"‘Pivot’ by all means. But don’t lose focus."

Many brands are ‘pivoting’ in response to the crisis
BrewDog Punk Sanitiser

In marketing we talk a lot about trust. We buy from brands ‘we trust’.

In reality we buy from brands we understand.

Businesses all over the world are facing financial disaster due to COVID-19. The world has turned upside down and inside out.

Many are ‘pivoting’ in response to the crisis.

Dyson are manufacturing ventilators.

Burberry is making scrubs.

Laudable.

But what impact will ‘pivoting’ have in the long term? How will these brands be positioned in the mind of the consumer, when this thing finally ends?

BrewDog’s reaction to the crisis has included the production and distribution of hand sanitiser.

There’s certainly a fit with their brand philosophy:

“We do things against the grain. We will do what we think is right – and we really don’t care what people think.”

Part of their culture is about taking risks. But this is a big one.

They state themselves:

“We believe a brand is shaped by the customer”

“Their perception of us is what shapes our brand, which is why anything other than sticking by our mission and values is like brand suicide”

They’re definitely right about that.

I really like the BrewDog brand. It’s outspoken.

The ‘pivot’ has delivered short-term PR success. But they need to be careful that it doesn’t lead to long term brand confusion.

 

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