Agility and adaptation among confusion

5 brands who have successfully pivoted their business strategy in the face of crisis

Difficult times can undoubtedly fuel fear, confusion and frustration, but it is through adversity that we are empowered with choice. Amidst today’s current climate, brands across the world are making unprecedented decisions in the face of crisis – decisions that affect hundreds of millions of individuals, for better or for worse. The brands that stick out among the rest aren’t the ones that are simply trying to get their two cents into a crowded conversation, but the ones that are uprooting their longstanding business plans to evolve in a way that not only helps others, but changes the way the world works. 

As the founder of a global brand immersion agency that’s worked with big name brands including Amazon, Hulu and Live Nation, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge those that are doing it right. 


Global luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH, announced that it will begin making hand sanitizer in three of its perfume manufacturing facilities, where fragrances for Christian Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain are typically made. At the forefront of this decision is LVMH’s swift response to a worldwide shortage of hand sanitizer. But perhaps more importantly is the underlying message this initiative sends to the public. By quickly adjusting their business to service the evolving needs of consumers, LVMH positions itself as a purposeful corporation that makes decisions based on what’s best for public interest, rather than their own commercial interest. 

Christian Dior’s factory in Saint-Jean de Braye © LVMH

Universal Pictures   

Universal Pictures is the first studio to announce it will make some of its current film releases, including The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma, available to rent on demand. This decision, which breaks with historical Hollywood practices of giving theaters an exclusive period to play new movies, comes at a time when people are increasingly being told to stay indoors. Rather than delaying the release of new films and entertainment, the company has shifted its strategy to provide an additional accessible and affordable option for cooped-up consumers. 

Time Out New York

The traditional print and online magazine, Time Out New York, has temporarily rebranded to Time In New York as city-dwellers are increasingly forced to practice social-distancing. While the publication typically highlights fun events to attend and activities to do around the city, they’ve shifted focus to providing consumers with much-needed suggestions and recommendations like “The 100 best movies of all time” and “The best takeout and delivery restaurants in NYC.” A seemingly simple, yet smart, pivot in a time when individuals are actively seeking clarity and choice in the midst of isolating quartintines.

Chef Jose Andres 

Michelin-starred Chef José Andrés is transforming eight of his renowned restaurants in New York City and Washington into community soup kitchens, in an effort to provide a solution for those struggling to make ends meet. A well-known figure in the food and lifestyle space, Andrés is using his influence and assets to cater to public needs as opposed to pursuing commercial business goals – which he easily could have done by keeping his restaurants open for take-out and delivery. 


Peloton closed its New York and London studios to the public, and in return is offering free 90-day subscription trials for its at-home workout app, where it will continue to produce live content. While the decision to temporarily shutter its physical locations surely wasn’t an easy one, the brand acted in solidarity with the community to offer a safe and useful option to keep individuals active and sane while they remain indoors.

These examples show brands who have not only pivoted their strategy, but adopted (extremely quickly) new approaches to talk to their audiences and provide them with something of worth. This is something that the events industry is currently grappling with also – a space that has taken a huge and scary hit over the last couple of weeks.

There’s undoubtedly more knocks to come and so while live, in-person events cannot currently take place, the show must go on, and brands are doing their best to engage with their customers and bring them unique moments that they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. 

While technology like Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality was once a ‘futuristic’ supplement to event marketing, it’s now at the forefront of the tools we have to work with. At DesignScene, we’re putting our digital approach at the forefront of our work. We are empowering brands to host virtual events and conferences that fully engage and interact with their audiences – no matter where they’re dialing in from – through live Q&A’s, surveys, polls, commentary and quizzes that offer real time feedback. 

We’re all navigating uncharted waters, while restricted to safe harbors. Using technology to not only remain relevant, but to be a source of the hope and help that people are desperate for, will be what separates the ones that safely waited out the storm from the ones who adjusted their sails to reach a new destination.

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