The economy has been shaken and many businesses and industries are greatly affected due to most of the world observing lockdown and social distancing provisions. Innovation has always been a key to success which is why many businesses are forced to innovate and evolve to keep themselves afloat.
The following are some examples on how businesses have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. The National Football League (NFL) resorts to a virtual draft event
With mass gatherings being banned, the NFL holds its first ever virtual draft in its history. The 2020 NFL Draft kept it simple as it held a three-day virtual party for its annual event. The draft was broadcasted on ABC and ESPN and gained a 16% increase in views with a total of 55 million viewers due to most of America being in lockdown.
The draft was able to raise $100 million for COVID-19 relief initiatives. Moreover, a fresh sight beheld fans across America as they were able to see notable coaches, players, and managers streaming live from their homes. The 2020 NFL Draft has been dubbed as a game changer, making the event more cost-efficient and authentic than previous years.
2. The food and beverage industry has turned to wholesale retail
An industry being hit hard the most right now is the food and beverage industry. Many restaurants have been forced to close due to lockdowns and social distancing provisions. During these hard times, food brands turning to wholesale retail was just the innovation they needed.
In the Philippines, brands such as Jollibee, Tater’s, Cookies by the Bucket, and many more have gone viral as they announced ready-to-cook products being available at groceries or by takeout and delivery. These brands have advertised their ready-to-cook products as a way for their customers to continue eating their favorite food at the comforts of their home.
3. One of the hardest-hit industries, the airline industry, receives billions in aid
The airline industry is one of the industries at the forefront of being affected the most by the pandemic. Without a vaccine, the airline industry may not be able to fully recover. Despite the grim outlook, a lot of efforts are being made and planned to help the industry during these times.
Globally, aid packages and government bailouts are being given to different airline companies. This will help them in continuing to pay their employees and maintaining their businesses. Other airlines have initiated giving out vouchers, instead of refunds, to their passengers for future use. In the near future when mass travel will resume, the airline industry is prepared to enforce stricter health and safety regulations for the benefit of its passengers.
4. The bank industry helps businesses and customers ride out the economic storm
With the economy taking a hard hit during the pandemic, banks are also taking a hit as well. Many businesses are applying for loans, most banks are temporarily closed, and people are applying for relief in regards to their mortgage and insurance payments.
So far, so good, banks are doing their best to adjust to the changing economy. Banks such as DBS Bank and UOB have allotted dedicated hours to vulnerable customers which include the elderly. Many banks have also released aid and relief packages to help businesses cope. Other experts have also said that this is the best time for banks to move more into the digital scene.
5. Other business innovations during the pandemic
Another innovation being done by the food & beverage industry is donating food to charities and migrant workers. Some countries implemented lockdowns at such short notices that many food businesses rushed to clear their inventories to avoid waste and spoilages. Since restaurants are affected by the circuit breaker’s social distancing regulations, many have turned into soup kitchens to feed those in need while others have innovated to offer takeout and delivery.
Grab riders in Singapore, business is booming as they head to the frontlines to be able to deliver food and groceries to citizens unable to go outside. On the other hand, taxi drivers have evolved into delivering food and groceries with having less passengers to cater to during this time.
It is comforting to know that despite the current circumstances, businesses have found ways to evolve, innovate, and adjust. Other industries have even collaborated to help each other stay afloat, confirming that we are definitely stronger when we work hand-in-hand.
A new normal awaits us all after lockdowns are lifted globally and businesses will continue to evolve. The best thing we all can do is to stay positive and keep our heads up. If struggling industries can turn things around, we definitely can do it for ourselves too.