Case Study: Hilton Clean Stay

Hilton Hotel recently reassured guests of hygiene and safety regulations by creating Hilton CleanStay. The main tenets of CleanStay are:

  • Cleaning procedures have been improved to give guests peace of mind.
  • A collaboration with Lysol, Dettol and the Mayo clinic to create a new set of guidelines.
  • Digital communication strategies and a transition to contactless technology allowing guests to navigate their whole hotel experience through the convenience of their mobile device.

For some a hotel stay is a luxury getaway, for others, it is a necessity if they are required to work away or perhaps need to see a loved one safely.

With industry-leading hygiene practices created to keep customers safe, Hilton CleanStay is a programme created to communicate the new protocols of the franchise. The aim is to keep guests well informed on digital platforms, in order to build trust and provide reassurance at a time
of uncertainty.

The Hilton CleanStay webpage focuses on highly visual content, demonstrating the brand’s efforts towards maintaining safety and protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. The web page is structured to keep customers well informed; with clean, bright imagery proving high hygiene levels in every department of the hotel. The imagery is complemented with calm, clinical blue colours and CTAs to allow the reader to access greater detail.

The franchise has produced an engaging advertising video of the new hygiene procedures. This shows hotel staff wearing PPE, demonstrates strict cleaning procedures and systematic hygiene monitoring.

Another part of the programme is the development of contactless technology including the use of the ‘contactless key’. This technology allows guests to navigate their whole hotel experience through the convenience of their mobile phone, enduring minimal (if any) human or surface contact. Through the “Hilton Honors” mobile app you can choose a room, check-in, access your room and check-out with a digital room key providing a COVID safe experience.

Hiltons’ partnership with Lysol, Dettol and the Mayo clinic also defines their new standard of ‘trusted know-how and scientific approach to cleaning practices and product offerings’. The research was carried out at the beginning of lockdown and data showed that 77% of people’s main concerns were of hygiene. The Hilton CleanStay programme is perfectly designed to allay these concerns.


Case study: Bloom & Wild

It is safe to say that lockdown has altered many UK industries, not least the gifting sector. As uncertainty rose, our thoughts increasingly turned to the ones we love. Before the beginning of the year, the gifting industry was growing but with the national lockdown and with further regional lockdowns being experienced up and down the country, the ability to send gifts online has become essential.  Gifting is one of the primary ways of showing someone we care and so any company offering such a service will be at an advantage at a time where their physical outlets are potentially closed and therefore revenue is affected.

Bloom & Wild is a letterbox florist known for their beautiful flowers and thoughtful marketing. They offer a personal online service with a great customer experience throughout the sales journey and have an easy to use website. During recent tough times they have remained a voice of positivity and support to their customers and their marketing is sensitive and uplifting. As an exclusively online business, the company were already perfectly placed to benefit from the spike in internet shopping and have been able to take advantage of the rise in new customers as well as continuing to engage with their existing ones.

Bloom & Wild were the go-to florists for a last-minute present. The company offers a dedicated service where you pick a bouquet of your choice, personalise a card and choose your loved one’s favourite chocolates, with the option of next day delivery. The additional benefit of the Bloom and Wild service is that there is no requirement for the recipient to be home as they are packaged in a box suited for posting through a standard letterbox. Before lockdown they were a ‘fallback’ option but with recent social distancing restrictions, they are able to provide a modern and necessary alternative to traditional florists.

Sending a bouquet of flowers is a great way to make someone’s day and to show we care especially during this uncertain time, whilst socialising is restricted. Bloom & Wilds’ service provides a great experience for both sender and receiver. The aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate website and tailored online service provides a positive user journey, whilst the delivery of flowers through the letterbox, in beautiful branded packaging, with tips on how best to arrange your flowers will bring joy to the recipient.

Bloom & Wild’s focus is on caring for their customers in order to achieve ongoing loyalty. This is communicated through their digital marketing platforms and their recent email strategy reignited the relationship with existing consumers whilst engaging with new customers. The consideration towards their customers at this time of difficulty was inspiring, as the company dispatched emails with messages of ‘little gestures = a big difference’ and ‘send a rainbow’ aimed to uplift consumers and maintain a positive morale.

Whilst there is a spike in demand due to the current situation, there is a chance of Bloom & Wilds’ customers having a short-term purchasing cycle. However, as people have discovered this new and overlooked service, they have found a great product with incredible customer service and this gives the company a chance to develop their one-off customers into loyal consumers through brand awareness and ongoing positive marketing. If Bloom & Wild can maintain a reliable and high-quality service, they stand themselves in good stead against their online and high street competitors once normality resumes in the future.

Lockdown season 2 - How businesses reactivate customer sales

As lockdown continues to ease and businesses begin to return to a level of normality, we have seen an increase in clients asking us, “how and when do we restart (or for some, start!) communicating with our customers”. Reactivating consumer demand might not be straight forward.

Businesses often experience ups and downs, but it is safe to say the Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a whole new level of uncertainty, requiring many companies to change and adapt their strategies and even business models.

Mixed in with the, often grim, daily updates on the virus’s impact, there have been examples of goodwill, sacrifice and optimism. The pandemic has seen many revaluate what is most important to them, with resulting winners and losers as consumers shift their behaviour. We have seen increased usage of digital channels and social media with the online shopping and gift industries especially benefitting, although not so much the events, entertainment and alcohol sectors.

Throughout the pandemic, we have spoken to, watched and tracked many companies. In identifying those who have ‘done it right’ during the worst of the pandemic and their subsequent communications and activity, we have identified four stages of reactivating demand that will be of benefit.

  1. Reassure – Consumers
  2. Reassess – Audience/ tribe. Context/ occasion.
  3. Reignite – Market Category, Engage/ inspire.
  4. Reconsider – New alliances, new partnerships.

Stage 1 Reassurance 

It was always evident that purchasing behaviour would be impacted. A lack of clarity in a very fast-moving situation has seen growing uncertainty, decision paralysis and many people staying in survival mode.

The critical takeaway is the importance of keeping customers and clients informed and reassured, and to do so with empathy and compassion. Companies which or that react with well-developed, clear digital strategies are more likely to be the winners.

Case Study: Hilton Clean Stay

Hilton Hotel reassured guests of hygiene and safety regulations by creating Hilton CleanStay.

  • They boosted cleaning procedures, to give travellers a piece of mind
  • Collaborated with Lysol, Dettol and the Mayo clinic to create a new set of guidelines
  • Developed digital communication strategies and transitions to contactless technology allowing guests to navigate their whole hotel experience though the comfort of their mobile phone

To read the full case study click here


Key Question:

Have you reassured customers that you are continuing to trade and how you will be doing so in a way that is safe for them and your organisation and stakeholders?

Stage 2 Re-assess

It’s also time to take a fresh look at your consumer groups and segments. Review if and/or how they are changing due to the recent and ongoing impact of the pandemic. Individual priorities may have shifted along with habits and lifestyles. What once interested your consumer may no longer, as their needs are now different. In the United States, 75 percent of consumers have tried a new store, brand, or different way of shopping during the pandemic.

Whilst not everything has changed, you might want or need to adopt new ways of communicating with your target customers. It is important to evaluate if your existing communication and marketing channels are still working and getting the same visibility and cut-through? as before. Not only may your customers have re-assessed what services and products they can do with or without, but other brands and industries are also shifting where they communicate. These changes can result in your message losing its relevance or getting lost in increased noise.

Case Study: Seedlip

Alcohol consumption rose significantly in March as Brits cleared spirits shelves on supermarket aisles. In April 2020 Alcohol UK commissioned a survey with Opinium which recorded peoples drinking behaviours post lockdown. Out of the 2000 survey participants, around 25% have either stopped drinking or reduced how often they drink, since the lockdown.

Seedlip’s audience, context and occasion were therefore repositioned to suit a new wave of health-conscious and digitally obsessed consumers. Their consumer focus shifted from being a non-alcoholic alternative for pregnant women, designated drivers and the sober to a new tribe of stay-at-home guiltless tipplers. They assessed their consumers’ new healthy habits and created fun mocktail (including Seedlips’ ‘Nogroni’, a take on the Negroni). Classes were put out on their social media channel, IGTV, designed to be a “from home” activity to shake up lockdown evenings.

Key Questions:

Are my existing segments and personas still valid?

Have they changed completely, or do they need updating?

Are Do existing communication and marketing channels need adjusting still working?

Are they getting the same visibility and cut-through as before?

Stage 3 Reignite

If your company is one that consumers haven’t had front of mind for the past few months, now is the time to reignite their interest in your products or services.

Customer experience has become more important than ever as people are bombarded with COVID messages and sales announcements along with the prolonged hassle of social distancing and the difficulty of one-on-one contact. Now is the time to become a leading voice and inspire your audience. Look to re-engage your audience and create a customer experience that reignites the relationship with new and existing consumers. Delivering a complete digital customer experience is now integral to building loyalty.

Case Study: Bloom and Wild

Bloom and Wild, a letter box florist, known for their beautiful flowers, thoughtful marketing and ‘happiness guaranteed’ gifting experience.

  • Personal online florist service with great customer experience throughout the customer journey.
  • Reignited the relationship with new and existing consumers, becoming the leading online florist
  • Uplifting tone of voice spreading positivity at a time of difficulty.

To read the full case study click here


Key Questions:

How can you reignite relationships with your customers?

How can you develop your customer experience?

Can your product or service become more digital or personal?

Are there activities you can do to stand out from the competition?

Stage 4 Reconsider 

The unexpected can grab consumer attention and drive interest and re-engagement in your business and products. Fitting within your values, find a way to show your customers they need you again.

During lockdown we have seen some big brands reconsider partnerships, business partners and distribution channels.

Previously resilient, independent organisations have now shifted to digital platforms and networks of mutually beneficial partnerships.

Casestudy: M&S and Deliveroo

The announcement of M&S’s partnership with Deliveroo was received with huge excitement. The partnership cut out the hassle of PPE, queuing, one-way systems and social distancing just to get a pint of milk for your morning cereal, all delivered in as fast as 30 minutes. At the same time, each organisation was able to tap into the other’s consumers and enter new markets and social segments that might have been hard to otherwise reach.

Key Question:

Are there mutually beneficial partnerships you could look to leverage with existing suppliers?


Now is the perfect time to review the four stages, identify where you are within the process of reconnecting with your customers and come up with a strategy to reconnect.

Whilst the above case studies are retail focussed. The points are still very relevant to both B2B organisations as well as SaaS, eCommerce and independent businesses. The key takeaways are:

1. Communicate with empathy and reassurance.

Deliver clear and reassuring signals about safety, hygiene, social responsibility, and value. Look to use automation to aid this, including email flows and scheduled touchpoints to support this.

2. Review your consumer segments and personas.

Have your customers habits and priorities changed? Re-assess how this may have impacted the need for your product or service and tailor messaging and communication accordingly.

3. Customer experience is paramount, especially online.

The increase of digital interaction through google, social media, and online shopping means there is more choice than ever and ease of finding alternatives and comparison. Combined with the impact of limited opportunities to develop personal relationships through face-to-face meetings (which digital communication cannot entirely make up for) means the digital experience must be as good as possible. Review your customer journeys. Can you reduce friction or further add value in the process? How do your marketing and sales communications tie into these?

4. Consider partnerships.

Everyone is in the same boat, and you might be surprised how pairing with another company can massively benefit you both at a time of need. Partnerships also excite and engage your current client base whilst broadening your channels to new consumers who have not needed you before.

To read more on sales demand, we suggest McKinseys analytical article on Rapidly forecasting demand and adapting commercial plans in a pandemic


Why a specialist partner is critical to your data strategy

Governments’ management of the COVID 19 pandemic has shown the value of a strong data strategy. The use of continuous, real-time data flows to detect trends in infection rates that have steered actions and policies. Unfortunately, it has also demonstrated how misinterpretation, inappropriate or incomplete data can lead to poor decisions. There are lessons for both Governments and also for companies.

Shell Denmark developed a system in the early 1990s to measure the flow of customer heating oil consumption from the pump impeller via the telephone to a central system which managed automatic replenishment. The result was that no customer run out of oil and Shell could optimise its transport fleet rather than organise transport for peak demands when the weather became cold. Great idea, poor timing! The right technology was not then available. The idea is still good but today the technology has moved on rapidly.

Customer behaviour data is increasingly important to companies allowing them to provide outstanding service. But it raises many questions about data privacy and security. Using specialist data companies to manage data can alleviate customers concerns around security and proper process.

Operational performance data has less privacy and security concerns, although confidentiality remains essential. The value of the right data being collected and analysed properly can be significant. Avoiding mechanical problems through early warnings of equipment failure can save substantial sums by preventing unplanned shutdowns.

Regulators and the public now require more information about how companies’ operations impact the environment are emerging at a rapid pace.

The value of a well-developed data strategy

A well-developed digital data strategy can therefore enable companies to deliver more value to customers and at the same time enhance their reputation.

GPDR may appear to be onerous for companies but regulations relating to personal data could increase further. This is not the case for operational data where both customer and society benefit are clearer.

The key challenge for data companies is to demonstrate meaningful benefits to customers. If not, they will be reluctant to share data. Doing this well, results in greater customer retention and brand loyalty.

Data is sometimes called the new ‘oil’. Oil was seen as a welcome and convenient development when it overtook coal as the largest source of energy. Oil companies became the most valued corporations on stock markets. Today, oil is seen as a dirty fuel and data companies have larger market capitalisations than oil companies. But data must avoid becoming today’s ‘oil’.

Companies need to ensure:

  • Clear communications of customer benefits
  • The technology needed is available
  • The data company has adequate analytical capabilities
  • The data provider agrees not to sell customer data to brokers