How Brands Learn, Survive, and Grow: Leeds Digital Festival

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We were all set to invite everyone to the new Mediaworks Leeds office and share our secrets of creativity this Leeds Digital Festival. However, as the festival‘s moved online, we felt it more apt to discuss how marketers can react to the current climate — and maybe even find growth. Here’s the summary of what we think the impact will be on Advertising, Experience, and Creative.


Mediaworks Leeds’ Managing Partner, Gill Ball, hosted a panel discussion to examine how brands are adapting to change four weeks into lockdown, and how accelerated virtualisation may affect the consumer landscape in the future. Here’s the summary of what we think the impact will be on Advertising, Experience, and Creative.




Cutting brand spend can have a devastating impact on a company’s ability to bounce back after a recession — brands that had stronger equity recovered more quickly after the last recession. It may even be an opportunity for growth — if your competitors are pulling back on spend you’ll find you get more share of market for your ad spend. Alongside this, several sectors bounced back after the last recession (DIY, LEGO, discount) and currently gardening equipment and furniture is hugely over-indexing in search. What they all have in common is their ability to make life easier and better for consumers.  Find your helpful element and communicate this strongly through your brand and advertising.

Research has demonstrated that people are more likely to try a new brand when they’re impacted by a big life event (up to 2.5x in some studies). Now is a time when EVERYONE is going through a life event, so it’s a good opportunity to encourage new customers to your brand. But don’t ignore your current customers, as they’ll also be trying other brands!


Now more than ever, every facet of what you do and how you operate will speak volumes about your brand, your authenticity, and the trust that consumers will invest in you.
Whether it’s reassuring consumers around your staff safety policy, to updating delivery and returns details on your online store, through to how you behave and communicate on social channels. All of these things will positively reinforce your brand if you do them right.

Use this time to be inventive, to improvise new services, and consider how these may work in the future.


Different products and services have suffered or benefited as a result in this massive shift in consumer behaviour. We broke down four themes around how brands have acted and reacted, and whether they’ve had to shift their tone of voice.

Ultimately, necessity has been the mother of invention and the brands doing it well have acted decisively and authentically and will come out strong. It’s also highlighted how agile creative and production can be in the modern age — prompting the question: should brand communications be more immediate and responsive, and could this give them a more relevant voice?

If you found any of the topics we discussed interesting and want to chat more, get in touch. You can reach us on +44 (0) 330 108 6521 or


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