2021 Predictions from Rare Beauty, Blink Fitness, Del Taco & Pernod Ricard

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If 2020 taught brands anything, it’s that predictions are hard to make. That being said, it also taught them the need to be flexible and how to be creative in today’s ever-changing world. In the face of new challenges and opportunities offered by 2021, brands will use these skills to adapt and thrive. Brand Innovators 2021 Predictions Livecast on Dec. 16th featured insights from executives at Rare Beauty, Blink Fitness, Del Taco & Pernod Ricard.

If 2020 taught brands anything, it’s that predictions are hard to make. That being said, it also taught them the need to be flexible and how to be creative in today’s ever-changing world. In the face of new challenges and opportunities offered by 2021, brands will use these skills to adapt and thrive.

During the pandemic, Rare Beauty, Selena Gomez’s cosmetics line, had to pivot and innovate their marketing, which helped the brand grow. The idea was to create content that would not intimidate consumers, instead welcoming people of all skill levels. Their pandemic content focused on videos in which Gomez did her own makeup using the brand’s products, for a magazine cover photoshoot and her TV show, illustrating that anyone can use the products in their own homes and look fabulous.

“We want Rare Beauty to be about community and connection. Since we couldn’t meet the community in person due to the pandemic, we decided to pivot to a virtual platform,” said Katie Welch, CMO of Rare Beauty, during the Brand Innovators 2021 Predictions Livecast on Dec. 16th. “We’ve been having ‘Rare Chats’ every week since March, and they are basically just Zoom calls with our community. We get to see them connect with one another, then they talk to one another on our Instagram page, and we know them too! Our team seems energized, excited, and renewed after these calls. Our community is not just consumers; they are our family. It makes work feel more meaningful when you can actually connect.”

As the brand heads into the new year, they will focus on this community and cultivating a positive message that supports mental health for their fans.

“In 2021, we can expect not only new product innovation, but also some great work within ‘Rare Impact,’ which is our commitment to addressing mental health, especially in underserved communities,” said Welch. “We want to put out trusted content and resources, as well as foster a community. We have a Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, through which we’ve partnered with experts in academia and the medical field who advise us on strategy, language, partners, and other things too. That’s been instrumental for our brand. Most importantly, we want to do something actionable. We launched the Rare Impact Fund which aims to raise $100 million for mental health in 10 years.”

For Blink Fitness, the pandemic accelerated the digitization of the health and fitness industries, and the brand has focused on marrying the in-gym experience with the digital experience. This will continue into 2021, as will the need to make people feel safe going back out to the gym.

“We want people who spend time at our gyms to feel comfortable and relieve stress rather than feel stress,” said Michelle Horowitz, SVP, Head of Marketing and Communications, Blink Fitness. “We have a capacity tracker for our customers to see how busy their gym is before going.”

Additionally the brand plans to focus on bringing the community together through digital channels to share their wellness goals and connect with others even if they are not leaving home to workout.

“Our community is a huge part of the stories we tell, and our social content is a huge component of our company’s strategy,” Horowitz said. “We are very focused on using local influencers to help us build that community, and we base our strategy on the idea of inclusivity. Body inclusivity, positivity, and community engagement are the focus of most of the stories we tell.”

Del Taco Restaurants has also been bridging the digital and in-person divide during the pandemic and they will continue this approach in 2021, hoping to meet consumers where they are and would like to be met.

“I think there's a lot of hope in continuing the innovation and continuing to educate and inform guests on how to use different channels to engage with brands,” said Erik Collins, Director, Digital Brand Engagement, Del Taco Restaurants. “I really do think that the brands that have been flexible, that have easy e-commerce options, those that are safe and trusted, those are going to win. And if we continue to implement processes like that and educate our guests on those processes as a marketer that is how you’re going to succeed in 2021.”  

Andrew Brimer, Director, Commercial Advocacy at Pernod Ricard said that the at-home drinking behaviors which developed during COVID have educated people about the spirits they drink and influenced how they consume them. This will affect how they shop for at-home consumption and will impact how they order when they return to bars and restaurants.

As the company heads into 2021, their overall media strategy is pivoting due to the lasting effects of 2020. Digital will remain important, but they want to move beyond just online sites and running ads on over-the-top platforms like Netflix and Apple TV.

“If you look at a brand like Glenlivet, we recently just launched its first TV ad in the US,” said Brimer. “I think we’ll definitely add more heavy media from a core brand perspective, but I think the real disruption we saw wasn't as much on the media but more of what we were saying, the on-premise perspective.”


Head to Brand Innovators’ YouTube page to watch the whole event.‍

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