Pivoting the “Ps”

Unprecedented, changing, uncertain – we’ve heard these words time and again over recent weeks. Individually and collectively, personally and professionally, there’s a lot going on.

Companies and brands are having to think differently out of necessity.  They’re fighting for survival – they’re changing what they do, and how and where they do it.  

We’re seeing brands pivoting around the “4Ps” of marketing – product, price, place and promotion.  Here are just a few examples we’ve seen:  

  • Product: With the Formula 1 season on hold, Project Pitlane saw teams from across the paddock collaborating to respond to the Government’s Ventilator Challenge.  John Lewis announced it was to reopen its textiles factory in Lancashire, which usually makes curtains, pillows and duvets, to make clinical gowns for the NHS.  In doing so, it reportedly brought back expert sewers from furlough.
  • Price: In response to panic buying, a supermarket in Copenhagen, Denmark created an unusual offer for customers tempted to hoard hand sanitiser: buy one bottle for 40 kroner (£5), and the second will cost 1,000 kroner (£126).
  • Place: Heinz has introduced its first direct-to-consumer website (heinztohome.co.uk). It offers bundles of core Heinz products to locked-down customers, with free delivery to NHS staff and other emergency service workers. It has a simple menu of bundles of tinned food or sauces for £10.  There’s a delivery charge of £3.50 per bundle for those who don’t qualify for discounts.
  • Promotion: Emily Crisps planned its first outdoor advertising campaign for April, hoping for a sunny bank holiday weekend with people freely moving around, socialising and eating lots of crisps. The reality was very different. The marketing team turned around new ads. One read: “Our first ever poster, seen by a runner and one pigeon. Another: “Hmmm…Maybe we should have made a TV ad instead”.  They then looked to other parts of the marketing mix, sharing photos of the outdoor ads on social media using the #stayhome hashtag.

Marketing is about the development of a product or service which meets a need at the right price, and the promotion in the right place and at the right time.  This doesn’t need to stop – but the emphasis may need to be slightly different right now – think about product, price and place, and then promotion.

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like help thinking about how to pivot your brand and offer.

Get in touch: [email protected] / Millichamp.co