The Covid-19 lockdown has started easing and as a result, the UK has started to reopen over the past few weeks. We’ve all been out to get our hair and nails done, had that long awaited cool pint and we’ve finally been reunited with friends and family, and it feels so good….
Although some of our favourite brands and venues have now been able to follow Government guidelines to reopen safely and responsibly, there are a number of challenges they will continue to face now they’re back up and running.
The importance of being able to adapt
More than ever, businesses have to be able to adapt to a ‘new normal’. The world has been turned upside down, and you have to make your service fit to the post-lockdown world. Another challenge is that this ‘new normal’ is constantly changing, so they need to be able to adapt at a short notice to keep in line with Government guidelines, and any other factors which might affect the service they offer.
It’s not just the industry environment which has changed, but a change in consumer behaviour and habits. Although the UK has started to reopen, the majority of people are still continuing to work from home, so those lunchtime and daily habits have completely changed. Businesses who have always relied on lunchtime trade have had to find a way to accommodate this, and experiential venues have had to adapt to find a way to provide the same service, but often from the comfort of customers’ own home.
What have we seen brands doing to celebrate reopening?
To relaunch and get their voice heard in a crowded reopening market, we’ve seen some brands being really creative in how they’ve got themselves back on the scene.
KFC launched a clever marketing campaign to announce ‘we’re back’, as they reopened select restaurants for delivery and takeaway as the lockdown has eased. During lockdown, KFC encouraged people to post using #RateMyKFC, showing off their efforts of their homemade versions of the chains’ popular fried chicken dishes. They created a video using images from customers who had attempted to recreate their dishes during lockdown with various degrees of success, ending with a reassuring messaging saying ‘we’ve missed you too’ and KFC will ‘take it from here’ when it comes to making the best fried chicken around. Just goes to show that not everyone can recreate their favourite restaurant dishes from the comfort of their own home….
On the fast food theme, Burger King also used creative means to promote reopening responsibly with their launch of their ‘social distancing crown’. Launched in Germany, they suggested their oversized cardboard crowns were a ‘fun and playful way to remind our guests to practise social distancing while they are enjoying food in their restaurants’. We love wearing a crown, so any excuse right?!
As London has continued to slowly reopen, footfall on the London Underground has also started to pick up. Although we’re still being encouraged to work from home, people are starting to follow the Government’s guidelines and put their masks on to take public transport to venture into different parts of London. Quick to take advantage of those travelling on the TfL network, was popular street artist, Banksy, with his ‘If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get’ campaign. Banksy took to the London Underground disguised in a full hazmat suit, and created coronavirus-themed artwork, including his notorious rats spreading germs. Banksy took full advantage of the empty canvas in front of him – so cleverly so, that cleaners began to clean it off, thinking it was graffiti, rather than art worth £7.5m by a world renowned artist – oops!
Meanwhile at Mc&T
Here at Mc&T, we’ve been working hard to get some of our clients back up and running, working with them on reopening campaigns to get pints sold, bums on seats and cars in parking spaces.
Triumphantly celebrating the much-anticipated return of the pubs on Saturday 4th, Beavertown Brewery teamed up with renowned poet and comedian – Tim Key to create a poem to welcome the pubs back. An artful ode to pubs, it acted as a love letter capturing the excitement and anticipation of that first pub pint. The poem was placed on the pavement line by line (1 metre apart) outside 10 London locations. See a video of how it looked below
BOXPARK also reopened its doors to all three sites on ‘Super Saturday’. The Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley sites are all serving up some of our favourite street food traders, with additional safety measures and a new Click & Collect.
A double whammy of re-openings as Rooftop Film Club got a socially distanced makeover as it announced its return with a new retro Drive-In movie Experience in Alexandra Palace; Drive In Film Club. Bringing back the nostalgia of the drive-in cinema, the kings of outdoor cinema aimed to provide relief through the power of film to Londoners during this difficult time with the perfect socially distanced fun. Bussey Rooftop Bar also re-opened this Saturday 4th taking Londoners to all news heights and offering that much needed change of scenery. Keeping safety in mind, the South London rooftop bar has reopened seven days a week with all orders done via an app with food and drinks brought directly to visitors table once ordered.
What do we see as ‘the future’?
I think the buzzwords for the future of businesses as everything continues to reopen, are ‘adaptability’ and ‘innovation’. More than ever, businesses need to continue to adapt to changing consumer behaviours and needs. They also need to be innovative in how they’re doing this – to make sure they’re always ahead of the game, and competing with other businesses on the market.