7 British brands that have pivoted during COVID-19

Friday, 31st July 2020

Guest Blog by Jo Scott, Founder / Managing Partner – Truth Creative


Businesses all over the world are asking themselves how, and if, they can pivot and start offering something of value during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever – brands need to think on their feet. Pivoting is key during these times to not only stay in business but also to realise the current business setup can provide alternative value during this crisis.

  • Dyson

Known for the design and manufacture of household appliances, Dyson has flipped the switch and turned its production line to ventilators in line with government demand. Dyson said it has designed a new type of ventilator in response to the Covid-19 crisis. With 10,000 on initial order from the government – the company has hundreds of engineers working round the clock to design the ventilators from scratch.

  • Glasgow Distillery

Located just outside Glasgow city centre, this distillery – known for their award-winning spirits – has switched production from single malt to sanitiser. The distillery has been producing hand sanitiser for the NHS, Red Cross as well as care homes and charities across Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland. Liam Hughes, CEO and co-founder says: “Like many of our distilling companions across Scotland and beyond, we are looking to support our local communities in any way we can at the moment. We hope that the production of hand sanitiser is one small way we can help the selfless efforts of frontline workers who are doing their best to not only protect themselves but protect the lives of those most vulnerable just now.”

  • Mackintosh

Mackintosh’s factory located in Nelson, Lancashire has handed their production line over to creating nurses’ uniforms. Recognised for their waterproof raincoats, those working within the factory have volunteered to produce the uniforms whilst maintaining guidelines on social distancing.

  • Jaguar Land Rover

The luxury car manufacturer is using its site in Warwickshire to create up to 1,300 visors a day. These NHS-approved protective visors are being created using 3D printing technology. The company has recently stopped car production at its plants as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Burberry

Although the brand is using its supply network to deliver surgical masks to NHS workers as well as repurposing its factory in Yorkshire to manufacture non-surgical gowns and masks for patients in British hospitals, the heritage brand is also funding research into a single-dose vaccine currently being developed at the University of Oxford.

  • DMM

The Welsh-based climbing gear manufacturer is currently getting ready to produce components for critical care ventilators. They’re also liaising with the NHS to determine if their sewing department could make vital PPE supplies such as face masks and scrubs.

  • Royal Mint

Last week, the Royal Mint began its mass manufacturing of medical visors for the NHS. With the concept to approved design complete in a 48-hour time frame, the first batch of visors is already in use at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital in south Wales. The makers of coins, bullion and gifts were keen to support NHS workers, so began searching for medical equipment that could be easily produced on site.

These British brands have shown how lateral thinking can result in ideas which repurpose their offering in a whole new way. Whilst the examples don’t have a commercial gain, their approach during a time of crisis could pay dividends to brand perception in the future.