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Pivoting Throughout the Pandemic: How These Offers Succeeded

If we look at how others have successfully switched, we can also switch successfully.

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12, 2021

4 min read

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Even in the best of times, executives know they need to adjust their businesses. This is just the natural response to changing markets. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled a new, particularly breakneck pivot-or-die test. Executives and entrepreneurs who want their business to survive and thrive in the future can benefit from some key examples of how other companies are adapting well during the virus crisis.

Related: A well-planned corporate pivot can save your business

3 conditions for a successful pivot

As Mauro Guillén points out in an article for Harvard Business Review, three conditions are required for a business to turn successfully. The pivot point must:

Align the company with at least one trend that caused or exacerbated the pandemic (e.g. remote working).

Laterally expand the company's existing capabilities in a way that solidifies its original strategic intent and

Provide a sustainable path to profitability that maintains / increases brand equity in the minds of consumers.

To achieve these points competitively, executives must be extremely aware of current short-term conditions and resources. However, it also requires considering wider opportunities that can have a long-term impact on brand perception and operation.

Leading examples of companies making shifts work

A good example of reviewing companies that are following the COVID 19 trends is Red Roof Hotels. The company now offers employee daily rates that allow individuals to have a quiet, private workspace where they may be more comfortable, flexible, and provide a change of scene that is necessary. Before the pandemic, companies were looking to rented and coworking office space to take advantage of these benefits and reduce overhead, and gig workers found creative ways to create temporary offices.

The electronics and equipment retailer Best Buy should also be highlighted. As more people work online for school and business, the company has increasingly focused on virtual support and technology repairs. TOV, a furniture designer and manufacturer, recognized the growth of e-commerce and concentrated much of its business online.

By leveraging existing capabilities, your company won't have to spend too much time or money reorganizing, preparing, and running. Grocery stores like Kroger and Whole Foods, for example, are creating "dark" locations and turning stores into fulfillment centers. This allows the stores to stay within their original supply chains, offerings and customer base and deliver products to consumers faster. T3 Expo, a trade show and corporate events company, used their existing planning skills and tools to convert a convention facility into a COVID-19 hospital. The company relied on its original foundation but applied it for a completely different need.

With a view to sustainable avenues to profitability, Walgreens eventually began providing supplies for the food and personal care products that are always in demand. This will help transform the brand's image beyond the needs of medical professionals and pharmacies. To make this possible, Walgreens accepted a new partnership with Postmates. The more targeted partnerships you can consider and realize, the more options you have for new services and goods. Like diversifying an investment portfolio, these different partnership avenues can ensure greater financial stability for the company as a whole.

Related: 5 Big Brands That Had Massively Successful Pivots

A strategy can address several points

There is, admittedly, some overlap between the above points. For example, the work of the T3 Expo with the COVID-19 hospital still relied on the existing ability of employees to organize, analyze and network. But it has also proven to new prospects that their talents can be deployed in different settings than traditional corporate events, allowing the company to create new accounts and revenue streams. In fact, the best pivot strategies are those that can meet all three requirements at the same time.

Related: The Core Elements Needed to Turn Your Business Around During the Pandemic

Learning from difficult shifts can make future pivots easier

COVID-19 won't be with us forever. But because it forces executives to spin like they have never done before, it is beneficial and encouraging to see existing organizations make the necessary changes and learn from their strategies and become flexible enough to move their doors in too to keep these challenging times open. If so, we can follow their lead, overcome current challenges, and make adapting to more normal future times a lot easier.

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