Updated: Oct 29, 2020
It's the story you are hearing everywhere, about companies needing to pivot in order to stay in business during the 2020 pandemic.
I have been working in the promotional products industry for over 23 years. As the co-owner of a small but growing business, our company was what I like to think of as the American small business dream--work hard, hire people, create a fun company culture that operated like a work family, and grow the company so it reached a level of stability and prosperity shared by everyone at the company. And then Covid-19 hit and the world came to a grinding halt, companies froze their marketing budgets and canceled their in-person events and our American small business dream fizzled. As we struggled to remain relevant to our hard-earned clients, we realized that we needed a creative way to connect with them. ConnectRship, a Virtual Game Experience, was born out of necessity. It gave us the opportunity to connect with our clients virtually and in a fun way. Then our clients started asking us to run ConnectRship events for them. That is when we realized that companies need these types of virtual experiences to connect with their remote employees.
“ As we struggled to remain relevant to our hard-earned clients, we realized that we needed a creative way to connect with them.”
What we were and are hearing from our clients is that working remotely is not really the challenge. Our clients have pivoted so that their employees can easily access their company files and do their work from anywhere. That is the silver lining and certainly a credit to modern technology. But what clients are saying is that they need ways to connect with their remote employees and colleagues. So while we were working frantically to stay in touch with and relevant to our clients, ConnectRship took off. That was pivot number one. As we were speaking to clients about ConnectRship, they were asking us what else can we do. Can we do mixology? What else do you have up your sleeve? That is where pivot number two came from. Our clients didn't need swag as much. They needed corporate virtual experiences. That was how ConnectRcentral was born.
“Our clients have pivoted so that their employees can easily access their company files and do their work from anywhere. That is the silver lining and certainly a credit to modern technology.”
After 22 years of working with companies to help them brand themselves with promotional products, it certainly feels like jumping off a huge cliff to switch from products to services, create a vision and website from scratch, find creative and awesome vendors who can provide our clients with engaging and useful virtual experiences and set up new systems to accommodate a new business model. Today's jumping off a cliff is now called pivoting. It's exciting and scary but to stay relevant this pivot is our new normal.