If you’re pivoting, you may be in good business shape. If you continue to conduct business in the pre-pandemic way you may be lost. Those who pivot are reshaping their brands and looking for new opportunities. You once peddled gift baskets of food goodies for corporate gifts? Now you can pivot to masks, hand sanitizers and social distancing signs that work well in the office – and maybe some chocolate (all individually wrapped of course).

Dave Kenny, the CEO of Nielsen – which monitors all of our viewing consumption habits in more than 100 countries – said consumers are eating up 40+ hours a week of media. There’s a lot more co-viewing going on in the household and we’re watching more than one stream at a time. In just the past six weeks, streaming is up 38 percent. As we hunker down, we’re watching what we want – when we want. And we’re getting used to that habit.

“Some brands panic and cut their advertising,” Kenny said on the “Think About This” podcast with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin. “It could take 4-5 years to rebuild brand equity. Brands that go dark in these moments can have a permanent shift in market.”

In other words, if you bow out, slow down and take it too slow in pandemic times worried about wrong messaging – you may not recover.

Also part of the conversation – CMOs who are afraid of “striking the wrong tone.” But one CMO’s hesitance is another CMO’s bold move. Kenny said we’re witnessing a greater separation from the brave and the timid. He mentioned Verizon, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and State Farm all moving in pandemic times and not stalling out.

Marc S. Pritchard, btw, is a 1982 IU-Bloomington grad who happens to be the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble.
And Verizon, btw, is a longtime PR client of mine.

The point – Always be ready to pivot. Actual performance always counts. Emphasis on performance. So are you pivoting in the new normal?

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