Jul 22, 2020

From start-ups to multi-million Rand companies.  From the famous singer to the rookie influencer.  No one was fully prepared for the coronavirus pandemic.  (Okay, perhaps the small businesses that received an average insurance pay-out of R200 000 each from OUTsurance, were a little prepared.)

Nonetheless, what are you as a business, professional or individual going to do to turn this situation around?

CBD Marketing’s slogan is ‘Rethink Your Thinking’ and now more than ever we need to change our way of thinking and doing things.  As the Marines say: “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.”

Here are a few examples (inspirations) of how businesses are being innovative:


  1. Commercial to Cargo

The restrictions on traveling, left airlines with their hands in their hair.  But not for long.  Major airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, United and American Airlines, among others, are switching to cargo-only-flights.  The airlines use the empty passenger cabins to transport much-needed items, including grocery items and healthcare provisions.

  1. Run Virtually

With sporting events being cancelled, the absence of unity grew bigger.  The local sock brand (along with various brand partners), developed the Versus Virtual Run to ignite the sense of community among South Africans.  Entrants could run a 5km of their choice and was monitored via Strava.  Although prizes weren’t given to actual winners (rather per lucky draw) the race resulted in excitement and unity.

Versus Virtual Ride is taking place on 25 July 2020.

  1. Your Roof to Red Roof

Since March 2020 many professionals are forced to work from their houses, but space, WiFi (and patience) is limited at home.

A hotel in New Albany, Red Roof, is offering rooms between 8am to 6pm for any individual to get some work done at a daily rate.  With free WiFi, free local and long-distance calls, as well as free coffee, who wouldn’t want to make use of this space?

  1. Keeping the Personal Touch

Many retailers have adapted by selling their products online, but Marie (a gift shop owner in the USA) understood her value in helping customers select gifts in her store.  Marie uses Facebook Live and Facetime to ‘walk’ customers through the store so they can see the items she has in stock, ask questions and order directly from her.

  1. No Gym, No Problem

Do you miss going to your routine Thursday morning Pilates class?

Virgin Active group has launched an online platform called Virgin Active Coach, where members can continue joining their favourite classes with their favourite Group Exercise Instructors, virtually.

  1. From Beerhouse to soup kitchen

If all else fails, take the time to give to others.  The Beerhouse franchise realised that it would be a while before they will be fully operational again.  So instead, they transformed their space into a soup kitchen.  Staff continue to receive their daily wage, while food gets donated to the less fortunate.


It is challenging times and we all just want to move forward, but it seems like corona is here to stay (for a little while longer at least).  So, let’s think outside the ‘corona-is-going-to-kill-me-and-my-business’ box.

One marketing element we feel that any business/individual can benefit from during this time, is social media.  If you are not currently active on any social media platform (may it be Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn), make it a priority.

#covid19 #improviseadaptovercome