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Business Pivot in the time of COVID-19 (avoiding an easy mistake)

Business Pivot in the time of COVID-19 (avoiding an easy mistake)

21 May 2020

Business Pivot in the time of COVID-19 (avoiding an easy mistake)
WRITTEN BY
Louise Blair
Louise Blair
Associate

Business Pivot in the time of COVID-19 (avoiding an easy mistake)

21 May 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the globe, the impact upon businesses is clear. Some have been doing a great deal in supporting concerted action and answering the call of need where there have been gaps in the business community’s ability to fulfil new requirements. Some businesses have simply had to adapt and convert their current activities to change the goods or services they are able to offer in order to continue trading.&

Indeed, we have seen quite a few businesses pivot, adopt change and run with it.

Australian gin distilleries are working together to develop new hand sanitiser products, repurposing their existing production facilities to meet national demand at a time when the demand for hand sanitiser is at an all-time peak, and in turn, keeping their workers employed.

Pubs have been forced to close their doors. However, one pub in Balmain, Sydney has business still turning over and staff still employed. It has reinvented itself and offers take away breakfasts, Sunday roasts, seafood specialties and even sets up a fresh vegetable stall every Wednesday. On top of that it has created specially packaged and branded beverage bags so customers can prepare cocktails at home without having to source the separate ingredients themselves. Now this is innovative. It appeals to the community and the community and media are backing this pub in the promotion of these new goods and services. Its owner has featured in many news bulletins highlighting the innovation taking place in business. This business has harnessed the power of social media to promote the shift in business to its core target audience. Something it wasn’t doing before COVID 19.

Another business model reinvention comes from a bookshop in Yarraville, Victoria. It now delivers books by bike in the local area. Orders are made online and staff deliver the books to the doorstep and walk away. The local community has embraced the idea. This new business model has meant that staff have kept their jobs and many other locals have volunteered to do deliveries to keep up with orders.

A Sydney-based merchandise printing business has implemented a totally new plan to keep its doors open. One local had been very busy sharing inspiring “iso” thoughts in chalk on park benches and walls. With permission, the business printed a slogan on clothing. The incentive for support of the sales project was that a portion of monies made was donated to a local community centre which supports, amongst other things, disadvantaged people in isolation. Orders flooded in. Consumers have big hearts in these torrid times and are encouraging of businesses which are seeking to do their best to fight on.

Another innovative business is a family-run, artisan bread and baked goods delivery service in Sydney. During the time of this pandemic, it is employing a contact-free, online ordering system and delivery service. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen bread-delivery service in Sydney. It uses the catch-phrase “You’ll never meet a safer loaf of bread”. This is an example of a revived old business model being rediscovered today. And it works.

In Marrickville, NSW a small group of experts in sustainability education and reuse have recently developed a way to produce surgical shields which is a product in high demand since the COVID-19 outbreak.

This re-thinking of existing business models has resulted in many new products and services, all requiring new branding, promotional campaigns and channels to market. It is critical to appropriately protect these new brands and products in a highly competitive market, be it in Australia or overseas especially if the channels to market expand into new regions or countries in which your business didn’t previous operate.

All these businesses have pivoted quickly to adapt to customer needs during this pandemic. Some businesses may continue their new product lines into the future, while others may need to continually re-invent themselves to stay relevant. The biggest risk to any business adapting their offering, is the competition. If you don’t protect your business’s branding of its goods and services, there is little to stop competitors from stealing it. If they are quick to achieve adequate protection under the law, your business could lose everything.

Some businesses have only now come under the consumer’s radar and grown significantly during COVID-19. The number one action for these businesses should be protecting their brand, product or service. How do you know if another business is infringing on your existing branding? If you haven’t set up the right protection at the start, you often have little to stand on by way of objection when you see a competitor hit the market using your branding.

Protect now and protect into the future. Either way, protect.

Your best approach to protect new goods or services is to register a trade mark for new branding. This is an extremely cost-effective move and provides protection for 10 years (and repeatedly for 10 year periods upon renewal, indefinitely). Consider if you already have a registered trade mark, whether it provides protection for your new business model. You may need to protect in additional classes of goods and services.

If your business has developed a new brand or product and you want to protect it, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors has a range of affordable options to get you there.

For only $650, plus government fees, our trade mark experts will provide you with our Brand Search and Application package for your business.

If you feel your business would benefit from expert strategic advice on protecting your brand, invest in the Strategic Advice Full Service package and benefit from a confidential discussion on the best strategy to protect your business. 

Reinventing and pivoting your business takes hard work and commitment. Don’t let the competitors take advantage of your good ideas. Get in touch today at ip@ablawyers.com.au to review the best options of protection for your business into the future.

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