In this episode of the update
I talked to George Hanson from Panera Bread restaurants
and Alex Tshering from FIGS,
makers of premium medical uniforms,
and heard how two radically different brands
found a common response.
As the world is changing around us,
it’s clear we are all seeking advice and reassurance
for life’s big and small decisions.
Globally, search trends for “should I buy”
are up by more than a 100%.
But for Panera Bread, this uncertainty didn’t just lead to a drop in consumer demand.
The necessary social distancing measures taken to combat the pandemic
fundamentally jeopardized their ability to serve their community.
To meet this business challenge, they first had to address the human impact of these changes.
How were you feeling in that moment?
How is your team feeling?
It was really emotional.
I mean, it was emotional hearing the stories in our cafes,
hearing the stories in the communities we serve.
Like this was impacting us on a human level,
and that’s really what we paid attention to first.
We had to make really fast decisions
around how we were going to pivot.
We were still able to filter
all of our decisions through — the principles of how do we
protect our employees and our customers.
How do we protect the brand and then how do we emerge stronger.
By creating clear filters for decision making,
Panera Bread was able to adapt to rapidly changing consumer behavior
and identify new opportunities and demand.
Year-on-year, search interest for online grocery shopping
and grocery delivery had increased 23%.
We also took a step back and said what are the needs of our customers right now.
And you know, like many of us
they had challenges accessing grocery.
And each week the level of discomfort of physically going to a grocery store
really caused a lot of opportunity for us to help.
And so we within a couple of weeks,
made the decision that we are going to help
and start providing a grocery service.
But with 39 million My Panera members,
the next challenge was communicating
basic information about the cafes to their customers.
Information like when is my local cafe open?
What services are provided?
And is drive-thru pick up available?
All these dynamics were changing rapidly over the last four to six weeks.
And so we knew that that was a primary window in which customers could know
how and when they could access Panera.
And so our KPIs were really about awareness and access to the customer
whenever they were searching for Panera or food near me.
And the Google insights
that the Google teams have provided has really