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Lessons From Brands That Have Reinvented Themselves During The Pandemic

The worldwide lockdown has fundamentally altered the way we work. For some owners and franchises, it’s back to the drawing board to find new ways to rebrand and solidify their businesses.

Jana Leonard, founding owner of Jack & Jill Communications, believes it’s vitally important for brands to stay relevant and top of mind RN. “There is a lot of noise and negativity in SA and the world at the moment and consumers are very emotionally and financially invested (and conscious) during this time,” she says.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in local businesses, entrepreneurial endeavours, and therefore a huge shift in consumer behaviour [with the] focus on supporting local businesses and brands.”

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COVID-19 has actually offered us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, our businesses and our offerings to adapt to the new consumer behaviour and landscape.

Jana recommends five ways business owners can reinvent their business to fit the current climate in the country.

1/ Go online

Now is the time to embrace the digital space we live in by, for example, hosting workshops, events, concerts, selling products and providing services. Summerhouse, a fabric and upholstery store, has now launched virtual consulting and an online store selling smalls, like scatter cushion designs and artwork from local artists. 

2/ Adapt, or change completely

South Africans are entrepreneurial and we’re seeing so many new and exciting SMMEs popping up everywhere. Either adapt your current business to fit the “new normal” or launch an entirely new one. International model and entrepreneur Katryn Kruger started hosting Instagram Lives to keep her brand engaging with followers – and they’re loving it!

3/ Think of something people need

Be innovative with your ideas and products. There’s always that one thing everyone needs, but they never knew they did. Baskiti is a newly launched decor business specialising in handwoven hanging baskets. “I never knew I needed a hanging basket until my toddler used our veggies as balls,” says Jana, the founder.

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4. Collaborate with like-minded brands and people

We’re seeing an influx of collaborative efforts and campaigns launching. Collectively we are much stronger than individuals. Engage with fellow industry professionals and work together to reach a common goal. A great example: Treedom Villas and Vardos worked with Wesgro to get locals to support the tourism industry, which was sorely needed.

5/ Listen and respect each other

Be mindful of others, their struggles and their challenges, but also understand how you can assist them in making a difference. How can wine bars such as Wijn increase sales? By launching an online shop called Wijnwinkel, which includes gin from local businesses like The Gin Bar. 

Lockdown really has generated a spirit of creativity. “We’ve united within the entrepreneurial and business space, reinventing and adapting, because if we don’t have each other, who do we have?” says Jana.

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