Leaders’ Dilemma

Within the last few months, we have seen how the pandemic disrupted businesses of various scales. From there, business leaders were left struggling to address new challenges and the present needs of the people. 

If there’s one thing most experts say when asked what should businesses do, it is to pivot.

We have seen what strong brands, like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and San Miguel, have done to adapt which kept their businesses valuable. When done properly, pivoting can help your business grow and your brand becomes relevant amid these trying times.

But the dilemma among business leaders remains: How are they doing it? What are they doing right? How do I start pivoting?

Pivoting defined

Pivot means to move or revolve around a center point. A slight change in direction, but remains anchored to a solid focal point.

In that sense, if progressive leaders, like you, have to make necessary changes in the direction of your businesses, what should your center point be? What should these changes revolve around?

Brand-led Pivoting

As a business leader, the changes that you should make to address your new challenges need to be centered on what your brand stands for. Ask yourself: What does your brand truly care for? What does your brand promise to its community?

No matter how trivial or significant are the changes that you’re making for your business, it has to remain authentic to the identity, the purpose, and the values of your brand. Address the new challenges your business or customers are facing while staying true to what your brand truly cares about. Prioritize helping people over gaining profit.

If your brand cares for Filipino craftsmanship, offer relevant products that feature local talent and materials, like what Rada Collab did with their Abaka masks

If your brand stands for innovation, build inventive solutions to problems that matter, like what Tesla did with their ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Know what your brand stands for, then use it as a compass to guide you where to steer your business forward. From there, you can focus on your strengths and maximize your resources to come up with solutions to the challenges of the people today.

How the best brands do it

The Tannery

The fashion industry has been one of the hardest-hit industries by this pandemic. That didn’t stop The Tannery Manila, a local leather-craft company, from advancing their cause during this pandemic. They believe in paying homage to the artisanal leather-making traditions by producing quality leather material and products.

They used their leather crafting skills and resources to produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical frontliners. With over a thousand produced PPEs, this initiative has gained the support of the people and the frontliners themselves.


With restricted transportation, Angkas, a motorcycle-hailing platform, had to find ways for them to stay helpful and relevant, not just for the sake of the company but also for its riders. Bringing their expertise on motorcycle passenger safety to food and parcels handling, the company adapted its services to Angkas Pabili and Angkas Padala.

This move has helped the company save the livelihood of their employees while staying true to their strengths and purpose.


While masks are an essential accessory nowadays, it can be inconvenient for most people to wear one for an extended period. Staying true to their promise of comfort and simplicity, Uniqlo designed a mask made from their AIRism technology. It is made from lightweight and stretchy fabric that offers snug fit comfort. This comes without sacrificing safety, as the mask can block 99% of droplets, bacteria, and virus particles.

Addressing the inconvenience of physical store shopping nowadays, Uniqlo Philippines also just opened an online store. This comes with a wide selection of clothes and apparels complemented with delivery services. With this combination of comfort and convenience, Uniqlo was able to pivot while staying true to their brand.

Pivoting with purpose

In a time of uncertainty, business leaders who can stay true or rediscover what their brand stands for can find meaningful ways to pivot for success. Find time to revisit your products, processes, and your business model itself. Look for opportunities to help the people that you care about and inspire hope and positivity among the community.

How can you continue delivering your promise to your people? What do you need to change to overcome the challenges? How can you innovate your business while staying authentic to your brand?

Welcome change, yet remain true to what you believe in and you can always find ways to pivot your business to a successful brand.