a brand during a global pandemic

The arrival of COVID-19 has presented many unexpected challenges for UK brands.

With already-troubled Cath Kidston, Warehouse and Oasis falling victim to the virus, many brands have been forced to shut up their brick and mortar sites for the foreseeable future and/or adapt how their business operates.

Whilst some choose to stick their heads in the sand, many have found their gumption, confidently tackling the situation head on and recognising the importance of retaining brand presence and communications while the world remains under lockdown…

Fitness guru goes ‘viral’

Joe Wicks, otherwise known as The Body Coach, is no stranger to maintaining an online presence. Wicks’ success stems from his online fitness coaching business, cookbook series and his dedication to posting fitness and nutrition related content on social media; with circa 3.6 million followers on his Instagram account.

The health and fitness guru has embraced the current health crisis and used his brand to motivate and inspire, most notably parents and children, with essential daily fitness.

Launching a series of live PE lessons on YouTube to help children stay fit during school closures, The Body Coach attracted 15 million viewers in week 1. These free online sessions have become immensely popular with those of all ages. Wicks became a Guinness World Record holder after just one of his online fitness classes was watched by nearly a million people.

With all gyms forced to close, the fitness industry is suffering a significant financial loss. However, The Body Coach isn’t the only one trying to reach his audience with a digital push. Other fitness influencers and gyms are adapting and following suit with online classes, livestreams, personal training sessions through Zoom and creating downloadable material for customers.

Home gym equipment is selling out online, virtual classes are available with the click of a button… could we see a continued transition to digital fitness when this crisis is over? With handwashing now an even greater part of our daily routine, many gym users may be reluctant to return to sharing sweaty equipment and apparatus with other members.

Brands helping you stay ‘on fleek’ during lockdown

Much like the fitness industry, the world of beauty has hugely been impacted by the coronavirus. With all stores, salons, hairdressers and spas closed. Customers who rely on these regular services have been left in the lurch. Fortunately for beauty lovers, many brands have invested in online operations and are using a direct-to-consumer model to retain their trade.

Leading skincare brands, dermatologists and facialists are finding ways to treat their customers without their physical monthly visits. For example, celebrity facialist Melanie Grant is currently offering bespoke consultations over Zoom or FaceTime where she recommends the appropriate skincare to target your skin concerns.

Whilst Instagram is full of how-to tutorials, companies are also adapting by sending customers at home beauty kits. For a price, brow studio brand, Amy Jean Brow Agency is sending out DIY Brow Dye Kits to customers to help maintain their unruly brows.

Similarly, hairdressing brand Bleach London are hosting ‘Bleach Hair Party’, a digital salon that allows customers pick out and buy the correct hair colour, as well as an online guide to help them do it at home.

Other brands such as L’Occitane are helping the NHS by adapting their production facilities to produce more than 70,000 litres of hand sanitiser for healthcare workers, in-turn positioning their brand in a positive light and building brand awareness.

From virtual consultations, DIY home beauty kits, free gifts to questionnaires helping you determine the perfect makeup shade, beauty brands are showing there are many ways to maintain your regime from home.

Why brands need to retain their voice during COVID-19

Regardless of whether brands can continue to sell or not, it’s essential to retain communications with consumers, so when we return to business as usual or a new-normal, your brand will still be very much part of your customers lifestyle.

  1. Show your audience what you’re doing to support them and the wider community.

  2. If you can’t continue as normal, diversify. One of our clients, Dawn Clarke Designs, has been forced to shut up shop, and like Barbour has utilised her sewing skills to manufacture hospital scrubs.

  3. Deliver free advice to your loyal customers. Other Brevity clients are offering essential free advice on baking and beauty regimes via short videos shared on Instagram and Facebook. Therapist, Lynda Cant, has created useful free recordings to help people sleep and boost their immunity.

If you need help with your communications, our highly-skilled Hampshire marketing team, can help. Call us on 01256 536 000 or email