Twotone’s two cents- communication is key, high demands and required skills

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Amsterdam, July 6th, 2020 -While many industries are struggling to keep their heads above water, the cycling industry is one of the few industries that is booming right now. So as the era of Corona carries on and 2020’s paradigm-shifting pandemic remains a theme of nearly every conversation, the team here at Twotone decided to make a concerted effort to really understand how our clients have been affected by Covid-19. Has it actually been a blessing in disguise for our clients and the industry at large? What adversity has been overcome and how did they do it? We asked five of our clients one question: “What are the top 3 changes you’ve made to run your business to accommodate corona conditions?”. We hope these insights will help you understand what has been going on in the cycling industry, learn about what has worked for our clients, and identify what could potentially help your business, even if you’re in a different industry.

Each client interview can be found here:

Three common themes emerged that spanned all 5 interviews:

  1. Communication is key, now more than ever – Twotone's clients with teams that were already working remotely had some advantages. However, the real difficult part was the social aspect universally changing: Extra care to show appreciation, intentionally enabling additional opportunities to communicate, share personal challenges with the circumstances, and ultimately, providing confidence in job security made a big difference for our clients and their employees. More personal attention with editors (i.e. 1:1 communication vs. an invite to a launch event) and dealers (via regular webinars) helped not only sustain relationships with partners but even improve them. Also for marketing, with face-to-face events canceled, engaging the public with webinars and live online events was a worthwhile stopgap. 
  2. Demand, sales and launches continued with some adaptations – Though some considered delays, each client ultimately opted to adapt and find ways to continue with their core business. Cycling is indeed enjoying a boom and each Twotone client has benefitted from this. Some more than others as supply chain, stock and shipping delays have impeded as well. Cannondale’s Ship-to-home program kept sales up despite not being direct to consumer. Even without test rides, Ampler’s business-2-consumer model enjoyed strong sales due to having bikes in stock.
  3. Agility (arguably not a hallmark of the cycling industry) was a required skill to excel – Twotone has prided itself on leveraging the most modern tools and approaches to meet our clients needs. All too often, we encountered pushback and resistance to change. The past three months were indicative of a paradigm shift in client agility. We saw this manifested in the ability to adapt with new feature launch schedules based on user data, devising new ways to keep partners and press engaged, informed digitally as well as quickly adapting marketing calls to action all quickly per Covid guidelines.

In closing, consciously deciding to focus more on the human aspect of work is a clearly distinguishable key strategic advantage. The consideration for topics historically not discussed in a workplace strengthens bonds within teams as the lines between home and work blurred. This retained workers and made the difference in nourishing unity in the companies that Twotone is honored to work with.

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