2020 will go down in history as one of the strangest, dystopian-esque years of most of our lives here in Canada. But, what’s more remarkable is how some brands got creative with going virtual. Typical face-to-face interactions became video chats or phone calls, events cancelled due to social distancing measures, and lockdown forced everyone to stay (mostly) at home.
At Matte PR, we’re lucky that most of our work is done digitally. We seamlessly transitioned from in-office to #workfromhome status. Overtime it proved to be a huge success for our close-knit team of four as well as our two summer interns!
As we pivoted the way we worked, so did our clients. Here’s a look back at how some of them rode the wave.
With lockdown came the rise of meal kit brands and quarantine cooking! Sorry I’ve Got Plants, a recent addition to the Matte PR client roster, is a Roncesvalles-based general store and online platform for plant-based food and household goods. Its recently reopened IRL shop carries plant-based brands from around its local Toronto community, ready-to-eat meals, produce kits, and its holy grail subscription-free meal kits. With COVID-19, ramping up its e-commerce efforts became a necessity – one that saw 300 per cent growth! The shop became a spot for free pick-ups following online orders, and its low waste meal kit program operated with contactless deliveries.
Retail felt the shockwaves of COVID-19’s eruption, as brick and mortar stores closed and e-commerce became a must-have. Hania Kuzbari opened its first pop-up shop in Yorkville Village early March and made the tough decision to close to protect the community soon after. With this, the brand shifted gears and focused its efforts on its Shopify platform, introducing a virtual showroom and live chat service. Interested jewelry-lovers can DM a fine jewelry expert or book a one-on-one virtual styling appointment with the designer herself, where she will take you through her artisan pieces and personally handpick designs for you. Hania is also hosting Instagram Live sessions every Wednesday at 12 p.m. EST from her Toronto studio to personally answer questions and chat about her jewelry making processes, inspirations and give an in depth look into her exclusive pieces.
Luckily, real estate was deemed an essential business in most Canadian provinces. Therefore, the industry continued to move as usual with the adjustment of virtual transactions. Engel & Völkers, who had long instilled a virtual approach to real estate back in 2017, ensured its advisors were well-equipped for adaptation. Amid COVID-19, Engel & Völkers put its advisors’ businesses first and officially partnered with Matterport to further enhance its virtual product suite in the Americas. With this, advisors hosted virtual open houses and immersive 3D property tours 24/7. These virtual tours have proven successful with some properties sold sight unseen in markets like Ottawa and Montreal. President and CEO Anthony Hitt believes virtual is here to stay and identifies it becoming a key aspect of a real estate transaction moving forward post-COVID.
The practice of #workfromhome has proven to be successful and people have well adapted to virtual tools than ever before due to this pandemic. As we continue to reopen, it’ll be interesting to see how these virtual adaptations stick and consumer preferences change post-COVID. It’s safe to say going virtual has opened up not only business possibilities but also countless opportunities as well from a B2B and B2C perspective.