• Steve Moncrieff


Brand Distillery have since its start put the customer at the heart of everything it does from data insight through to creative campaign delivery, underpinned by a strategy framework – The Distillery Process.

The process isn’t a gimmick or something to giveaway; this is real insight that can make a change to your business both in the uncertain times of today’s economy and helping build future long-term growth.

The customer experience is why we do what we do and what makes us different from many of the other agencies that talk about strategy alone, this is the part where we can add value to a business, and now more than ever its where we can help businesses today.

Our experience working in brilliant advertising agencies that helped steer business strategy from FTSE100 to entrepreneur-led start-ups, through the Recession of 1990/91, the dotcom boom and bust of 2000s and the Great Recession of 2008/09, has given the team considerable insight into what companies can do to effectively navigate and benefit from the opportunities that will undoubtably arise from the current pandemic.

Consumers, businesses and the wider economy as mentioned in earlier blogs (marketing in a pandemic) find themselves in unchartered territories, and now more than ever it’s vital we take the learnings from different times, the businesses we have worked with, the insight we have gained and share these with businesses to re-define the potential a business has.

In 1978 Henry Mintzberg published an article in Management Science that introduced emergent strategy, which is not based on an original intention but consists of the company responses to a variety of unanticipated events, the place we find ourselves today. Now is the time to develop a proactive plan to adjust and adapt to changing consumer behaviours, experiences and landscape, marketing sits centre stage reflecting the tone of your brand during a tough time. Mintzberg’s thinking was informed by his insight that managers belief that they can predict the future and plan for it precisely.

We are undoubtably in an evolving situation, where consumers quickly turn on brands where they are perceived to exploit tragedy - our greatest challenge is foreseeing how consumers wants, needs, expectations and purchasing decisions will evolve.

The Distillery Process™ considers six key areas and we can use them in today’s pandemic affected economy;

  1. Scenario Planning – decide on the best, worst and moderate scenarios that could play-out as we leave lockdown, what are the specific challenges associated with these scenarios, how will the customer experience be affected?

  2. Keep it simple – focus energy on the customers, they decide whether they spend money with your brand. Have consumers changed their behaviour since Lockdown and will these habits continue (what should you be doing to embrace new consumer habits) Keep the summary to a couple of pages.

  3. It’s not about perfection – the unchartered nature of where we find ourselves dictates that the strategy cannot be perfect, it’s about revenue generation, the world is no longer knowable and controllable.

  4. Changes in customer sentiment – what are your customers feeling and doing, can we gain some insight into the conversations they are having? What are your sales and customer services teams hearing? Are there conversations happening on social media? Staying honest is important, don’t overpromise and underdeliver, remember to consider the long-term consequences of short-term actions.

  5. Operational Impacts – walk in the customers shoes and understand the impact of changes in their habits and behaviours, campaigns that promise things the brand can’t deliver, customer services are being sought for reassurance – how does this effect the experience for the consumer? Long wait times, lack of knowledge etc. How customers are treated operationally can dramatically affect the long-term brand relationship. Many brands, clients included have seen a shift to digital first, previously only dreamt of operationally through necessity, accelerating the move from analogue to digital platforms and digital transformation strategies. But many areas are neglected at the expense of business as usual activity that swamps the teams working day, is it time to review and audit your digital strategy and website or consider the companies data strategy to unlock previously hidden opportunities.

  6. Adapt marketing – the next three to twelve months will bring many societal changes, use the best, worse and moderate case scenarios to consider challenges and map alternative actions.

The potential danger we will fall into during these times is taking a standard framework and adapting to the times we find ourselves in, tweaking or suspending our existing plans we spent so much time developing. This can lead us dangerously down a path that’s sits within the comfort of a strategy the company can control rather than thinking beyond the existing markets and opportunities.

Brand Distillery was formed to help businesses find the right partners to deliver the best customer experience, we use our knowledge to make this happen, but it all starts with our Distillery Process™.

If you fancy a virtual coffee and biscuit to chat through the Distillery Process™, follow this link to find out more and tell us you’re interested.

59 views0 comments