In 2020 the world has hit pause and whilst we’re all used to change, never have we seen it happen this fast. We’re all faced with challenges we never imagined possible a few months ago – plans made in February are out the window. But, as business owners do we sit back and wait for the return to ‘normal’ and hope we survive, or do we use this time to plan for our future and our ‘new normal’?

Staying positive, calm and analytical, has allowed us to step back and observe a new world unfolding and start to consider how the challenges to our economy and consumer insights will come together to create new strategies globally.

We are mapping the trends, studying the data and applying our decades of marketing experience to help you create flexible strategies that will help you to face the future head on.

We are still tackling the big business issues, just like you – crisis communications, connected teams, protecting sales and keeping customers – but we are also helping our clients to seek our new markets and get ready to go again when we enter a period of recovery.

Nobody truly can predict the future right now, but our strategy team is working on what the next 12 months might look like for our clients and their communications and how we plan for the ‘new normal’, what insights will impact each sector and how we adjust our marketing and comms for a new consumer, whose mindset and lifestyle has changed.

Never before have we had an opportunity like this to step back and reset, to fix what isn’t working and plan for a fresh future.

We are tracking the data so you don’t have to, so for insights and marketing advice that help you navigate into the future, subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter
‘The Outlook’ via our Contact Us form.


 Brand Communications for the ‘New Normal’ 

Insights & Inspirational Content 

As we all navigate the next few months and businesses continue to get used to new ways of working, there is one thing that is certain, and that’s the importance of teamwork.

Through a period of remote working we’ve never had to bring so much of ourselves to work, from our spare rooms to our kids running past the laptop. As remote working continues keeping everyone engaged and motivated is at the top of the agenda, along with planning for workplace return over the coming months.

We all cope with change differently, we’re motivated differently, we behave differently, and most importantly, we all feel things and are impacted in different ways. So for every business owner, it’s important to remember one key thing…… there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to mass remote working.

Our ‘Keeping your Team a Team’ e-book gives some practical guidance of you can better understand how your team are feeling, communicate in new ways, and help to ease the fears of those feeling anxious.

To receive your free copy, please contact us using the form below.

Disruption is not a new thing, businesses and people have been dealing with dramatic change, war and crisis since time began, but the extreme change that we are all experiencing as a result of Coronavirus is what has many businesses and individuals feeling pretty unprepared for the future.

Whether you’re still in survival mode, busier than ever or riding out a period of uncertainty, it’s essential to use the data available, listen to your consumer trends and think about how your products, services and communications will need to adapt long term to what becomes our new ‘normal’ and what will really motivate us to choose a brand.

We’ve created a five stage ‘Recovery and Growth’ strategy to help businesses to use real data and insight to steer their future marketing strategy, adapt to challenges head on, grasp new opportunities and be more prepared for future disruption.

To receive your free copy of our ‘Five R’s Recovery’ e-book please contact us using the form below.


As a nation, we weren’t prepared to go digital overnight, but we have embraced technology like never before and we like it! Across all generations, we’re engaging more online, we’re using social channels in new ways, we’re innovating, we are researching in detail and we’re trying lots of new things.

Coming out of Covid-19 is a new world one more appreciating, more considerate and filled with kindness, following a real shift in how we all feel about our loved ones and our planet.

With this comes big change, in almost every element of consumer behaviour and over the last few months, unexpected trends have developed, many of which are here to stay. Whether it’s a new found love of home baking, the new colours we like or the DIY skills we didn’t think we were capable of, Covid-19 has changed our mindset, how we feel about brands and what we consider our ‘New Essentials’.

Get in touch using the form below if you’d like a copy of our ‘What today’s trends tell us about our new tomorrow’ infographic or any of our other sector based trends insights e-books.

Our latest issue of Homegrown, our agency magazine that celebrates the home-grown businesses and brands of the North, is devoted to Optimism.

We have chosen Optimism because it is one of our core values as a creative agency, and we believe approaching all obstacles with informed optimism can bring opportunity for growth and change for good.

Every one of us has had had our resolve tested in recent weeks, our motivation and resilience challenged and our business plans put under strain.

But we know this time of worry and disruption will pass, and we are focused on providing the latest marketing advice and inspiration for a post-Covid world.

Staying positive, calm and analytical, has allowed us to step back and observe a new world unfolding.

Along the way we have been sharing the good things happening right under our eyes. So this issue is a mix of optimistic insights, future forecasts and happy stories of community, people and new ways we have seen business for good.

To receive your free copy, use the contact form below.


In the UK construction halted for many projects in March, with more than 65% of construction projects stopped or majorly delayed. £82bn worth of property sales were suspended and a drop in house sales of 526,000 is predicted for the first quarter should lockdown continue to the end of June. However, in May the positive light started to shine through for the housing and construction sector, with 70% of construction sites across the UK now back to work and the others making plans for a safe return over the coming weeks.

Online engagement is up 82% and we’re all sharing more of our homes with each other than ever, including our friends and our favourite celebrities, we’ve seen their kitchens, gardens and the amazing dressing room we’ve wanted for years. ‘Home envy’ is huge, with more than 67% of consumers wishing their could improve their home, renovate their gardens or buy a new property.

To receive your free copy of our Property sector Trends e-Book, use the contact form below.

In the UK, overall spending is down by 5.2%. Non essential spending is down 13% year on year, with 23% adults reported as being ‘financially impacted’ by Coronavirus. With the exception of FMCG, overall retail spending has reduced by 20% year on year. Some industries including health and well being, home and garden have increased online sales.

Online search is at its peak, with an 82% increase in daily search. key search terms include fitness videos, hand washing, and hair clipping. Clothing search had reduced by 35% in the first few weeks of lockdown, the figures for April and May show that the reduction in search is now just 7% year on year.

With non-essential retail stores preparing to reopen, will online stay our top choice or will we return to the shops for the full retail experience?

To receive your free copy of our Retail sector Trends e-Book, use the contact form below.

In March, UK food sales were up by £2bn across our supermarkets. Alcohol spend was up 33% for April and May, with figures for wine, beer and spirits nearing Christmas time peaks, however as we navigated towards the end of May, those figures are reducing with 22% of consumers noting the need to change new drinking habits and stockpiling beginning to level out with increased confidence and new measures in place.

In lockdown consumers are experimenting and creating with food and drink products -home baking their favourites, experimenting with new cuisines to bring the restaurant experience home and learning the skills to make the perfect #quarantini.

As well as taking comfort in their favourite brands, consumers  are trying out new brands and treating themselves to more luxurious products, with a rise of 23% in the purchase of ‘luxury food items’. Will our food habits and preference for smaller, independent food shops continue or will we go back to our old ways?

To receive your free copy of our Food & Drink sector Trends e-Book, use the contact form below.

In 2019, the UK reported that Brexit turmoil had encouraged SMEs to reserve more cash that ever before. Despite this increase, the number of SME businesses holding enough cash to operate or sustain their business throughout a period of extreme disruption for 3 – 6 months is less than 17%. According to CBI and Kantar, cash flow is the number one concern for business owners in the UK.

Whilst the Government retention scheme is providing a safety net for some businesses for a short period of time, a key concern is how to maintain employee salaries following lockdown if lost revenues cannot be recovered quickly. Business owners are seeking strategic guidance for business recovery and long-term cash-flow.

In line with the SME business owner trends, the most searched terms in relation to professional services over the last six weeks was in relation to three core topics, employees, cash flow and access to finance.

To receive your free copy of our SME Trends e-Book, use the contact form below.


 Recovery Marketing Programme 

Our experts in marketing, PR and digital will lead your programme to rebuild and recover post Covid-19.

 How we can help:

Consumer trends insights – latest economic and consumer data

Customer tribes – high growth audience identification

Marketing performance audit – efficiencies, impact and budget ROI

Recovery marketing plans – growth products and services

Business Development Strategy – where BD and Marketing converge

Outsourced marketing director – our top heads in your business

Brand Comms Strategy – what, when and how should you communicate now?

Rally the troops – internal employee engagement to motivate and inspire


We are offering any business a free one-hour Zoom call to help you with your marketing plans post Covid-19, no obligation just some of the best heads in the comms industry to listen, guide and support your recovery.