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Let’s talk about ideas for businesses in the Never Normal world

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

✦ Knowledge Sharing Series

Community engagement is in the Vermilion Pinstripes DNA.

Joh Ju, Communications Strategist with Vermilion Pinstripes, featured on Brilliant-Online
Koh Joh Ju
Vermilion Pinstripes believe that in good times or not-so-good times, our community needs to come together to connect, inspire and empower each other for the road ahead, says Koh Joh Ju, Communications Strategist with Vermilion Pinstripes.

Vermilion Pinstripes is an international modern marketing and communications agency with sales offices in Australia and Singapore.

They have been doing exactly that since they launched their Knowledge Sharing series in early 2020, striving to help businesses and the community manage significant events that have had a serious bearing on our lives, such as the raging bushfires and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latter in particular has brought about a drastic change in various aspects of human behaviour, much of which bears a huge influence on the way businesses communicate and interact. We have very much entered uncharted waters and the need for guidance, support and solidarity is, arguably, greater than ever.

In response, Vermilion Pinstripes created a range of free resources such as e-books, webinars and “Happy Hour” discussions to share knowledge and offer opportunities for businesses to learn from each other.

As we near the end of 2021 we are under no illusions that we now operate in a “Never Normal” world.

This is why we decided to launch a “Let’s Talk” knowledge sharing sessions, a series that talks about the various ways in which businesses can grow in the Never Normal world.

Adam Hyslop (former Chief Innovation Officer serving as moderator in this Let's Talk session), featured on Brilliant-Online
Adam Hyslop
"Our goal is to shed light on the ways that changes and new developments have impacted businesses around the world, and how each managed to adjust and adapt their business strategies to counter them," says Adam Hyslop (former Chief Innovation Officer serving as moderator in this Let's Talk session)

In their very first session of Let’s Talk in September, participants from Asia Pacific and Europe discussed a variety of industries, bringing multiple ideas to the table on how they changed their approach towards business. Ideas such as diversification, collaboration, engagement, digitalisation, the creating of experiences and choosing conveniences were all discussed in detail.

Brilliant-Online participated in the discussion and heard how similar the local phenomena was across different markets. For instance, people seeking new thrills in old places like caravan living in London parks and glamping on the hard floors of the Singapore Changi airport.

Vermilion Pinstripes created an e-book that captures the key points raised in that session. Please download and share it with your co-collaborators, colleagues and friends. Better yet, please apply the ideas and concepts to your business.

Remember, do or do not. There is no try. Meanwhile, stay safe!

✦ What participants say

On diversifying

For organisations within the media industry, particularly radio, the issue was two-fold; not only did they have to devise ways to keep their listeners engaged during a time when many people were exploring various alternative media options for entertainment at home, but they also had to determine how to keep businesses interested in placing ads on their platform.

Nik James (Sales Manager and Announcer, Super Radio), featured on Brilliant-Online
Nik James
“There was a significant increase in listeners during the height of the pandemic and people were finding new ways to tune in on-line. It was important to remind advertisers to maintain a presence, even if it meant reducing the money they were spending on campaigns. So when people were ready to buy products their business would be top of mind.” - Nik James (Sales Manager and Announcer, Super Radio)

On collaboration

The arrival of the pandemic presented a whole new set of challenges that businesses now had to deal with, given their current and sometimes limited set of resources. Firms that engaged in content creation and marketing for businesses in specific industries in particular suddenly found themselves irrelevant. Fortunately for many businesses, however, leveraging partnerships and sponsorships became a way to not only ensure maximum visibility but also do what they do best - create content that is genuinely pertinent to industries’ distinct nature along with the challenges being faced due to COVID-19.

Noel Ong, Noel Ong (Chief Executive Officer, Samso), featured on Brilliant-Online
Noel Ong
“In my work, I talk to many companies in the mineral resource industry and being able to leverage partners like Brilliant-Online gets my views and my clients’ stories out to new audiences. This is a win-win situation that works well for me.” - Noel Ong (Chief Executive Officer, Samso)

On engagement

Apart from the obvious physical and financial toll that COVID-19 has taken on individuals and businesses around the world, the mental burden of having to deal with the effects of the virus are immense. Constant uncertainty with regard to the current situation along with the gripping fear of losing one’s life or source of income at any given moment has led to incredibly adverse effects on everyone’s mental well-being.

Lisa Willows (PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lifeline Mid Coast),  featured on Brilliant-Online
Lisa Willows
“When the shops closed due to the lockdown, we were able to pivot the messages to be about support and link this service back to our retail, so in this way, we continue to build the brand during the pandemic.” - Lisa Willows (PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lifeline Mid Coast)

On digitalisation

Perhaps one of the most prominent changes brought about by COVID-19 is our intense shift towards digital. Whether you’re a customer or a business owner, chances are you get your daily dose of information, entertainment (and even retail therapy!) from the internet.

Veronica Lind (Business and Marketing Strategist, Vermilion Pinstripes featured on Brilliant-Online
Veronica Lind
"We've got to think differently. Let’s fight COVID-19 with Connection, Creativity and Community. Now that we have seen how COVID-19 changed the way people work, live and interact with one another, we must think of Digital Transformation. There are things businesses can do proactively and realistically to minimise damage control, adapt to the changing environment and create pathways to keep moving on." - Veronica Lind (Business and Marketing Strategist, Vermilion Pinstripes)

Brilliant-Online was born from those adverse challenges to address clients utmost needs to become more visible during the pandemic. Leveraging off Vermilion Pinstripes skills in journalism, creativity and technology, Brilliant-Online became an early adopter of multichannel interactive advertising where the magazine has SEO rich stories, is fully interactive with videos, call to actions and built-in analytics. The intent is to be able to sell MORE without selling and improve brand ROI.

On creating experiences

Since many of the events and activities that we used to enjoy have unfortunately screeched to a halt following the arrival of the pandemic, a large number of us yearn to go back or at least try to relive those carefree moments. A number of businesses, particularly those associated with the travel and hospitality industries (both of which had been badly hit by COVID-19), saw this as an opportunity to change their approach by attempting to recreate those experiences through special services.

Human nature will prevail. The fact that local caravans are charging thousands of pounds from families looking for a different experience speaks volumes.

On choosing convenience

With all the obviously negative aspects of it aside, the arrival of COVID-19 has led to a shift in priorities, particularly when it comes to physical and mental well-being. With a majority of companies around the world executing new work-from-home or remote work policies, a number of people have now found themselves opting for maximum convenience, thereby eliminating the need for longer commutes and expensive living spaces.

Conveniently working from home with the family, Brilliant-Online
Conveniently working from home with the family
Banking and financial institutions have begun to notice an increase in the rate of mortgage requests for housing in rural areas over urban areas as more and more families choose to spend their money on homes that satisfy theirs and their families’ needs. Additionally, with global travel now at an all-time low, many consumers are making the conscious decision to utilise their savings for fixed assets or investments such as housing so that they can secure both their's and their children’s futures.


In the end, everyone was in agreement on the importance of messaging; for customers to notice you, you need to stand out. This not only involves the use of great visuals and storytelling but also being flexible and able to adapt and respond to changing situations. Whether that involves packaging your product a certain way, entering into new partnerships, changing your messaging or exploring new markets altogether, the focus should be on developing a strategy that makes sense for your business.

Contact Vermilion Pinstripes


t: +61 40 777 9828


+65 9681 7045


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