3 Brands that Beat the Odds and Thrived During the Pandemic | Hacker Noon

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At the beginning of 2020, businesses globally were faced with a choice: innovate and adapt or sink under pressure. Some of them excelled, while others fumbled.

Those who chose to think positively, remain flexible and be proactive saw opportunities and went after them. They took challenges and created opportunities for their business, which made them stand out among the rest. 

Democratizing the Entertainment Industry 

Stage 32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, television, and digital creatives and executives worldwide. Following the 2020 cancelations of film festivals, Stage 32 CEO Richard “RB” Botto wanted to give filmmakers a virtual platform to showcase their projects to global decision-makers. 

The technology infrastructure in place for Stage 32’s networking, mentorship, and creative collaboration projects enabled the team to launch Stage 32 Screenings within 48 hours of major festival cancelations, putting displaced filmmakers in the spotlight. With Stage 32 Screenings, Botto was able to provide a festival experience on-demand.

Botto said, “Executives were able to watch these amazing projects at their convenience and from the comfort of their own homes. Further, our staff set up meetings between executives and the creators and helped facilitate a remarkable number of deals.”

Amongst many success stories, “ECHOES OF THE INVISIBLE,” a film from a Polish director shot in six different countries, was picked up for worldwide distribution by US-based Glass House Distribution following its debut on Stage 32 Screenings.

The filmmakers elected not to screen with Amazon and instead chose Stage 32, as they felt the platform’s connected global audience gave them the best chance of finding distribution. 

The launch of Stage 32 Screenings gave over 1,000 executives affiliated with Stage 32 access to films they’d have only seen by attending festivals. This event was exclusively available to Stage 32’s network, meaning filmmakers’ projects could be viewed by thousands of professionals, including sales agents, distributors, producers, financiers, managers, agents, and development executives.

With a member base of over 750,000, this type of exposure is paramount to a budding filmmaker gaining exposure in the industry.

As streaming services expand their content demands and search for talent worldwide to meet demanding production schedules, Stage 32’s ability to virtually connect global entertainment talent has never been of greater significance. 

Helping Small Businesses Master Ecommerce

Despite the faltering economy, Americans spent more time online in 2020 than ever before. Online sales surged as shoppers found new avenues to get what they’d normally buy in stores.

The competition became fierce as there could always be another website with a similar product for a cheaper price. AdRoll, a champion for direct-to-consumer brands in the ecommerce space, saw an opportunity. 

Combining martech and adtech, AdRoll is the only ecommerce marketing platform that gives growing D2C brands the power to connect with people everywhere they go online.

Over the past 12+ years, AdRoll has interacted with 1.2 billion of the 1.8 billion digital shoppers worldwide, giving it an edge in knowing its clients’ customers and how to engage them. The AdRoll team went to bat for small businesses, advancing strategies with existing clients and supporting new ones with their proprietary techniques. 

Luxury baby product designer OiOi, who’d established a strong global presence as a brick-and-mortar outlet, came to AdRoll at the start of 2020 to boost their online footprint.

The growing importance of digital marketing over the years prompted their transformation from 70% retail and 30% online – and the pandemic accelerated it. With AdRoll’s help, OiOi completely flipped that ratio to 70% ecommerce sales and achieved a 7x return on ad spend.  

Taking Education to Another Level 

Now that virtual events have become the new normal, education and training strategies must pivot to include robust online programs. The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS) quickly pivoted and made online training a regular part of their curriculum. While this is a significant challenge for an industry that would seem to require dedicated in-person education, AAAMS found a way to make it work.

AAAMS offers certification and training for general aesthetics, non-surgical procedures, and injectables. Before the pandemic, they had already offered a hybrid online and in-person training course. When stay-at-home orders began to take place throughout most of the country, AAAMS created a 100% virtual version of their existing synchronous coursework. 

In addition to quickly adapting to online training, AAAMS transformed their student forum into an entire social networking platform, the AAAMS Aesthetics Network.

This first-of-its-kind community gives them the opportunity to interact with their peers, join live case study presentations, collaborate virtually, and find resources to advance in their profession that they were missing out on due to travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. 

If there’s one lesson to be learned from the pandemic, it’s that adapting to changing market conditions is a vital part of doing business.

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